Mumbai Indians (MI) legend Kieron Pollard has begun his new role with the five-time IPL champions as their batting coach ahead of the IPL 2023 season. Pollard had earlier claimed that he was never going to play for any other team apart from MI and had made the tough decision of hanging up his boots and not going back into the auction pool.
The former West Indies skipper also opened up on the impact that MI has had on his professional career and the emotions that are associated with it. He feels his role remains the same, which is to be a firm support to the players in the squad.
In a video on Mumbai Indians’ YouTube channel, here’s what Kieron Pollard had to say about his training session as batting coach:
“I have told them don’t call me coach, call me Polly. Words really can’t describe the feeling of playing for Mumbai Indians and representing the people of Mumbai.
“They have done a lot for me as an individual and I guess I have done a lot for them from a player’s perspective, the bond we have I guess it’s more than just cricket matches and things like that. For me nothing will change, I’ll be the same sort of personality and character, around the guys.”
MI youngsters react to Kieron Pollard’s coaching role
The video also showed the reactions of young MI stars like Tilak Varma, Hrithik Shokeen and Ramandeep Singh speaking on their experience of working with Kieron Pollard as batting coach.
Shokeen made a tongue-in-cheek comment on Pollard not wanting himself to be called the ‘coach’. He said:
“I used to bowl to him a lot during the nets, I was really missing him, I am going to tease him a little and call him ‘Coach’ sometimes.”
Varma spoke about how he feels about playing alongside Kieron Pollard and batting under his supervision. He said:
“Last year I was sharing dressing room with him and this year I am very excited, like he is now our batting coach.”
Ramandeep opened up on the role Pollard played during his first season for MI last year and hailed him as his ‘big brother’. He stated:
“Whenever I was in trouble he was always there to guide me and he would like a big brother come to me with ideas that you can go with this plan.”
MI have not won their first game of an IPL season for 11 years in a row and would like to change that against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on April 2.