“In the last 10-12 innings, I haven’t scored [substantially] in ODI cricket and I’m very disappointed with myself as well. Looking forward to start scoring runs in ODI cricket and hopefully that changes as well. If I can start doing what I’m accustomed [to] doing in [the] middle overs for West Indies, hopefully the other guys can continue stringing partnerships and that could be the start of something special for us as a team.”
On Monday, Pooran made a surprisingly significant contribution with the ball, bagging career-best List A figures of 4 for 48 in what was only his second outing with the ball in the format. After Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq struck up an 85-run opening partnership, Pooran matched himself up with Pakistan’s left-hander-heavy top-order. Three of his four wickets were of left-hand batters.
“Today was amazing for me and if the guys are interested to know, I’m going to talk a lot about it, especially to pressure Akeal [Hosein] and Hayden [Walsh Jr.] [into] getting wickets for us because today these fingers worked, but I’m not going to get overconfident,” Pooran quipped. “Hopefully, there are two left-handers in the next series, so I can bowl as well.”
“The characters, the different characters shown by players, especially coming out here in 45-degree temperatures [was a positive],” Pooran said. “A lot of guys got sick as well. We keep fighting, we said from the beginning of the tournament that we’re going to stick together and no matter what the result [is] we’re going to stick together. That’s what happened.”
“A lot of people would be upset that we lost and a lot of people would bash us as well that we lost, [but] to me, I felt we got really close as a team,” Pooran said. “It’s my second tour as captain and I felt we’re actually building a family here and that’s a positive we’re going to take. Hopey leading with the bat again, Alzarri leading with the ball, and Akeal showing he’s world-class and Shamarh Brooks is coming into his own. Keemo Paul is back in the team as well and he did well today and [so did] young Jayden Seals and Anderson Phillip. Despite the results, we had a good showing, especially [in] the first game.”
Arguably, it was Akeal Hosein who had emerged with greater credit, following up his Player-of-the-Series effort in Amstelveen with all-round contributions in Multan. In the third ODI, Hosein came to the crease when West Indies were 93 for 5 and gave Pakistan a late scare with a sprightly 37-ball 60, which included six sixes. As far as his stronger suit is concerned, he is on top of the ODI Super league wicket-takers’ list with 35 strikes, six ahead of his team-mate Joseph.
Pooran, too, was full of praise for Hosein, ahead of the third ODI. “Very happy for him. He’s someone who is very hard working as well and it’s not just the last series and this series, but he has been doing well for the last couple of months and he’s a very hard worker again,” he said. “It’s nice to see him getting a lot of wickets and getting the best batsmen out and happy that we can throw the ball to him and ask him to do a job for us – whether it is containing or getting wickets – not only Akeal but the rest of the bowlers are putting their hands up and trying to [execute] what is required for the team as well.”