‘Too many top-order batsmen’
"It is a different skill to bat at No. 4, 5 and 6. You are on nought and all of a sudden you are facing a quality spinner. It is a different mindset. You have to know your game, try to rotate the strike and then go with your boundary options."
Bangladesh batting consultant
Bangladesh white-ball batting consultant Neil McKenzie was outspoken in pointing out the issues bugging the Tigers following back-to-back losses in the ongoing T20I series in Pakistan.
It was strange to begin with that Bangladesh had six openers in the squad, with five openers featuring in each match.
Most of these batters tend to take their time at the crease before looking to accelerate and that led to slow run-scoring after the Powerplay.
A middle-order batsman naturally approaches such phases differently. Even McKenzie said that there were too many batsmen who were only used to playing as openers or at number three.
“I think you have to look at the combination of who is playing. Russell [Domingo], as a new coach, is trying to look at some different combinations. I think at the moment we have too many batsmen that bat at one, two and three. If you look around the squad, they are quality players but they are all top-order batters,” McKenzie said.
In both matches, the likes of Soumya Sarkar, Afif Hossain and Liton Das came in at a time when the Powerplay was over and failed to adapt their game to the situation.
“It is a different skill to bat at No. 4, 5 and 6. You are on nought and all of a sudden you are facing a quality spinner. It is a different mindset. You have to know your game, try to rotate the strike and then go with your boundary options,” McKenzie further explained.
What was perhaps most disappointing was that the T20 approach was painfully absent throughout the batting line-up. McKenzie said that the coaching staff had been talking about strategies to destabilise opponents but that was not reflected on the field.
“There’s lot of inexperience in the squad at the moment. We knew that was going to be the case before we got there, but still it is disappointing. I think we missed out on a good start the other day.
He also spoke about the players’ intent.
“What’s been disappointing for me has been the intent. We have been working so hard in the last couple of years on rotation of strike, putting the bowler under pressure, where you are standing, making him bowl to where you want him to bowl, but I haven’t seen too much of those in the last T20s,” McKenzie reiterated.
There is a point to be made about the batsmen perhaps playing with fear, knowing that some bad scores can put them out of the side. McKenzie indicated that the players needed to understand that the T20 format now has very little room for fear.
“The intent, looking to be a little bit hungrier, really playing with that “no fear” that Russell and everybody tries to instill in the players. It is human nature. You have a few young guys and some guys who are getting back. There’s a lot of pressure on the guys to perform and stay in the side which is understandable, but hopefully they all understand that they are getting the backing from all the selectors and coach. They just have to go out there and play,” he concluded.