Jurgensen sets sights on Sri Lanka success
Shane Jurgensen was pleasantly surprised to learn of the BCB's decision to continue with him as Bangladesh's head coach but knows he has a challenging assignment ahead.
"I have a lot of feelings at the moment," he told ESPNcricinfo. "I am surprised, excited and honoured to be given the responsibility to look after the team. I would like to continue on the recent success against West Indies."
The chief concern for Jurgensen ahead of the Sri Lanka series next month is the bowling, which will have to bear the brunt of the heat and several vastly experienced batsmen. Also, Shakib Al Hasan's availability is under a cloud due to injury. The batting and fielding will also have to be addressed, and all of this has to be done in less than two weeks after the BPL ends on February 19.
The touring party is likely to be selected by February 15 and the preparatory camp set to start the day after the end of the Twenty20 tournament. The chaotic schedule over the next three weeks could also be complicated by the appointments of various specialist coaches and their adjustment to the country, the players and the team atmosphere. But Jurgensen is only focusing on what he has to put in place.
"Our main concern is the bowlers who have to move from T20 to Tests," Jurgensen said. "The plan is to make them bowl the number of overs they would do in a Test match. The batsmen have been doing well in the BPL and that's a good sign, but Test cricket requires something different.
"We get together on February 20, but I also know that many of our batsmen will play in the Bangladesh Cricket League final (a first-class tournament) which is a plus for us. I think playing four or five-day cricket before a Test series is always useful."
He was first appointed in November when the contractual tussle between Richard Pybus and the BCB ended up with Bangladesh without a coach ahead of the West Indies series. Jurgensen took over as interim coach and though it is hard to tell whether he made a major impact, the team felt stable and ended up pushing the visitors all the way. After a close first Test and a poor second one, Bangladesh won the ODI series 3-2, one of the things that went in Jurgensen's favour when the BCB's cricket operations committee took the decision.
Having worked in the Bangladesh setup since October 2011, he will also be aware of how fickle the administrators can be. As a result, his immediate goal is to put together a plan that is successful in Sri Lanka, a country where Bangladesh have regularly underperformed. They have never won a Test match in the country, losing all six in three full series since 2002.
"My immediate goal would be to perform well in Sri Lanka. I would like to go there and look to win. It was a very good series against the West Indies. The players have been doing well in the BPL, so I am confident. We have some precise goals regarding conditions and opposition in the short time we get after BPL."
By deciding on Jurgensen, a 36-year-old from Queensland with no international playing experience, the BCB has also deviated from their tradition of appointing a major name. Perhaps the poor experience with the previous two coaches, Stuart Law and Richard Pybus, helped to open up the search a bit more.
Law had left last year, less than a year after being appointed while the BCB's contractual trouble with Pybus ended that relationship in four months. Though Jurgensen will only continue till the end of 2013, it is a role that he relishes and maybe a bit of hunger is what the Bangladesh coaching role deserves.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent