Pollock against increasing number of foreign players in IPL

Mumbai Indians mentor Shaun Pollock is against increasing the number of foreigners in the IPL team Getty Images

Mumbai: May 2, 2011

Unlike Kings XI Punjab coach Tom Moody, Mumbai Indians’ mentor Shaun Pollock is not in favour of having five foreigners in the Indian Premier League, saying the tournament was meant for giving opportunities to local talents.

“Why would you want to change that. At the end of the day when you went to the auction, you chose your players based on the fact that you will need only four players. It wouldn’t make sense to change it now,” the former South Africa pacer told reporters.

“The idea of the IPL was to discover some local Indian talent. The more opportunities they get the better for them,” he added.

In a newspaper column, Moody had stated that since the number of franchises in the IPL had been increased to 10, it was time to increase the number of foreigners per side from four to five to bridge the gap in the skill of different players.

Commenting on the appointment of Duncan Fletcher as the coach of the Indian team, Pollock said the key for him to be successful would all depend on whether he is able to strike a chord with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

“I have never played under Duncan, never played in a team under him, never been coached by him, so it would be unfair for me to comment on what type of coach he is. I suppose because of all his experience, he’s been with a couple of teams, a couple at the international level as well. He’s got a lot of experience.

“It all depends on how he works with Indian skipper M S Dhoni and what sort of rapport he has with (Indian) players.

I’m sure he will give Gary a call and if Eric Simmons is involved they will come up with a plan. I would expect him to be pretty good.”

Pollock hoped his team, which plays three matches in the next seven days – two in Mumbai and one in Navi Mumbai – will ensure it wins all the games to book a spot in the play-offs.

“We would love to work it that way. That’s ideally how I wanted. But we are taking it one game at a time. In this tournament we can’t think too far ahead. We have to come back to Mumbai. We are looking forward to Monday’s game,” he said ahead of his team’s clash with Kings XI Punjab at the Wankhede stadium.

Mumbai Indians have registered five victories from seven games so far. Pollock felt that though Punjab have a strong batting, his team could put them under pressure by taking early wickets.

“They have got some depth as well. Ideally, if we get some early wickets we can put them under pressure,” he added. The former all-rounder blamed Mumbai’s unexpected eight-wicket loss against Rajasthan Royals to bad pitch and conditions.

“You got to understand that the pitch was not similar to the ones we have played on so far in the tournament. Probably (it) won’t be similar to the ones we’ll see going forward. And we didn’t play that well. It was difficult wicket to play on.

We didn’t bat well, and kept losing wickets and didn’t get a partnership going.

“It was not a good score but I thought we bowled very well. We made them fight hard for every run and put them under some good pressure for some good time. We’ll take that positive out of it,” he said.

About the form of Kieron Pollard, who is yet to fire with the bat, Pollock said it was only a matter of time before the West Indian found his form with the willow.

“He isn’t anywhere near the player which he is. It s not great for us to start with but it s only a matter of time before he finds form. It s only a matter of couple of shots before he gets going. Once he gets going he is destructive.

“We were blessed with guys who played well for us at the top with only the top 4 batting in the first three games. He didn’t get many opportunities. It was great that they batted that way but the only let-down for us was that Pollard didn’t get too much time at the crease. He will play his part no doubt. I’m sure he will win us a few games. He brings a lot to the team. He is a decent bowling option, good in the field.”

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