New Zealand all-rounder James Neesham has stated that he is not ashamed of being a backup player to Kieron Pollard for the Mumbai Indians (MI) in IPL 2021.
MI bought Neesham in the IPL 2021 auctions for INR 50 lakhs despite having all-rounders like Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, and Kieron Pollard in the side. As a foreign cricketer, one expects Neesham to be used as a cover for Pollard.
The Kiwi all-rounder has revealed that he himself would have gone for Pollard if he had the choice of announcing the XI for MI.
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Neesham said on the Grade Cricketer Podcast, “There’s no shame in being a back up to Kieron Pollard. I think in the world of T20 cricket, I would draft him first if I have to make my own team. He’s an unbelievable hitter. I think we’ve seen that. He’s played some 500 T20s, a record that’s unbelievable.”
The 30-year-old wants to contribute in winning the IPL for his franchise in whatever role comes up to him. He is determined to help the team irrespective of the number of games he plays in the season.
“I’m not grumpy as being described a back-up but I think it’s important in the IPL that you contribute any way you can even if you’re not on the playing field. I wouldn’t say that’s why I was picked up though. It doesn’t matter if you play one game, two games or 12, at the end of the day it’s about helping the team win,” Neesham concluded.