If I ask you that which is the most successful IPL Franchise in the history? The answer would be the one and only Mumbai Indians. The current defending champions has not only been one of the most successful franchises but the way they backed their players has been amazing.
If you go through the current lineup of the Mumbai Indians, you will see that there is a blistering Rohit Sharma at the top. The skipper is followed by the young Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav. Then there are the Pandya Brothers somewhere down the order and the duo of Boult and Bumrah doing the honours with the ball in hand.
But we often forget that in between the Sharmas, the Pandyas and the Bumrahs there lies a Kieron Pollard who acts as a glue that binds the dynamics of the team together.
Generally the Caribbean players add a lot of flair to any franchise they feature around the world. They are strong, charismatic, can clear any boundary in the world with the bat in hand, and with the ball they are equally skillful and not afraid to hit the hard lengths. Not to forget they are exceptional fielders too. However the term "dependent" is not what we associate with the big boys often. But when we talk about Kieron Pollard, all these accolades fit the bill perfectly.
Kieron Pollard has been with the team since 2010 and has his fair share of accolades with the team. He even had his fair bit of controversies but still the franchise has persisted with him. And what impresses me the most that even after being with the franchise for over a decade, the impact of this man hasn't reduced, instead it has increased manifold.
He may not be the in the same class of all-rounders as Ben Stokes, Shakib al Hasan , Ravindra Jadeja or Andre Russell but somehow he has managed to carve out a niche for himself.
Mumbai Indians has been smart enough to use Pollard as the "dernier ressort", a role that Pollard has performed beautifully over the years. And what impresses me the most is that majority of his performances has come in high voltage matches. There have been numerous such instances when Kieron Pollard has singlehandedly won a run chase for his team.
A power hitter by nature, Kieron Pollard has been brutal against pace especially in the death overs. But what sets him apart from his compatriots is that Pollard plays spin very well. He may not be a busy bee on the cricket pitch accumulating ones and twos, but he has that unique capability of clearing boundaries at will.
Contrary to his huge built, Pollard is one of the best fielders in the lineup having a pair of giant and safe hands. I wish he could have taken his bowling a bit more seriously but despite being an underrated and underutilized medium pacer, Pollard has that unique knack of picking up wickets and when he does he generally picks them in pairs.
In IPL 2021, Pollard was at this level best against CSK when he single handedly won a game for his team through his blistering knock and also scalped two wickets. Pollard slammed a powerful and fierce 87* in 34 balls with him hitting 8 sixes and 6 fours in his knock at a strike rate of 255.83.
But his heroics are not only limited to franchise cricket. Pollard has been one of the force to reckon with even in International cricket where he recently became the 3rd International player to hit six sixes in an over. Being the first player to have played over 500 international T20 matches and scoring over 10000 runs in the format, Kieron Pollard is definitely a stalwart in the shorter format of the game.
Happy Birthday Kieron Pollard….