Tuesday, May 21, 2024

SA favourites, says Hathurusinghe

Bangladesh have kept their feet firmly on the ground despite their recent success and are ready to face South Africa, coach Chandika Hathurusinghe said on Friday, ahead of the home series against the Proteas. The Proteas are relatively unknown opponent for Bangladesh, having never played the Tigers in any formats since 2011, which make the series against them more challenging for the home side.
Their barrage of quick bowlers, who can make the ball talking even on a dead pitch, made them fearsome for any opposition and Bangladesh should not be any expectations.
To add with their pace bowlers, no matter how raw they are, the Proteas have some of the most destructive batsmen like AB de Villiers, David Miller at their disposal.
Keeping that in mind Hathurusinghe refused to brand Bangladesh as favourites and handed the honour to the Proteas despite recent wins against similarly difficult oppositions like Pakistan and India.
‘South Africa are a really, really good side for a long period of time in all format of cricket,’ said the Sri Lankan coach in Mirpur on Friday. ‘They have been a consistent side for several years. I think they are favorites…they are a very strong team.’
Bangladesh’s biggest hope is their confidence which started to reach higher since the World Cup when they reached the quarter-finals defying all odds.
Hathurusinghe said they are preparing for the South African quick bowlers the way they did it in the World Cup and so far the formula has worked.
‘We can’t control how quick they are going to bowl, isn’t it?,’ he said. ‘We are preparing like we prepared for the other series. It was our challenge to get used to the conditions in the World Cup where there were quick pitches.
‘Training hasn’t changed much, as it is working for us,’
The Sri Lankan coach indicated that they are not planning anything extraordinary for the side, who he said are ‘very competent side.’
‘Lately we have been balanced in spin and pace,’ he said.
‘Traditionally Bangladesh is known to have a lot of good spinners. It is not different now.
‘We don’t have a lot of fast bowlers but they bring different quality to the team. Some are tall, some have variation, and some can swing the ball. This is our advantage: we can go either way.
‘South Africa have good quick bowlers, a good batting side and lately they play spin well too. They are a very competent side.
‘We can’t find any major weakness in our armory so we have to play consistent cricket and make good decisions in the middle,’ he said, adding if Bangladesh can maintain the similar consistency they can rewrite history in this series too.
Bangladesh defeated Pakistan for the first time in 16 years before going to win the ODI series 3-0 and eke out their first draw in Tests against the side. Two months later, the Tigers recorded their first ODI series win over India to climb to seventh place in the ICC rankings for the first time.
Against South Africa they have just one win in all formats in 24 meetings which came in World Cup 2007. Hathurusinghe hoped it’s high time for Tigers to improve their record.
‘If I believe in history, I won’t be here today. I don’t believe in history. It is there to change,’ he said.
‘It is how we go about doing it, is key. We are not part of history. We are part of present and what we do now.
‘I can’t do much about what players read or write. I can only tell about it to players is what we can do now and what our strength is.
‘I constantly tell them how good they are and what they can do,’ he said.

-With New Age input

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