Estwick urges Pooran to keep batting, captaincy separate

May 25, 2022
Windies white-ball skipper Nicholas Pooran.
Windies white-ball skipper Nicholas Pooran.

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):

West Indies assistant coach Roddy Estwick has urged new white-ball captain Nicholas Pooran to separate his leadership role from that of batsman, in order to ensure he has a clear focus in the upcoming One-Day International series against the Netherlands and Pakistan.

The 26-year-old was recently appointed to lead the squad following the abrupt retirement of close friend and fellow Trinidadian Kieron Pollard last month.

Pooran is also one of the white-ball unit's leading batsmen, a role Estwick said he did not want compromised by the player's leadership responsibilities.

"You have meetings, you have discussions about every [opposing] batsman, about their strengths and weaknesses, and the captain will set fields accordingly. Then, it's up to the player to go execute [the team plans]," said Estwick.

"In batting, you would know your role, so you go out and you bat and do your job.

"When Pooran is batting, he's not captain - that's going to be one of his biggest challenges. When he's batting, he has to think like a batsman.

"He has to put the team first to make sure that he, too, is also executing the game plan and not try to captain when he's batting.

"You leave the captaincy when he's on the field; and when he's batting, he'll get the information that's relayed to him as well, so he just has to execute what he's supposed to do."

Pooran leads a relatively inexperienced squad on both tours with marquee all-rounder Jason Holder rested, Shimron Hetmyer unavailable, and Evin Lewis not considered for selection after failing a fitness test.

And though Pooran will not have the luxury of leaning on experienced players for advice, Estwick believes it affords him the opportunity to put his unique mark on the captaincy role.

"Obviously, Jason will be sorely missed -- for his experience, for his skill, for his knowledge, for someone of that ability. Any team that loses a player of Jason's ability will miss him," Estwick pointed out.

"But it gives Pooran a chance to forge his own identity as well, with the senior players not around.

"Obviously, there are still players who've been playing for a while. You've got Shai Hope as his vice-captain. Hope has been around for a very long time, so he has Shai that he can lean on.

The three-match series against the Netherlands runs from May 31 to June 4 in Amstelveen, while the three-match tour of Pakistan will be played from June 8-12 in Rawalpindi.

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