‘Could have learned more if Gibson stayed’
Ebadot Hossain's unbelievable spell led to something Bangladesh had never achieved in the past in New Zealand, bringing a historic milestone as the Tigers defeated the Black Caps in a Test match for the first time. It was also Bangladesh's first win in any format on Kiwi soil and the hero of that match, Ebadot Hossain, shared details of that journey with the Daily Star's Ekush Tapader while also expressing disappointment at the departure of bowling coach Ottis Gibson. The excerpts are below:
The Daily Star (DS): Two different realities before and after the New Zealand tour. Can you feel the difference?
Ebadot Hossain (EH): I've been trying to do something good for a long time. There was a willingness to do something in my mind. Everyone showed tremendous endeavour from start to finish. The biggest thing is that we are the team who started winning here. The teams who will come after can take inspiration from us and they will win too. [Khaled Mahmud] Sujon sir gave us a motivational speech that stuck in our hearts. He said 'we didn't come here only to play and go back home. Someone has to stand out.' Then we thought that we were capable and could win with collective effort.
DS: You were quite expensive early on but you had a good economy in the Pakistan series as well.
EH: I was unorganised. It is difficult to get success in international cricket while being ill-disciplined. I was trying to express myself. All of my matches were big. I debuted against New Zealand then played against India and Pakistan. I've worked with Ottis Gibson regarding this as well.
DS: Champaka Ramanayake said you used to get disappointed after not getting wickets.
EH: Test cricket is really about patience, for both bowlers and batters. Champaka used to tell me I would be successful when I found accuracy. He called me after we won the Test and said 'remember what I told you? You are successful today because of your accuracy and the world is clapping. You have to keep it going and take the graph higher from here'.
DS: You have heard that Ottis Gibson is not staying anymore? How much will you miss him? How much did you improve under him in two years?
EH: It's disappointing. He has coached great players. [James]Anderson, Stuard Broad, Mark Wood and [Kagiso] Rabada still call him and take advice from him. It would be good for us if he stayed because the graph of improvement is strong. I think all pace bowlers improved under him. You can ask Taskin or Shoriful or Rahi and they'll say the same thing. Everyone had great chemistry with him. We have the South Africa series ahead and Ottis has good knowledge of their conditions. We could have learned a bit more if he stayed.
DS: You were bowling at consistent speeds for a longer time. What was Ottis's influence behind this?
EH: I've been working with him since the Pakistan tour [in 2020]. It's been a pleasure working with him because I benefitted a lot. I have made changes to my bowling action according to his suggestions in loading and gathering. My previous action was a lot like Brett Lee's and couldn't find consistency when I got tired. But now I can bowl for a longer period while maintaining speed.
DS: What did you discuss with the New Zealand pacers?
EH: I spoke with Tim Southee the other day about our upcoming South Africa tour. He suggested that I analyse the current conditions of their wicket with a computer analyst so that we can pick up the correct length to bowl there. [Neil] Wagner came to us after the first Test and told us that we deserved the victory. [Trent] Boult told us ahead of the warm-up for the second Test: 'Yesterday is gone, today is a new day, so enjoy your bowling'.
DS: How would you rate the New Zealand series?
EH: It's not wise to expect to be man-of-the-match in every match against the Test champions. There will be good days, and there will be bad. But I'll say I tried.