It has been an interesting week for Kieron Pollard. On May 5, against the Chennai Super Kings, Pollard achieved a most dubious hat-trick, dropping Mike Hussey at point off three consecutive deliveries from Mitchell Johnson. For someone who is among the best fielders in the world today, that bordered on the absurd. Immediately after that game, Pollard, it was cruelly said, finally caught something - the flu - and missed the game against the Pune Warriors. Against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday, at a packed Wankhede Stadium, Pollard twice hit hat-tricks of sixes to win a game that Hyderabad had controlled for close to 36 of the eventual 39.3 overs played.
The strategy, when Pollard walked out to bat with 80 needed from 40 balls, was uncomplicated, he revealed. "I guess it was plain for everyone to see. The required rate was 13. At that point it was just a matter of trying to get in and see how deep we could take the game. It was a matter of choosing which bowler to attack and backing yourself and backing your ability," said Pollard, still sniffling from his flu, soon after he had won the game for Mumbai.
The unfortunate bowler who bore the brunt on the day was Thisara Perera, whose third over, the 17th of the innings, was pilloried for 29 runs. But it was always on Pollard's mind that one bowler would have to go for plenty. "The situation dictated itself. If you blocked a couple of balls the required rate went from 13 to 15," said Pollard, who ensured that Perera ended with figures of none for 55 from 3.3 overs. "You still have to play each ball on merit but, at the same time, you have to back yourself to clear the boundaries."