Mumbai Indians has always been one of the strongest teams in the history of IPL. Its core members are dynamic cricketers. They know how to handle the intense and crucial situations and they know how to win from thereon. Four times champions, Mumbai Indians are invincible in every department. The balance which the players give to the side only makes the team stronger. Many players have been with MI for years like Rohit Sharma, Lasith Malinga and Hardik Pandya, but the one who has impressed everyone the most has to be Kieron Pollard.
Kieron Pollard has been playing for MI for a decade now. He has been the X-factor for his side. His ability to change the dynamics of the game in any department makes him one of the greatest all-rounders to have played the game. His experience makes him stronger and stronger. Let’s go through his contributions to every aspect of the game and see how he’s able to do that.
Pollard is one the stalwarts of the game with his name in the top 10 highest number of sixes in IPL history. Pollard’s strike rate in the death overs as a batsman is outstanding. He uses his crease well and makes the most of those pivotal overs. Mumbai Indians is a side which has a strong batting line-up and Pollard being a lower middle-order batsman comes to bat most often in the last 5-6 overs unless there’s a collapse. He targets specific bowlers and maximises the score in that overs.
Pollard hits a six (Image Source: gettyimages)
It’s extremely difficult for the bowlers to execute their plans against him. He has maintained a strike rate of close to 150 every season over the years. Remember, he has scored over 10,000 runs with a strike rate of 152 in T20’s. Pollard is not just a prolific finisher but he can also build the innings well. He has been a saviour to the team whenever it has had a bad day. Even in this season, Pollard is striking at the rate of 200 this season. Getting him out is tough when he’s in touch. How does he do that?
Let’s have a look
He never seems to have a weakness. He has shown a little struggle while facing the yorkers and wide-yorkers. But, when the bowler misses the yorker, Pollard is probably the strongest batsman who can elevate those lower full-tosses. There are very few batsmen who can do that. The short ball isn’t an option either. He can easily pull that for a boundary. Therefore, Pollard is one of the strongest contenders of muscular hitting.
Although he doesn’t bowl much these days, Pollard is a quite handy option in bowling as well. He isn’t the bowler who can give you wickets when needed but he can definitely build the pressure needed to get those wickets
Pollard celebrates a wicket (Image Source: gettyimages)
His variations and proper line and length make it difficult for the batsmen to go against him. The way he uses his bowling crease makes him unpredictable.
What can we say about his fielding?
Pollard takes a blinder (Image Source: gettyimages)
Pollard has been one of the finest fielders in the history of IPL. In fact, he ranks 2nd in the list of most catches in IPL, just behind Raina. Pollard is an outstanding fielder in the death overs as that is the time when boundary fielders have a job. Remember, he fields at long-off and long-on, the two most difficult positions to field in the death. Batsmen try to play across the line in order to attack and fielders at that position have to be at their best.
Pollard did the same in this year’s IPL game against RR. RR was chasing and Buttler’s wicket was crucial for MI. Buttler slaps a full-length delivery towards long-on and Pollard pulls off a blinder single-handedly. He has done this quite a few times before.
Kieron Pollard taking the catch of Jos Buttler at log-on (Image Source: iplt20/twitter)
Therefore, Kieron Pollard has definitely been the Most Valuable Player for Mumbai Indians for over a decade now. The experience which he brings into the side makes him unbeatable. For the X-Factor he brings into the game, Pollard can definitely be called one of the greatest match-winners of the game.
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