“Pollard himself has to rethink his game, whichever he chooses, because he still has a future ahead of him hopefully,” Bishop told ESPNcricinfo on the T20 Time Out show. “People say he’s washed, I’m not going there. I think he’s a player who can be reinvented.”
Eleven games in the 2022 IPL, Pollard has 144 runs behind him with an average of 14.40 and a goal rate of 107.46 – his lowest goal rate in any IPL season. The only previous case that Pollard ended the season with a hit rate below 130 was more than ten years ago, in 2011. He has been a vital wheel in Mumbai’s machines since 2010 – and a key collaborator in each of their five IPL titles won – Pollard, who turns 35 on Thursday, has had the support of the team even as he goes through a tough campaign.
“Yes, they hold the faith and are loyal to the great player for them. We need to have long memories – when I say, in the media; fans, some fans anyway, have short memories,” Bishop said. “You look at Pollard’s numbers when Mumbai won the championship: 400 runs  2013 in [an average of] 42, until 2019 and 2020, where he averaged over 30 with a strike rate sometimes from the 160s to the 190s [156.74 in 2019, 191.42 in 2020] – was an integral part of them. You can’t forget that as a franchise, so they give it every chance. “
“Franchises can’t think like fans; they have to be impartial about what they’re talking about,” Vettori said. “What Mumbai has to do is have a long memory, as Bish says, but also look to the future.
“Is Pollard in that future? I suggest he is. I think we’ve already had seasons with him where he may not have been at the peak of his game and come back. So Pollard’s playing these last few games is critical because I think he will be a key part of the franchise in the future. “
Among the major concerns for Pollard – the striker – is his visible fight against spin. He averaged 6.80 compared to the spinners this season, while he only scored 82.92, and the teams have clear strategies and are saving him more turns. Vettori, who has hit Pollard hard in his playing days, believes he is not hampered by a weakening of power, but by uncertain thinking.
“When it comes to spin bowling, it’s awful for him to bowling like a spin bowler, in general,” Vettori said. “His range simply dominates everything, and a lot of time can go with the first or second ball. I think what we see [this season] is that he soaked up his balls. But he’s at his best release if you overdo it, he’ll hit you for the first six balls. It just feels like there is insecurity; maybe it’s symptomatic for the season or where the season has gone, that he wants to put everything on his shoulders and take the team to the end, as he has done in the past, but it just didn’t work out this season. “
Bishop believes it is a matter of trust. “As a bowler, if you know the guy is unpredictable, you know he’s out of shape, you know you have everything over him, then you’re very confident in carrying out the plans you have,” he said. “When Pollard was in his best form, I saw him disassemble some spinners for his legs, I saw him disassemble a few spinners for his left arm.
“Kieron Pollard needs self-confidence; he’s not that type – when you’re above him, it’s harder for him to get out. He needs self-confidence, he needs support, he needs a good start to the season.”
Since he saw Pollard up close from a young age, how much of the surround sound Bishop thinks reaches him? “100%,” he said. “Pollard would feel disappointed, he would be worried about his form, he would try to find a way, because he knows too. We talk about Mumbai being loyal to him, he knows that and while he performed for them they continued to be loyal to him and he he would like to reciprocate that faith.And I am sure he is worried about the fact that he did not achieve the number of runs.
“As great a player as he is for the Mumbai Indians, I’m telling you 100% that he cares. He wants – not to prove the critics wrong, because there are excuses in some criticisms of his form, it was obvious – but he would like to show them that he still has it. “