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Pooran seizing his chance to shed T20 specialist tag

West Indies Nicholas Pooran during nets
West Indies Nicholas Pooran during nets
©Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Nicholas Pooran is keen to shed his T20 specialist tag, insisting his mature knock against England proves he can become West Indies’ man for all formats.

  • After 63 against England, West Indies power hitter wants to prove his worth
  • Admits Tuesday’s clash with Bangladesh is a must-win for his team

 The 23-year-old has played in 102 T20 matches in his career, compared with just three first-class games with Trinidad and Tobago – the last of which came in December 2014.

He only made his international ODI debut in February against England and was picked for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 after a single 50-over appearance for his country.

But on a tricky Southampton pitch, he made a composed 63 against the hosts, putting on 89 for the fourth wicket with Shimron Hetmyer to help steer West Indies away from a perilous 55-3.

Both eventually fell cheaply and West Indies subsequently collapsed to 212 all out en route to an eight-wicket defeat.

But Pooran’s innings was nonetheless impressive and the Trinidad left-hander believes he can thrive at ODI and, ultimately, Test level.

“My job is to play cricket, it does not matter which format. I’m not rushing anything, I’m just trying to get better and better each day. I back myself to do that," he said.

“My dream was always to play cricket professionally and represent the West Indies at a World Cup someday. It feels wonderful.

 “I just learned a lot from T20 cricket and now my chance is to play ODI cricket. It’s different, you have to bat longer and so it is up to me now to adjust.

“I want to get better and better and not make the same mistakes over and over again. You can’t judge T20 cricket and every game brings a different situation."

West Indies need Pooran to deliver more runs if they are to stand a chance of reaching the semi-finals.

Their defeat to England leaves them with just one win from four matches and sixth in the group standings ahead of Monday’s game with an equally under pressure Bangladesh.

“We will come out hard and we need a victory,” he added.

“We made simple mistakes [against England] but we need to stick to our game plan. We lost some wickets cheaply but I don’t think we have given our hand away yet.

“They were soft dismissals. In every game, we have dominated periods but we now just need to dominate for a lot longer.

“We need to improve in the middle and dominate the big periods for us.”