There is no doubt that Kieron Pollard has been one of the most important players in the Mumbai Indians set-up this year. The all-rounder has not only shone with bat and sometimes with ball, but he has been a game-changer with his exceptional fielding as well. (Also See: IPL 2013 Winner Mumbai Indians Celebrations - Pics)
From plucking certain sixes in midair on the field to crafting championship-winning innings, Pollard gave his 100 percent in all departments this season. (Also Read: CSK vs MI - Final Report & Stats: IPL 2013)
In an exclusive chat with IPLT20.com, this is what the West Indian all-rounder had to say about his half century against the Chennai Super Kings and winning the coveted IPL title for the first time.
MI have come close before and finally with your help they got their hands around the IPL Trophy
This is a great feeling! I have been playing for the Mumbai Indians for four years and to get this opportunity and to be able to pull it off, it is fantastic. It is something I will cherish forever.
What were you thinking when you went in to bat with MI reeling at 52/4?
Nothing much was going on in my mind when wickets were tumbling. I just wanted to focus on my game. I just wanted to back myself and my ability. I know what the team needed from me at that point in time. These are the games that you have to win for your franchise and thank God it came off and we actually won!
This season, your fielding alone gave MI a leg up in many contests. Have you been focusing on any particular drills?
I have not really been doing anything extra for my fielding. I just feel it is important to give your best each and every time you go on the field. And if you don’t score runs or take wickets, you have the opportunity to make up for it in the field. At least, that is the way I look at it. I just want to contribute in all three departments. To me, if I don’t contribute in either one of these departments, then I think I have failed.
You have won three finals over the last one year. You seem to be making a habit of winning
It is a fantastic feeling. So far I have been in three finals over the last year. First it was the World T20 finals; then I was in the finals for my Club back home - we (Trinidad & Tobago) won that and qualified for the Champions League (CLT20), before I got here and now the IPL. And that is what I was talking about before this final, that I have been in two winning finals before and I just wanted to keep that record going.
And now in the next few days, we have another important tournament coming up, the Champions Trophy. We (West Indies) are looking forward to that as well. Dwayne Bravo is going to be our captain, and we are really enthusiastic about it and let us see if we (West Indies) can play good cricket and come out on top over there as well.
Speaking of Bravo, you two seem to be enjoying your rivalry?
Yes, of course. I bring out my best against Bravo. He is my good friend, and we have a big rivalry going on. So, when we chat, we talk about how many championships he has won as compared to how many I have. I am neck and neck with him since I have won the IPL now. But he just told me that he has won the Champions Trophy as well. So I told him, ‘Don’t worry both of us can now go and win that!’
Finally, what do you have to say to all the MI fans who consider you a cult hero?
I would like to thank the Mumbai crowd. The support of the Mumbai fans, and fans all over India have been spectacular. This would not be possible without them. And hopefully, each and every time I come back to India, it will be the same great feeling.