Mumbai: Big-hitting West Indian all-rounder Kieron Pollard said the gambles Mumbai Indians took worked for the team in the win over Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League.
The 24-year-old Trinidadian, who scored a blistering 64 off 33 balls and grabbed 4/44, referred to bringing back pace spearhead Lasith Malinga to bowl the 15th over and his promotion in the batting order, as the two gambles taken by his team.
"We took a gamble in bringing back Malinga (in the 15th over) to get a wicket as Owais Shah was batting pretty well. So we took the gamble and it worked for us. Some days it would work, some days it wouldn't.
"This is T20 cricket. It just takes just one chance and one over to change the game," he said after MI's 27-run victory on Wednesday that pitchforked the team into the top of the league table.
Malinga stumped Royals' charge by getting rid off Shah, who made a belligerent 76 off 42 balls, off the first ball of his new spell, which turned the match in MI's favour.
About his promotion in the batting order Pollard said, "I batted at 5 today. (In the) first game I didn't bat, (in the) second game I batted at 7. Some days it would come off, some days it wouldn't. Today it was a good day and it came off.
"I just play my game and know exactly what to do. I am coming off a series against Australia (T20 and ODI). It's just a matter of continuing (what I did), adapting to the conditions here in India, continue what I was doing. I would take it from there, game by game and situation by situation (batting higher up)," he said.
Against Australia in the ODI series, he mustered knocks of 4, 47 not out, 36, 102 and 33.
The West Indian all-rounder, who brought off a few outstanding stops on the boundary besides taking a catch, was happy to get his first fifty in his IPL career and said it would boost his confidence.
"It's my first 50. I don't think you expect me to get a fifty from 17 to 20 overs. I got the opportunity today, it worked for us. It was the first for me and has given me the confidence."
Pollard said the team had gained some momentum with back-to-back wins over Deccan Chargers and RR.
"Yes it's an important victory, first in a home game. We have to make use of 7 or 8 of them. We have the momentum but it's important to continue that throughout the tournament."
He was of the opinion that the wicket at the Wankhede Stadium for the game was a better one for batting than the previous one against Pune Warriors on April 6.
"This one was a better track, with the ball coming on to the bat. We batted well... We knew a score of 160 wouldn't be enough on this."
In a lighter vein he said he wanted to teach his Trinidadian compatriot Kevon Cooper a lesson, when asked about the six he hit off the Royals' bowler off the first ball he faced from his countryman.
"We have played junior cricket (for Trinidad and Tobago under 19) together. (Jokingly) I just wanted to teach him a lesson (first ball six). We could later laugh about it. But it's good for him playing for Rajasthan Royals. I am happy for him. All of us are trying to play our best. I hope he continues the good work."
Asked about the good fight the West Indies were currently giving to Australia in the series at home, Pollard said captain Darren Sammy and the other members of the home team had decided to play fire with fire and it was coming off.
"I can't talk about the current bunch as I recently left from them (after the ODI series). The fighting spirit is there. We have decided not to back down and play them (Australians) hard. And that's what we did.
"We had decided to match Australia in aggression. Just wanted to show Australia we are not going to be bogged down. Hope they can come out with a draw even if they don't win the Test match," said Pollard whose first ODI ton came against India last season at Chennai.
His wish, however, came unstuck as Australia managed to squeak home past the 192-run target with three wickets in hand in fading light, to win the Test series opener at Bridgetown, Barbados.