Bangladesh news August 10, 2014

Hathurusingha seeks attitude change


Heading into a tour of the West Indies, Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha is in charge of a team that is short of wins, confidence and its best cricketer, but he has zeroed in on a few important aspects that he is trying urgently to tackle.

After a decent run last year, which included a crushing ODI series win against New Zealand at home, plummeting confidence has been Bangladesh's theme of 2014. Young batsmen have batted like millionaires and bowlers have lost their bite far too quickly into their spells. A sense of brashness is inevitable for a group of players hailed as the most talked-about sportsmen in the country, but there have been times when the issue has threatened to get out of hand.

Even during the last few weeks of training, a few issues have been reported (aside from Shakib Al Hasan's suspension) in which Hathurusingha has had to take a deeper look into the psyche of the players. One young player, who was asked to bat for 20 minutes, didn't turn up at the nets. The new coach was left dumbfounded and had to remind him of his responsibilities. A couple of months ago, there was another incident of a senior player not taking the field during Bangladesh A's tour game in the West Indies. While Shakib's punishment has served a broader issue, these incidents of missing training or skipping sessions due to other engagements have been cropping up for quite some time but have been swept under the carpet.

Hathurusingha has not directly addressed individual players, but he has let many of them know what is expected of star performers and cricketers.

"It is for me to educate them in that sense, make them understand what their responsibility is," Hathurusingha told ESPNcricinfo. "If you play well that's how you become stars. I haven't done it individually, but I have talked to them in a group. What makes us special, why do people want to look at you or follow you?

"I have actually spoken as a senior group, talking about legacy once they finish their careers, talked along those lines. How to behave; If you play well, all these things follow, so one must not forget that. We have addressed that in a way."

But there is always a flip side, and for Hathurusingha it comes in the form of Mominul Haque. The left-handed batsman has made an impressive start in Test cricket, averaging more than 75 with three centuries. To add to the tangibles, his mental strength has been recognised as an asset.

While Hathurusingha reminds it is only a start, he has told Mominul that his real challenge will be to play against opponents who knows more about him now.

"Mominul has had a very good start, but it is just a start," Hathurusingha said. "He needs to understand and that's what I have been trying to tell him. He is different, hits unusual areas and his technique is not conventional, which makes him special.

"The challenge for him going forward in international cricket begins when people starts to understand his game. We are still working on that. He has tough time coming ahead, but he is preparing well. He is mentally very strong, he has appetite for runs."

Anamul Haque, at least in the ODI side, is another who excites Hathurusingha. Although the young batsman has struggled in Test cricket and needs work in that format, he has been in good form since February, hitting a hundred against Pakistan and regularly giving Bangladesh runs from the top-order.

"He is a good one-day player, but I think he needs to better his technique and tactics in the longer format," Hathurusingha said. "I am starting to work with him. I can see that he is ticking some of the boxes."

He has backed the rest of the batsmen and spinners, calling them the team's main strengths. "To be honest, until we play certain areas of the game we really don't know but I think our strength is our batting, spin bowling and playing against spin at this stage.

"The spinners are working really hard. We haven't played competitive matches but I think mentally and physically they have done good work. I think Dr Phil Jauncey (performance psychologist who held a two-day programme for the team) helped them focus on their own game and even skill-wise they worked hard so I think we are in a good place."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 17, 2014, 6:30 GMT

    best of luck BD

    jams bond

  • Amir on August 12, 2014, 20:10 GMT

    Good luck to Hathurusingha. I hope he has amazing success in BD. We need a coach who can relate to the players at the same time be tough. We do need an attitude adjustment. Let's hope for a good successful test. I am hoping for wins and not just good performance. Go Tigers!

  • Jhon93 on August 12, 2014, 19:38 GMT

    I would request BCB to give healthy food to BD players because they are so skinny. They need to have healthy food because it will allow their brain to function correctly in the field. Best of Luck

  • Golam on August 12, 2014, 5:52 GMT

    "It is for me to educate them in that sense, make them understand what their responsibility is" .... & "talking about legacy once they finish their careers, talked along those lines. How to behave; If you play well, all these things follow, so one must not forget that" ..... ....I like this Chandika Hathurusingha , he gives the whole team a positive vibration and I think he spends most of his energy to boost the team's confidence and "sense of responsibility" and I think this is the first time the coach-staffs are talking about these things in the team like never before & thats it will help the team tremendously !!!

  • nathaniel on August 12, 2014, 2:34 GMT

    Other than Momenul and Anamul , Mithun Ali is another new batsman looking promising.

  • Ranil on August 11, 2014, 6:43 GMT

    Hathurusinghe is doing the right things. With Ruwan Kalpage also joining the team and with Heath Streak and Mario Villavarayan on the side, I think Bangladesh has got it right.

    The players are anyway talented. No doubt about it. They have sporadically shown it in many matches in many venues. I think it is the discipline that was amiss. Hope they will get that right.

    I feel Sri Lankans are disciplined. Most other trams are filled with many stars. Sri Lanka has Sanga and Mahela only. But they give a run to all the teams world over. It is the discipline that carries that nation. Hope Bangladesh will follow suit.

  • Khondker S on August 10, 2014, 20:18 GMT

    Best of luck. Play with confidence and show some tough character.

  • Dummy4 on August 10, 2014, 16:55 GMT

    New coach should work intensely on responsibility & accountability among the bd players lack those very much.

  • Prashan on August 10, 2014, 15:51 GMT

    As a passionate Lankan fan, I love Bangladesh. One reason is I am a big tiger lover and hope Bengali tigers numbers will maximize.

    Hathurusingha has a difficult job. He must improve the confidence of Bangladesh team who's confidence is low particularly after the Shakib Al Hassan fiasco too. No doubt this man is a no nonsense person and if all players act on his instructions, success is imminent. Important to remember that NSW won a trophy after a while when this bloke was hired by them. Good luck Bangladesh in West Indies and hope your cricketers make the best out of this man.

  • Dummy4 on August 10, 2014, 15:27 GMT

    That is the problem for BD side. Starting for International cricket is good but after that he will be more on opponents radar. so need to work hard more and more. one way to realize how much you improve can be strong and toughest domestic cricket, playing on difficult surfaces will make you realize that how you can cope with difficult situations or how much you have improved. Look at Tamim and Shakib, they started brilliantly but now i can not see any century or match winning innings. Consistency needs hard work with strong mental ability to come from your bad form or bad time. if we had a world class cricket academy and competitive domestic circuit then these guys would recover with fighting spirit with in short time.

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