Tuesday, June 25, 2024

T20 World Cup 2024 – Chandika Hathurusinghe impressed with Bangladesh bowlers’ decision-making prowess

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Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusinghe is thrilled with the way the bowling unit took “ownership of the situation and plans” in their opening game of the T20 World Cup 2024 against Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka were well placed on 100 for 3 in the 14th over in Dallas but the Bangladesh bowlers stormed back to restrict them to 124 for 9. It was a collective effort from the bowlers with Mustafizur Rahman and Rishad Hossain taking three wickets each while Taskin Ahmed picked up two.

“I think Mustafizur Rahman is bowling really well,” Hathurusinghe said ahead of Bangladesh’s second game of the tournament, against South Africa in New York. “He is confident about his own plans. He comes from different angles. The way the bowling unit has taken ownership of the situation and plans, it was very impressive. My coaching staff is doing a good job by giving them a lot of information but they are the ones making all the decisions in the middle.”

Hathurusinghe called legspinner Rishad’s bowling the “most pleasing thing” to come out of Bangladesh’s win. Rishad was the one who started the Sri Lanka slide, picking up three wickets across two overs to send Sri Lanka from 100 for 3 to 109 for 6.

“We backed him [Rishad] for a year. We knew that he is going to win games for us,” Hathurusinghe said. “Winning that game was important. It was very satisfying. You know how challenging it is for us to get a legspinner into the team. I don’t blame anybody. It is the culture. We don’t understand the value of a legspinner.

“Even in this game [vs Sri Lanka], he went for runs in the first over, so I give credit to [Najmul Hossain] Shanto for bringing him for the last two overs to change the game. I think we are understanding the value of legspin, and he is growing in confidence.”

Hathurusinghe: Out of form batters ‘need to calm down’

Hathurusinghe, however, said that the batters who are struggling with form should remember how they felt when they were doing well. Soumya Sarkar, captain Shanto and Tanzid Hasan were the ones who got out cheaply against Sri Lanka before Towhid Hridoy and Mahmudullah shepherded the team home.

“We talk about their game, their strength and their opposition. But once they [the batters] get into the middle, they are on their own. They need to understand their game and how they feel,” Hathurusinghe said. “It is not technical. If you look at the dismissals, they are not getting out in a certain way.

“I think they need to calm down and think about their strength. When you are confident, you play to your strength. That’s the message for any batter: remember your actions when you are doing well.”

In the chase, Bangladesh had slipped to 28 for 3 inside the powerplay before Hridoy and Litton Das settled the nerves with a 63-run stand. There was another collapse, from 91 for 3 to 113 for 8, but Mahmudullah held his own with 16 not out to end the chase with No. 10 Tanzim Hasan.

“I was always impressed with his [Mahmudullah’s] ability to finish games, that’s why he is batting where he is batting,” Hathurusinghe said. “He has a lot of experience. He is one of the calmest guys in the middle under pressure in our team. He knows his role. I was very pleased. I always want him to be there in the end, whatever happens. He is a big match performer. He has done well for us in previous World Cups.”

Hathurusinghe was also glad that Litton got among the runs after a drought, scoring a steady 36. But the other batters need to stand up too.

“Lately, we have been inconsistent. It is a difficult format to take time to get in form. You have to get going from the start. Confidence plays a big part in T20 cricket,” he said. “Some of the batters are short of runs. They train well, but it is the lack of confidence due to lack of runs. The good thing is Litton spent time in the middle to score runs. He played according to the conditions. We are expecting more from them.”

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