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Prajakta Pawar in Delhi

Fantastic to win two championships in one year: Pollard

MI all-rounder’s also glad to have played alongside Tendulkar

Although he conceded 30 runs in his first three overs, Kieron Pollard came back to claim three wickets in his last over to play a crucial in Mumbai Indians’ win over the Rajasthan Royals in the Champions League T20 2013 Final. The Caribbean all-rounder has been a huge asset to the team, contributing vital runs, bowling useful overs and fielding exceptionally well.

After winning the Karbonn Smart Champions League Twenty20, a thrilled Pollard told
clt20.com, “It is a fantastic feeling to win two championships (IPL and CLT20) in one year. It is really unfortunate that we have to break up as a team now because of the fresh auctions next year. Having said that, it has been fantastic.”

Besides lifting the trophy, the day marked another memorable occasion given that two batting legends – Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid – bid adieu to Twenty20 cricket. Speaking about the event, Pollard said, “Both have had played a lot of cricket and scored a lot of runs that we cannot even imagine. Yes, Sachin is going on to play Test cricket, but Rahul has been fantastic. I got the opportunity to watch them play and I got an opportunity to play with Brian Lara as well, so I am making a habit of playing with all the greats when they come to the end of their career.” 

The all-rounder has been a key player in the MI set-up. And on the big occasion, he once again proved himself by holding his nerve and coming back to polish off the tail with the wickets of Dishant Yagnik, Rahul Shukla and James Faulkner.

Pollard explained “I am not worried when I go for runs. The Rajasthan Royals had to go at 10 an over and you have to accept the fact that they are going to come hard at you. But the key for me was picking up wickets. I was bowling some tight overs and some balls were getting hit for runs, but I always knew that once we get wickets, we were always going to be in the game.”

The Mumbai Indians player had earlier contributed 15 runs with the bat. While talking about his batting effort, he said, “It was enjoyable, the ball kept coming on to the bat. The ground is pretty small and you back yourself to clear it. But what I must say is that it was a total team effort. If you watch from the top, straight down to the bottom, everybody contributed, which is fantastic. That shows the strength of our team and we all clicked at the right time.”

To set a target, the foundation needs to be strong and MI have been consistently given solid starts by Dwayne Smith. Speaking about his fellow West Indian, he observed, “Dwayne Smith has been fantastic and I am really happy for him. He is the one who has been there and thereabouts all the time, but he has proved his consistency for the Mumbai Indians, not only in the IPL, but he has come here in a big tournament and performed. He is one of the guys as well who we have to thank for winning this tournament. At the end of the day he did well, Rohit Sharma did well and it was a total team effort. On the bowling front, Nathan Coulter-Nile bowled really well and in the absence of Lasith Maliinga we did pretty well as a team.”

Another key player in the MI line-up who has made a difference with the bat has been skipper Rohit Sharma, and Pollard has had one of the best seats to watch him bat. He said, “On a couple of occasions I have been the spectator (of his batting form the other end), which has been the best feature. He is a special talent and I hope he can continue to score runs at the top of the order for India, but not against the West Indies as we come here in a month’s time. I have to give credit to the management team as well. One person in particular would be Robin Singh, who has been working tremendously behind the scenes. No one can doubt his work, and no one can doubt his commitment. Personally, I would say thank you very much to put in that hard work not only for me, but for all the teammates.”

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