Nicholas Pooran says West Indies must be aggressive in a do-or-die game against Bangladesh, as they look to get their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 campaign back on track.
Back-to-back defeats against England and South Africa has made this a difficult start for the defending champions and they sit bottom of Group 1 on the eve of Friday’s match in Sharjah.
Though their chances of reaching the semi-finals are slim, three wins from their remaining games would catapult them back into contention for the knock-out round and prolong their hopes of becoming the first side to successfully defend the title.
Much of the pre-match talk is focussed on Sharjah's shorter boundaries and how the likes of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell could take advantage.
But Pooran is ignoring outside predictions and just wants a clinical performance with both bat and ball.
“It's a do-or-die game for us," he said.
"And we believe that we're going to be successful tomorrow. And again, I can't emphasise enough how important it is to perform our roles. Once we do that, then everything can take care of itself.
“I definitely think it's a good opportunity for us to bounce back. We're not sure how Sharjah is going to play tomorrow.
“But our focus is not on the small boundaries, to be honest. We just want to execute our skills. And once we can do that, then the results can take care of itself.
“We can't really say it's short boundaries and we're going to hit sixes. And we want to be aggressive as a team.
“We can't really say that. Only when we go tomorrow and we assess the pitch, the conditions there, then we can actually try to put a game plan into place as quick as possible and try to get a really good score.”
West Indies could call upon all-rounder Jason Holder, after he was elevated to the squad to replace Obed McCoy, who was ruled out with a leg injury.
With 199 international matches in all forms of the game, Holder brings more experience to a veteran team.
West Indies also have a squad of players that have played all over the world in various T20 leagues, including the Bangladesh Premier League and Pooran admits that familiarity with their opponents is an advantage.
“It helps a lot. I spent a lot of time in Bangladesh as well. Not only me, but a lot of the other guys as well,” he said.
“We have good friendships. We make good friendships with the guys. We get to understand them. We get to learn from them as well especially under different conditions.
“So going into that game actually knowing what these guys do, are very familiar with it, that helps us a lot as batters and as bowlers as well.
“The mood in the camp is still good. The guys generally think we were hit by losing those two games and we have only ourselves to blame. But the mood is still good, we know what we have to do and everyone is up for the challenge.
“And Jason coming to the team, quality player as well. We’re happy to have him. We wish him all the best.”
Bangladesh are in the same boat as West Indies and must win to stand any realistic chance of reaching the semi-finals after defeats to Sri Lanka and England.
Their batting has fluctuated in the four games they have played and an off day against England heavily contributed to an eight-wicket defeat.
"We speak about the batting failure,” said spinner Nasum Ahmed.
“We are unable to score runs in the first six overs, which is keeping us behind the game. We are also losing wickets (in the powerplay). Everyone wants to do well but we are not able to do it."