Ed Pollock has thanked the Worcestershire coaches and players for encouraging him to play his natural attacking game after making the breakthrough into LV=Insurance County Championship cricket.
Pollock followed up his century against Leicestershire in his first-ever Championship appearance with a sparkling 77 off 74 balls against Sussex on day one at New Road.
He got the Worcestershire innings off to a flying start before Club Captain Brett D’Oliveira, with a superb 108 not out, and Ed Barnard (75) lifted the total to 338-5 from 96 overs by the close.
Pollock has always been a destructive player in white-ball cricket but has been backed since his move from Warwickshire at the end of last season to adapt the same approach in the four-day format.
He said: “I’ve been backed by Paul Pridgeon (Cricket Steering Group Chairman) and Alex Gidman (Head Coach) and they’ve said ‘just go and play your game’.
“They said there is no need to change anything really and, just because it is County Championship, doesn’t mean I’ve got to go and play like someone else.
“I’ve had good chats as well with people like Joe Leach and he said the reason I am so dangerous is because I can go and play my game.
“That backing means a hell of a lot and I know I might get out in some unconventional ways with the way I play.
“I have to be learnt to be resilient and, as I’ve got older, I’ve realised the most important thing is just to play my game and just be as consistent as I can with what works for me.
“That’s the big stuff I go back to. It is nice it has worked at Leicestershire and today.
“The way it went today was great to put them on the back foot. We had a little cluster (of wickets) but that partnership from Brett and Ed has set us up perfectly.
“When we won the toss and batted, if you had offered us that position at the end of the day we would have taken it.”
To be given that opportunity in red-ball cricket by Worcestershire means so much to Pollock.
He said: “It is something I’ve longed for (red ball cricket). When I first started, I struggled between changing formats but, the last three years, I’ve long thought myself capable of it.
“I was thinking the other day ‘what has happened here’ and it’s the opportunity, the backing, and I’ve had a great winter working with especially Kevin Sharp and Kadeer Ali on a few things, a few of the basics, putting them all together.
“There is a bit of luck in there with a few nicks but, as much as anything, the opportunity is what I’ve been after.
“It was annoying to leave a hundred out there today but I would have taken a 100 (at Leicester) and a 70 at the start of the year.”
Pollock has been so impressed by the contribution of D’Oliveira since he made the switch from Edgbaston.
He said: “Brett has been amazing to watch. I’ve played against him for years and he looks in such control.
“At Leicester and today, he looks a man in complete command of his game and he has been a very impressive individual to be around this winter, seeing his leadership qualities and just how he has been around the group.
“He was remarkably calm in the 90s today and it was just great to see and a hundred is not enough for him. He is hopefully 150, 200 and go bigger.”
Pollock thinks there are encouraging signs for the Worcestershire bowlers in the wicket.
He said: “The info I fed back to the guys, and Brett did as well, was that if you put the ball in the right areas, there is enough there to beat the bat.
“You saw when they stepped it up to with Brett in the 90s that it actually can be tough going to score your runs.
“That is very much the view we’ve got, that it is a good cricket wicket, that you can put away bad balls but, if you put the ball in the right place long enough, you will get rewards.
“The chat on our balcony was that it was a strange day and, with what the ball was doing, we could have been four, five, six wickets down earlier which made the Brett and Ed partnership amazing.”