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Ban vs SA, T20 World Cup – Coach Russell Domingo

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“Everybody is trying to win every single game but when you are focused only on that, you lose track of the things you need to do to get that win”

Coach Russell Domingo wants Bangladesh to put aside their obsession with winning, and instead shift the focus onto how to actually get the job done. Bangladesh have lost all three of their Super 12s matches so far, and go into Tuesday’s game against South Africa with a slim mathematical chance – provided other results go their way – of progressing further in the tournament.

“We know there’s an obsession with winning and disappointment when you don’t win. Our focus is the process and how we are going to achieve that win,” Domingo said on the eve of the South Africa game. “Everybody is trying to win every single game but when you are focused only on that, you lose track of the things you need to do to get that win.

“I think we have to focus on our skills and processes in tomorrow’s game. If we do that, hopefully the result goes our way.”

That they were able to run Sri Lanka and West Indies close should give them some confidence, he said. “Bangladesh have only won one game in the second phase of the T20 World Cup, ever. There’s an opportunity to improve on that record, to try to win the two [remaining Super 12] games. It will be a big stepping stone for us.

“[So far in the Super 12s] we have played against past champions Sri Lanka, England and West Indies. They are tough sides. In two of those games, we were on top for almost 80-90% of those games. We have to look at the positives. We had Sri Lanka and West Indies under pressure. We didn’t finish well with the bat against West Indies. We didn’t finish well with the ball against Sri Lanka.

“We have to focus on the positive aspects, and then limit the mistakes. We made mistakes in crucial stages.”

Domingo agreed when asked if, due to all the talk around the Bangladesh’s floundering campaign, it is easy to forget when young players like Shoriful Islam and Mohammad Naim do well. “Fortunately I am not on social media. I don’t read too much of it. Most of my social media used to be when I was involved in fishing. Not so much cricket. So I am not too sure what’s getting said out there.

“[But] there have been so many good performances from some of the young boys like Shoriful and Naim. When things are not going well, you forget to look at those positive aspects. We are one of the youngest sides, age-wise, but people forget that because we have two or three really experienced players.

“The results haven’t been great but I have been proud of how the boys fought during those tense encounters.”

Domingo said Bangladesh will try to exploit South Africa’s shortcomings against spin. South Africa’s batting has been averaging 18.87 against spin in this tournament, as opposed to 28.55 against pace. “They are playing well at the moment. [But] having worked in South Africa for a long time myself, we know there’s always a question mark over the way they play spin.

“Hopefully the conditions will help us tomorrow. There are certain areas we will look to exploit when we play against them. We have had some good discussions this morning.”

The absence of the injured Shakib Al Hasan, of course, will reduce their spin advantage over South Africa and disturb Bangladesh’s overall balance. Domingo said that they might look to cover for him with part-time spin, so that the batting is not weakened too much.

“Shakib is obviously a big loss for the balance of the side. The team will also miss his leadership and the calmness that he brings to pressure situations.

“When he doesn’t play, you go a batsman or bowler light. You might have to play a part-time bowler. But it does provide someone new [a chance] to make his first World Cup appearance tomorrow.”

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84


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