West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran’s future looked bleak after an accident in January 2015 and the trauma that followed as he could not walk for about six months. But that is when current white-ball captain Kieron Pollard stepped on to the scene ‘like a big brother’, motivated him, recalled Pooran after the One-Day International series concluded on Sunday.
In four years since that difficult period, the 24-year-old is proving to be a vital cog in Windies’ white-ball set-up under Pollard’s captaincy.
“He’s been a like a big brother to me, a father-figure. He’s been there since I returned to cricket. He gave me opportunity. I’m thankful for that,” said Pooran, who has started repaying his skipper’s faith and living up to his reputation as one of the most exciting young batsmen in the game. He finished the recently-concluded ODI series against India with scores of 29 not out off 23 balls, 75 off 47 balls and 89 off 64 balls.
“Check out for Nicholas Pooran, he is a savage youngster,” ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle had said during a pre-match press meet in Manchester before the World Cup game against India.
Within six months, Pooran has proved his worth with 20 boundaries and nine sixes in three ODIs and with an ODI average of 52 in 19 games looks to be one for the future.
Speaking about his partnership with Pollard in Cuttack on Sunday, Pooran said their off-field friendship reflects when they are batting together.
“We (him and Pollard) knew each other and we are really good friends on and off the field. So we know how to complement each other while batting,” Pooran said about their highly entertaining century-plus stand in the third ODI.
“We play with each other, with the same club, same franchise back home. So we had good understanding of the wicket and the situation in the game and just executed our skills”, he said, adding Pollard was to attack the spinners while he took on the pacers.
Pooran admitted that West Indies cricket was going through another transition phase but expressed confidence that glory days were round the corner.
“Definitely we were on a team building (mode). India are one of the strongest teams in the world. They proved that again today in the T20I and ODI series. At least we came here and we showed fight. There’s better things to come. We are taking it day-by-day and eventually we’ll get where we want to get,” he added.