West Indies coach Phil Simmons has praised Kieron Pollard for his leadership skills and being proactive as a captain who lets his players known what he expects from them.

Pollard took over as West Indies ODI and T20I captain in September this year replacing Jason Holder and Carlos Brathwaite respectively. Since then, he has led them to a 3-0 clean sweep of Afghanistan in a three-match ODI series before suffering a 1-2 defeat in a three-match T20I series. On their limited-overs tour of India, West Indies have bounced back from a thrashing in the series opener to draw level at one-all in the ongoing T20I series.

I didn’t have Holder a lot in the ODIs when I was there (as a coach) before. Pollard is proactive with all the players. He lets them know exactly what he wants from them. He’s been good in the sense that they know that he’ll give everything for the team,” Simmons said on the eve of series-deciding third T20I to be played in Mumbai.

Pollard has been a Mumbai Indians mainstay in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and knows Wankhede Stadium, the venue of the third T20I, inside-out. Simmons feels his knowledge will be beneficial. “Pollard has played a lot at this venue, the others have not played that much. I think the experience which they have got from here is invaluable and especially the captain, as he has been here for 10 years. He knows things inside out and that will definitely help our bowlers mainly, there are a few youngsters in this format. It will definitely help,” Simmons said.

The last time these two teams met at the venue was during the ICC T20 World Cup in 2016 where West Indies had defeated India in the semi-final. “A lot has happened since then. But, I think we’re confident because of the way we’ve played in the two games here. Although we lost the first one, we won the second one. The way we prepared, the way we’ve been playing, that gives me and players confidence,” he said.

He added that any score is chaseable at the Wankhede. “We have seen in the IPL and international cricket that totals over 200 can be chased here, it is that sort of ground. You never know how much you have to (put up) when you are batting first. I think any score is chaseable here,” said.

Fielding, especially catching, is a problematic area that has hurt both India and West Indies and Simmons wants his team to improve on that front. “You will not win games if you drop them (catches). The players will have to tell you if it is the lights or whether it is their execution or their position… I do not like excuses. I think if you drop a catch it is your fault. You can blame the lights but I think we just have to keep working hard so we do not drop any,” he said.