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India are the No.1 team, not focused on individuals: Pollard
Hyderabad, Dec 5: Newly appointed West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard has urged the board to back youngsters joining the squad and also make sure they are protected from the "vultures" who are always trying to bring them down.
West Indies, who have been in India for quite some time now as they faced Afghanistan in all the three formats in Lucknow, will now face India in a limited-overs series (comprising of three T20Is and as many ODIs) starting Friday.
"We need to back these young guys as we have seen their talent and attitude. Exciting times ahead for the youngsters, we have a lot of young talent, it is just about easing them into the world of international cricket," Pollard said on the eve of the first T20I to be played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
"Sometimes you need to be honest with yourselves and protect them from the vultures who are out there to bring them down," he added.
India had whitewashed Windies in all the three formats when they visited the Caribbean Islands earlier in August.
However, in the T20I series against Bangladesh played last month, the Men in Blue — under Rohit Sharma — weren't at their absolute best as they conceded their first-ever defeat to their Asian neighbours in the format.
West Indies, on the other hand, are coming off a 1-2 defeat to Afghanistan in the T20Is and they know that they have a task in their hands against the Men in Blue.
"We have played a lot in India, so it is just a matter of using that experience and trying to win matches here. At the end of the day, we are here to play, we have prepared well and hopefully we show a good performance tomorrow," Pollard said.
The Indian bowling also looks much stronger with the return of Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar who are proven match-winners. Deepak Chahar and Shivam Dube have done remarkably well in their limited opportunities so far and have strengthened the Indian pace battery.
If Windies batters do deal with the pacers well, they will have to contend with the quality spin attack comprising of Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav.
"Indian pace attack has been doing really well. They are the number one team, it is a good opportunity for us to face the number one ranked side, we cannot take much into that and we need to do our thing. We need to try to find ways to tackle the attack. We are not focused on individuals."
The visitors are without their key players — Sunil Narine and Andre Russell — for the T20Is and would therefore not start as favourites.
However, Pollard believes his team needs to move on and intend to put their best foot forward. "You do not want to have players trying to fill in the gaps of senior players. For us, Russell, Narine and Bravo are big gaps, but as a team, we have selected 15 players to do a job here," Pollard said.
"We back each and every player, when these senior players become available for selection, we can have a discussion about it. It is what it is, we have moved on from that and we know the reasons why they are not here," he added.