Ed Pollock has thanked the Worcestershire players and coaches for “backing me to the hilt” as he prepares to face his former team-mates in tonight’s (Friday’s) Vitality Blast derby with Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston (6.30pm start).
Pollock put a challenging start to the campaign behind him to become the Rapids match-winner in Thursday’s Blast encounter with Notts Outlaws at New Road.
He struck a crucial 38 not out from 25 balls after coming at number seven with the Rapids 80-5 chasing a 140 target
Pollock has had to battle his way through a difficult period with the bat but the support from captain Brett D’Oliveira, Head Coach Alan Richardson and other members of the dressing room and staff has been unwavering.
He said: “When going through a bad run, it is not easy. It is easy to take it home with you. I question myself and I’d gone three weeks where I’d hardly faced a ball, didn’t play in the red ball, got out caught first ball, second ball, not batted the previous two games.
“You’ve just got to trust and that comes when you get older. I’ve played for seven years now and it’s one of those where I know I can do it.
“I had a message from Brett the other day and he said ‘sorry mate for moving you up and down the order, I know it must be annoying, I’ve been there myself. But I truly believe you are going to win us a game at some point.
“It’s just nice to hear. The same with Richo who I’ve known for years, at school, at Warwickshire, Worcestershire.
“It’s just that reminder, little taps on the shoulder saying ‘you’ve got it’ because everyone goes through these stages.
“I know I can do it but your belief in yourself can waver but I truly believe I’ve got the backing of the lads.
“It’s just great during the little low patches you can go through that they are behind you and backing you to the hilt.”
Pollock was delighted to see the Rapids over the finishing line on a used pitch assisting the spinners and complete a double over the Outlaws.
He said: “As those wickets were falling, I was thinking this is probably my opportunity to go out there and make my mark.
“I haven’t had the best of starts to my white ball career here but it is nice to go out there and contribute.
“There are always nerves but you get used to controlling them and I was batting with Hosey (Adam Hose), someone I’m familiar batting with and I’ve known for years.
“I was surprised with how calm I felt out there. As it was a lower scoring game, the options to take were more straightforward. The game was laid out in front of us to play.”
Pollock feels the Rapids are gaining momentum at a crucial stage of the T20 tournament.
He said: “When you look at it, seven wins gets you close and eight wins should get you through to the quarter-finals.
“We’ve been on a good wave this year. We started well and have won the last three games and, from my experience of T20, you can build that momentum up in the last few games and for the quarter-finals and set yourself up for a great shot at it.
“Fielding, batting-wise, bowling-wise, everyone knows what they are doing.”
Pollock has no doubts about the importance of the meeting with the Bears.
He said: “It is a big game but we are coming onto it on the crest of a wave. We just fell down to them last week so we have a point to prove.
“I remember when I got to finals day in 2017, we had to win seven on the bounce to get through. This is a massive momentum game this.
“It will probably be the biggest crowd we play in front of this year apart from when we get to finals day hopefully, fingers crossed, but it’s just great fun. They are the reason you play the game.”
Head Coach Alan Richardson has announced a 14 strong squad with left arm pace bowler Ben Gibbon added to the 13 players from which the side was selected to face the Outlaws.
Worcestershire Rapids squad
Brett D’Oliveira ©
Ben Cox (W)