The Mumbai Indians have kept Kieron Pollard under wraps. The West Indian import, the costliest player of the IPL, has turned out in three of the four matches, but his impact hasn’t gone beyond 38 runs and a measly average of 12.66. He also has a solitary six against his name, as against 11 smacked by Hayden. He is presently 44th in the list of run-makers.
What could be the theory? Pollard didn’t bat in the first game against the Royals, came in at number six against the Daredevils with only 16 balls remaining, batted at number eight against Bangalore and took guard against the Knight Riders when the game was as good as won by Mumbai.
This man was a thrilling presence in the Champions League last year. So, why is he almost invisible in this year’s IPL? That the Mumbai Indians desperately wanted to secure his services before the auction is obvious. That other teams fear him also goes without saying. Yet, little is being seen of him in these early stages of the tournament.
Why? I feel the Mumbai Indians have been working on what works for the team rather than who’s what. They have worked out a combination which is delivering. So, why fix something which isn’t broken yet? Secondly, they don’t want the other teams to see too much of Pollard at this stage.
There are still 10 league matches ahead for them, so Pollard would surely be required at some stage.
They believe that teams with good domestic talent stand a better chance, so are intent on offering them opportunities to succeed. This harmony would reflect well on the team later on — an aspect, which the Royal Challengers Bangalore too have embraced whole-heartedly.
These two teams presently are the leaders of the pack. How Pollard is reacting to this being-on-display-only identity is not known? But I don’t think he would be missing out on the logic of it all.
A team ought to come ahead of an individual and who knows it better than Pollard’s skipper, Sachin Tendulkar. So, Pollard’s time will come. I suspect it could be in the business end of the competition.