Bangladesh in Sri Lanka 2016-17 March 12, 2017

'Batsmen need to make better decisions' - Hathurusingha


Chandika Hathurusingha has said Bangladesh's bowlers need more experience if they are to develop the game intelligence required to set up dismissals © AFP

Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha has said his batsmen have to take better decisions and make technical adjustments for an improved performance in the Colombo Test starting later this week.

The visitors were back in business on Sunday with those on the bench training in the steaming afternoon. Imrul Kayes, who arrived in Colombo on Saturday evening, had his first bat along with Sabbir Rahman and Mosaddek Hossain, who will hope for a berth in the middle-order in the next game.

Hathurusingha, who was overseeing the work in the nets, said batsmen would need to defend or attack with the situation in mind, and not for the sake of it. Shakib Al Hasan, at the end of the fourth day's play in Galle, had said Bangladesh's batsmen needed to find a balance between defending and scoring runs to remain confident in their bid to save the Test.

"When you say we are defending and attacking, it comes down to your decision-making," Hathurusingha said. "It is what we need to improve - which ball to attack, which ball to defend. Whether you want to go either way, you have to make good decisions. To make decisions, you need to assess the conditions, the opposition's game plan and have the awareness. You can't say, you go and attack and that's my game.

"In this game, when we had a long partnership, we were looking to score. At times, we were too defensive but that's because of whether it is a mental block or the opposition bowling well or the condition of the pitch changing. They need to make that good decision."

Hathurusingha didn't criticise the soft dismissals of Shakib (first innings) and Mushfiqur (second innings), with both tickling Lakshan Sandakan deliveries that were going down the leg side. But the coach said they must read the left-arm wristspinner from the hand rather than off the pitch.

"Those two dismissals have a lot to do with reading the spin from the pitch," he said. "If you read it from the hand, you get into better positions. This guy was bowling variations - wrong 'uns and chinaman. I think our guys read the ball from the pitch, which gave them very little reaction time. It is your natural reaction to score runs when it is on leg stump."

Hathurusingha said the buck stopped with the bowlers' ability to take 20 wickets in the game, which will enable them to win a Test. But in 46 away Tests so far, Bangladesh have only bowled out oppositions twice in the same game on three occasions. They won all three times, last doing so against Zimbabwe in 2013.

"Turning around [in Colombo] is applying what you practice," Hathurusingha said. "We need to find a way to take 20 wickets. We have a very young attack. We are asking too much of a team trying to find their feet in Test cricket. It is a fact.

"Take Shakib out of the bowling attack, and Shakib is not the same bowler from 2010 who used to run through teams in helpful conditions. We are playing away now. The other four bowlers have combined for just 15 Tests."

Hathurusingha said the bowlers must not only look to bowl wicket-taking deliveries, but make sure they build their way into dismissals. He said that a breakthrough Test win will show them the right direction.

"You have to set up the batsmen to take wickets, so that intelligence comes with playing in the middle; [no matter] how much we send messages and talk, it will take time," he said. "The opposition also have plans and skills. We are improving and learning, once we get into a strong position and have the breakthrough win, I think we will start doing better."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Masking_Tape on March 13, 2017, 15:50 GMT

    There has been lack of effort and attitude issues from the senior players. They just want to play attacking shots and not grind it out. I think Rahim and Mominul are the only grinders in this team. They are the only two who's willing to spend long and hard hours at the pitch. Everyone else wants to play hero T20 cricket.

  • Tahmid on March 13, 2017, 15:27 GMT

    I think its time for senior players like Shakib to show responsibility. He is talented no doubt,,he is recognized everywhere in the cricketing world, but his attitude last couple of series has been disappointing. Coming to the crease and hitting at a strike rate of 130 doesnt make you a superstar, b/c when you do that you give the fielding team lot of opportunity and encouragement..b/c they knw its matter of time he'll throw his wicket. It doesnt always have to be a shot played in the air and caught out...its the shot selections..when you're aggressive any ball which is slightly loose or down the leg you will go for it...please look at your captain and learn! also if possible learn from the young SL players! And his bowling as well...whats this? 32 overs and 1 wicket? problem is senior players in the team have an insurance they'll never be happy BCB is making an example out of Mahmudullah. Get Mosaddek who averages 68 in FC. Go Tigers!

  • Chanachur on March 13, 2017, 14:38 GMT

    Talent-wise Bangladesh is on par with stronger teams like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, New Zealand, and West Indies. The main difference is in the application. When you know that Sri Lanka have prepared a flat pitch, and you have conceded almost 600 runs in the first innings, your motto should have been playing for time, not for runs in BOTH innings. Most of the Bangladeshi batsmen did not show that attitude. Shakib is a very bad influence to the team. He is a talented player, and will gain personal success even with playing recklessly. But that confuses the other batsmen in the team. Soumya, for example, played a Shakib-like completely useless 50 in his second innings.

    I will be very happy if Chandika can fix this attitude problem.

  • SL_Boy on March 13, 2017, 13:16 GMT

    I dont think BD should not worry two much, if they dont win away. main focus should be winning at home. I am a follower of BD cricket as well they did really good last few away test matches as well. It is ok to loos as long as you are giving a good fight.

  • amuni12 on March 13, 2017, 12:06 GMT

    BD opening pair did very well in both innings. To score over 300 against SL is not that easy. I think their bowlers need to do a better job. I am sure they will come back strong aginst SL in the second test.

  • Manik_mia on March 13, 2017, 7:15 GMT

    @CRICINFOUSER: you are right 100%. They do not have the guts to remove those players who are not performing. All they need to drop 4 to 5 from the team and bring some performers of FC cricket and groom them. The dropped players can come back after proving in FC again. So there will be clean competitions.

  • Manik_mia on March 13, 2017, 7:09 GMT

    At home still they can win tests. But to win away tests BD needs good pacers which they do not have. So they will keep struggling until they have 2 to 3 excellent pace bowler who can adjust according local conditions.

  • Baundele on March 13, 2017, 6:35 GMT

    We want better decision making from the selectors. Why would you keep selecting players that do not care about adjusting their approaches depending on match situations?

  • Udendra on March 13, 2017, 5:46 GMT

    I thought that so-called "breakthrough" test came in the form of a win against England?

  • Cricinfouser on March 13, 2017, 5:02 GMT

    Revamp the whole team! You will ger good results in two years. Current bunch top order and couple of bowlers should be dropped. Having said that, I dont think BD Cricket Association has the guts to drop these unsuccessful bunch.

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