Though he made his debut during the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007 as a 19-year old, it was his performances for Trinidad and Tobago in the Champions League Twenty20 two years later that catapulted Kieron Pollard into the limelight. Since then, he has gone on to become one of the most coveted signings for Twenty20 franchises. In the past year though, several stunning innings in the 50-over arena have provided ample proof that he's far more than a bits-and-pieces cricketer. Wisden India's newest columnist talks about the road ahead and the constant desire to improve.
You're perhaps the first Twenty20 superstar, in that you made your name playing that form of the game...
I've been labelled a Twenty20 cricketer and I can understand that. That was my avenue to prove myself. That was my route to be financially stable, to not have to worry about my family's well being. It gave me the confidence to better my game and focus on 50-over cricket as well.
Now that you've started imposing yourself in the 50-over arena as well, how realistic is a Test cap?
Test cricket is always there at the back of your mind. I haven't played much first-class cricket, but if I continue to perform in the 50-over game for West Indies, hopefully there will be a chance to play Tests as well. It's high on the agenda and one day I hope to achieve that goal of playing Test cricket for West Indies.
Is there any one individual you rely on for technical tweaks and other advice?
My coach from Queen's Park watches a lot of the cricket I play and points out certain things to me. I also have a couple of close friends that watch cricket, who are avid and knowledgeable fans. They point out areas I need to work on. Sometimes, I agree with them. Sometimes, we agree to disagree.
I watch a lot of cricket, and if I see something that may work, I try to implement it in my game. That's how I try to get better. When I travel the world, I try to talk to the more senior players to find out how they prepare and how they approach certain situations. Growing up, I didn't have one individual telling me to do this or not. I've always listened to advice, and tried to work out things on my own.
You spend so much of the year on the road. How much of a toll does that take?
The touring life can be hard, but I won't complain because it's helped to give my family security. I always look forward to going back home, and whatever time I get there, I try and enjoy it to the fullest. My family is very supportive, and my wife and son travel with me to most places. Having them with me makes it a lot easier.
The schedule these days can be relentless. How do you maintain a balance?
I switch off completely when not playing. We West Indians tend to sleep a lot. I play video games and do other things that let me forget about the game for a while. If you don't, then you can overcomplicate things for yourself.