Bangladesh news September 18, 2016

Bangladesh have 'more belief' - Samaraweera

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Thilan Samaraweera credited Chandika Hathurusingha for transforming his Test career © BCB

Thilan Samaraweera reunited with an old friend on his first day as Bangladesh's batting consultant. "I divide my career into two," he said. "First it is from 2001 to 2006 when I was dropped. I became a totally different player when I met Chandika [Hathurusingha]."

Samaraweera began with a century on Test debut in 2001 but suffered a drastic dip in form five years later. When he returned to the Sri Lankan side, he averaged over 72 in 2007 and 2008 and peaked with 114.25 from six matches in 2010. Speaking to the media in Mirpur, he said he was looking forward to working with Hathrusingha, who is the Bangladesh head coach, again.

"I know what he is capable of and I would love to work with him. He gave me the freedom to express myself. He focused on the technique and mindset, the key to international cricket. I became a totally different cricketer. I think my average was close to between 50 or 60."

Samaraweera was hired by the BCB for the series against England and Afghanistan. His tenure would last 45 days and in that time he has to make sure the Bangladesh batsmen do not feel the drawbacks of not playing international cricket since the World T20 in March.

"On the first day I am a bit quiet as I want to get to know the players. There are a few newcomers. I know four to five players as I played against them. Just had a few chats here and there. After another day I will be more comfortable working with this group.

"My first priority is the Afghanistan series because I know that when you are not playing for four to five months, the international arena seems totally different than practice. I think the key is to get into the groove of international cricket. I am not worried about talent as the talent is there."

Samaraweera, who had previously worked as a batting consultant for Cricket Australia, was pleased with the amount of progress made by Bangladesh over the last year and a half.

"I think the freedom that the coaching staff led by Chandi gave to the Bangladesh players made them believe they could fight against the top teams. You can see in the last 18 months they beat Pakistan, India and South Africa and they also did well in the World Cup in different conditions. More freedom, belief and support from senior to younger players are what a team requires.

"I think more about the mental toughness and I can see how much they have changed over the last 18 months in terms of the technical aspects."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • cricfan37328733 on September 21, 2016, 5:47 GMT

    Afghanistan will be tough opponents for ban because ban has not played odi series for a long time......but to say afg is favourite makes no sense

  • cricfan51012862 on September 20, 2016, 10:23 GMT

    Afghanistan is more talented than Bangladesh because Bangladesh is improve his cricket very some days.

  • cricfan51012862 on September 20, 2016, 10:20 GMT

    I think Afghanistan will win series 2-1 because Afghanistan had won one match against Bangladesh. Afghanistan will not take any pressure but Bangladesh will take more pressure.

  •   Muhammad A Zahid on September 20, 2016, 5:50 GMT

    My XI for Bangladesh- Tamim, Soumya, Sabbir, Mahmudullah,Mushfiq, Sakib, ,Mosaddek, Nasir, Mashrafee, Al Amin, Rubel/Taskin

  • tanvir_2342 on September 20, 2016, 1:45 GMT

    the series against Afghanistan will be very tough. Bangladesh need to win that. for that we need confident players. I think new bating consultant will help batsmen to be confident in the field.

  • Htc-Android on September 19, 2016, 18:51 GMT

    bangladesh showed their performance with no test wins against top 7 after playing 90 odd tests

  • rezwan_syed on September 19, 2016, 17:26 GMT

    Bangladesh is the new cricketing power on the rise. That's why everyone is so interested in Bangladesh cricket's news. And that is why cricinfo is publishing more articles about Bangladesh recently. Bangladesh Cricket deserves this attention and they showed it by their performance on the field and hopefully will show on the next few series's that they truly deserve it by performing. Get ready for a Banglawash, Afghans and English...

  • asiacricket1234 on September 19, 2016, 16:09 GMT

    CRICINFOUSER: and why does it bothering you?

  • Kopashamsu on September 19, 2016, 15:18 GMT

    @cricfan83631037...ind need high profile bowling coach like mustafiz...& before you send sourav to bd make sure he can tach a thing or two to ind batsman,last time i checked,ind batsman scored at avg of 200 in their own backyard (except the 4th test) against a 5th string SA bowling..

  • cricfan83631037 on September 19, 2016, 13:45 GMT

    Bangladesh need a high profile batting coach like Sourav ganguli

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