Cricket-Windies must dig deep to revive title defence, says Pollard

Cricket - ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 - Super 12 - Group 1 - South Africa v West Indies - Dubai International Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - October 26, 2021 West Indies' Kieron Pollard in action REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

DUBAI (Reuters) - West Indies must do "whatever it takes" to revive their moribund title defence at the Twenty20 World Cup, skipper Kieron Pollard said after their second successive defeat in the tournament on Tuesday.

Routed by England in their tournament opener, West Indies put up a slightly improved performance in their second Group I match against South Africa but that was not enough to avert an eight-wicket defeat by Australia in Dubai.

The Caribbean side, the only team to win the title twice, could not capitalise on a strong start and settled for a below-par 143-8, which their rivals chased down with 10 balls to spare.

"Well, we just have to do what it takes," a dejected Pollard said.

"We have to dig deeper as a team. We have to dig deeper as a batting unit.

"We have to get wins on the board now. We've put ourselves in a position whereas from a run rate perspective that's pretty low, and from a win percentage we haven't won any games.

"So we have to win the next three games. We just have to take it one at a time and try to improve each and every time."

West Indies, who face Bangladesh in their next match on Friday, are now bottom of the group, which also include former champions Sri Lanka as well as Australia.

Top two teams from the group will make the semi-finals.

Evin Lewis' belligerent 56 was the highlight of the West Indies innings, but fellow opener Lendl Simmons struggled managing 16 off 35 balls.

Pollard refused to single out anyone for what he called a collective batting failure.

"For me, I think, as a team and as a unit we have not batted well," the all-rounder said.

"I'm not going to sit here and single out any individuals. I'm not going to throw any of my teammates under the bus.

"We came here as a West Indies team to do a job, and when we win, we win together. When we lose, we lose together."

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in Dubai; editing by Christian Radnedge)

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