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We are sticking through these tough times: Nicholas Pooran

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After losing yet another ODI series to India, West Indies skipper Nicholas Pooran said that the players are ‘hurting’ but he is confident they can turn their fortunes around in the 50-over format. Incidentally, the loss in the second ODI at Port of Spain turned out to be West Indies’ eighth consecutive defeat in the 50-over format.

Pooran also pointed out that winning or losing is a habit and at present they are ‘finding ways to lose games’. “The confidence level is there,” Pooran said in the presser. “The guys are obviously hurt. Those two losses obviously hurt us a lot but there is another game and that’s another experience and another opportunity for us to learn. This game keeps teaching us different things and I’m just happy that we’ve had that experience. It’s difficult to obviously lose, I’m disappointed, but that’s where the learning takes place and as a group we understand that and we know that for a fact that it’s our time now.

“I keep telling winning and losing is contagious and at the moment in ODI cricket we’re losing and we’re finding ways to lose games, but in terms of the confidence level, all the guys are ready for the challenge again. We’re ready to come out there and put our hearts and souls out there and perform together as a team,” he added.

Despite slipping to heartbreaking losses in the first two games, the West Indies can take enough positives. They were able to score more than 300 runs in both the games and the bowling also was good in patches.

“We’re just starting to obviously put performances together. I don’t want to come to a conclusion and say our batting is our strength or our bowling is our strength. As a team we’re still figuring it out. We haven’t put a collective effort together yet, obviously the results haven’t shown that yet, but the more games we play as a unit, we’re going to figure it out and we’re close to crossing the line and actually figuring it out what is our strength as a team.

“I want both facets to be our strength, to be honest. That’s how we’re going to win cricket games. We’re just staying the moment, trying to learn as fast as possible and sticking through these tough times as a team.”

West Indies opener, Shai Hope went on to compile his 13th ODI ton in the second game against India. However, over a period of time, his strike rate of 75.11 in ODIs has come under scrutiny. In fact, his strike rate turns out to be the lowest among the top 10 run-getters in ODIs in the last six years. Pooran, though, backed his team-mate and said that he is performing his role according to the needs of the team.

“His role has remained the same for the last five years. I think he just needs to bat and bat through. He doesn’t need to study about the strike rate or any other thing. He just needs to be out there for the team. We know once he’s there, he’s going to score runs for us and that is what matters the most, I think. He just being out there obviously sends a message and there’s a bit of a calm in the dressing room as well.

“We know at one end he’s holding up things and other guys just need to fine-tune themselves to do their job and do what the team is required of them at that moment. He’s very important to our team and he knows that. Time and time again, he keeps putting his hands up and keep proving to everyone how good he is as a player.”

In some positive news for the West Indies camp, Pooran said that Shimron Hetmyer has passed his fitness test and will be available for selection in the future. The southpaw hasn’t been included in West Indies’ squads since the T20 World Cup last year on fitness grounds.

“He [Hetmyer] passed his fitness test this morning, which is wonderful news. So, we expect him to see him back as soon as possible. I can’t tell you exactly when because I’m not sure, but as soon as possible and as soon as you can get him on the field.”

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