West Indies appointed Kieron Pollard as the skipper of the ODI and T20I sides replacing Jason Holder and Carlos Brathwaite.

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When Kieron Pollard last played ODIs, Virat Kohli had only 25 ODI hundreds, Azhar Ali was Pakistan’s ODI captain, MS Dhoni was still India’s permanent skipper and Steven Smith averaged only 58.55 in Tests. Yet, West Indies, after a World Cup debacle that saw them lose all of their last eight matches after a win first up, deemed Pollard was good enough to take over the reins of the ODI and T20I sides.

Taking over from Jason Holder (ODIs) and Carlos Brathwaite (T20Is), Kieron Pollard will now skipper the West Indies limited-overs sides as revealed by Cricket West Indies President Ricky Skerritt.

Read: Kieron Pollard named West Indies captain across shorter formats

"What impressed me the most about Pollard was his keenness and commitment to give back to the game,” Skerritt said while announcing the new white-ball captain. The statement though contradicts Pollard’s actions. He was one of the blacklisted West Indian cricketers and has only made a comeback to national colours – in T20Is – after the new President took over.

The case against Jason Holder was that his ODI numbers as a player were questionable. Skerritt even pointed out that Holder will “compete” for a place in Pollard’s team. But what’s stupid about his comment is that Pollard’s numbers are in fact inferior to that of Holder in ODIs.

Numbers in ODIs

Player

Batting average

Bowling average

Kieron Pollard

25.71

39.12

Jason Holder

26.04

35

Holder is the No.1 Test all-rounder in the world now and even if his captaincy was in doubt, Pollard has no business sneaking into the Playing XI ahead of Holder in this format at least. Pollard has three ODI tons, though, but the truth is that the last of those came in 2013. Since then, he has only made three scores of 50 or more in the format, with his final ODI coming in October 2016.

Pollard’s role as a bowler has also declined massively in recent times. In the Indian T20 League, he never bowled in the last two years and has only bowled less than 10 overs in the last four years. Solely as a batsman, Pollard adds very little value, particularly in the 50-overs format. A batting average of 25.71 for a top-order batsman is pretty poor and by giving him the captaincy now, West Indies are missing out on a chance to groom a new captain for the World Cup four years from now.

Even in T20Is, the decision to do away with Carlos Brathwaite’s leadership a year away from the T20 World Cup is bizarre given that Brathwaite has the second-best win/loss ratio – after Darren Sammy – among West Indies’ T20I skippers. Pollard’s captaincy credentials are slim even at the franchise level. A win as captain for the Mumbai franchise in Rohit Sharma’s absence this Indian T20 League season is his best claim in the leadership category. But is that enough to justify a call-up and anointment as captain in ODIs?

Read: How far behind have the Windies fallen in T20Is?

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Randy Brooks