‘Not winning, dominating’

Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha described Bangladesh’s ODI run in 2015 as a big achievement. The Tigers have won their last four ODI series played at home against Zimbabwe, Pakistan, India and, most recently, South Africa. The results this year have been sheer contrast to their dreadful run in 2014. Following Wednesday’s nine-wicket win over South Africaat the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Hathurusingha thanked his players for the ‘amazing feat’.
“In terms of looking at all of Bangladesh cricket and the rest of the team and the coaching staff, it’s a big achievement because we won three big series.
“I think at the start of the Pakistan series, if you would have asked me, I would have said ‘Oh, I don’t believe this’. So this is an amazing feat from the players,” the Sri Lankan told GTV after the match.
The changes that the team underwent under Hathurusingha — who was hired barely six months before the World Cup — have been obvious. The team has played with an attacking spirit that was missing throughout 2014 and this was one of the key reasons why they had been successful in the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, apart from winning the four series at home.
Explaining the kind of work that he did with the side, he said, “I think it’s all about giving them a clear role based on their strengths and what they are capable of rather than telling them to do certain things which they cannot do. It’s all about having a game-plan based on their strengths.
“When they give effort, you praise them; not the outcome. So that’s the main thing. They are comfortable in their own skins and in the environment that we have created with the coaches,” he added.
Riding high on the confidence of the back-to-back series wins, the coach believed that his side could do well abroad as well and that it wasn’t just the ‘home-advantage’ that brought the Tigers all the glory this year.
“Until we play outside, maybe some people will doubt us. But I don’t think so, because of the way we are playing and winning matches. It’s not that we are scraping through to wins, we are dominating games.
“And then we are improving with every game. In this series we won after three losses so that showed the character. The condition is whatever is in front of us, we can only play,” said the Sri Lankan.
“In the World Cup we played in different conditions and beat England and then gave New Zealand a good run. So I don’t see anyone doubting us. We do not doubt ourselves,” a smiling Hathurusingha added.
There’s no doubt that it was the team effort that led the Tigers to their brilliant comeback in the South Africa series. The bowlers kept their composure throughout the series and all of them bowled miserly figures.
And due credit should go to skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, who held his composure throughout the series and inspired his team to come back. His field placements and bowling changes throughout the series worked well for the hosts; therefore it wasn’t a surprise that the coach lauded the skipper.
“Oh he’s a great leader. He is a leader of men and the way he is leading on the field despite all these injuries and getting the respect of the players, that’s really amazing,” said the coach.
He also had special words reserved for the player-of-the-series, Soumya Sarkar, whose fluent stroke-play at the top did half the job itself for the hosts in the second and third ODIs.
“Soumya is world class. From the start I was really, really amazed by his talent and he is proving to everyone how good he is. I am not surprised by the way he is playing,” said Hathurusingha.

-With The Daily Star input

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