‘The quicker they adjust, the better’
The Daily Star (DS): What are your thoughts on Bangladesh's chances at the T20 World Cup?
Mohammad Salahuddin (MS): Obviously expectations in general are high after winning series against Australia and New Zealand. That's pretty normal because we have winning momentum and can hope that Bangladesh will do well. But if you think practically, the wickets at the World Cup are not going to help us as they did at home. If we get similar wickets to those at home at the World Cup, then we can do a lot better because we prepared on those wickets. As it is a World Cup, I think the pitch is expected to play better and then it will depend on our preparation over there. If we can prepare accordingly, we have an opportunity to do well. I won't say we are going to do very well or bad but the mental preparation from winning games may help.
DS: Is it going to be difficult only for the Bangladesh batsmen to adapt to foreign pitches or will the bowlers also be affected?
MS: The bowlers will also have to adjust a lot and it's going to be difficult. In our home conditions, bowlers get wickets only by bowling the right line. But at the World Cup, it is going to be more difficult and you have to struggle. You have to contain batsmen and you have to think a lot to undo batsmen, whereas in our conditions you just bowl at the right line and the rest is taken care of by the pitch. That nuance was missing in home series. The quicker they adjust to the pitches and conditions in Dubai and Oman, the better for the players. For example, the batsmen's tendency to play shots was reduced at home and that is something they need to adapt quickly to World Cup wickets. Winning is always a great thing but one or two losses can change the entire scenario. So I think it will be a great challenge for the team management to synchronise these aspects before the World Cup.
DS: Do you think we still look for short-term glory instead of preparing for long-term results?
MS: I think we have always looked for short-term success, from age-level to top-level. If we thought about long-term preparation, we may have reached a certain level by now in all three formats. But there is no point in discussing these things. Instead, we can still work towards a long-term plan that will help the team develop.
DS: What are your observations of Bangladesh's 15-member T20 World Cup squad?
MS: We will undoubtedly miss Tamim Iqbal's presence. His experience as a batsman and cricketer in general would have helped the team immensely on the biggest stage. But obviously, all the players in the squad are capable of doing well for Bangladesh.