Matches (13)
T20 World Cup (3)
SL vs WI [W] (1)
WI Academy in IRE (1)
T20 Blast (8)
News

Law: USA wanted the T20I series win 'a bit more' than Bangladesh

The US head coach refused to read much into their ten-wicket defeat, wanting to test the bench heading into the T20 World Cup

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
26-May-2024
The USA team poses with the trophy after the historic series win, USA vs Bangladesh, 3rd T20I, Prairie View, May 25, 2024

The USA team poses with the trophy after the historic series win over Bangladesh  •  USA Cricket

USA head coach Stuart Law said that his team was hungrier than Bangladesh in their men's T20I series win in Texas. USA, playing a bilateral series against a Full Member team for the first time, won the first two games before going down by ten wickets in the final T20I to take the series 2-1.
"We had more desire and passion about the game in the first two matches," Law said after the third T20I. "We wanted it a bit more than what they did. Today it was a different story. We may have relaxed a little bit. Bangladesh played pretty well. They will take this in their stride.
"It is great preparation. Playing games is so much better than hitting balls in the nets. Anything can happen in one-off games. That's what the World Cup is like. No one goes in as ultimate favorites."
USA tested their bench strength by resting first-choice players - captain Monank Patel, opener Steven Taylor, allrounder Harmeet Singh and fast bowler Ali Khan - and that left a big hole in their batting and bowling departments. Bangladesh capitalised on this and registered a massive win, thanks to a six-wicket haul from Mustafizur Rahman. After restricting USA to 104 for 9, Tanzid Hasan and Soumya Sarkar stitched an unbeaten 108-run opening stand to help Bangladesh to a consolation win with 50 balls to spare.
Law, however, wasn't too critical of the visitors. He said that Bangladesh have the ability to bounce back from this series defeat to do better in the T20 World Cup. Law was Bangladesh's head coach in 2012 before working with the BCB's development side for many years. He was also their head coach at the men's Under-19 World Cup earlier this year but his contract was not renewed in February. This was Law's first assignment after being appointed USA's head coach.
"Bangladesh are a good team, you (media) guys put them under a lot of pressure," he said. "That's one thing I do know. They have some of the best strikers of the cricket ball. The two batters made runs [today] with beautiful cricket shots. A couple of bowlers have good, decent pace. The spinners will always be strong from Bangladesh. They have got a good team."
USA's 2-0 lead heading into the third T20I gave them the rare opportunity to test their bench without worrying about the result.
"I would take a 2-1 series win against a top team any time," Law said. "I wouldn't read too much into [the 10-wicket defeat].
"We were in a privileged position today with the series in our hands. It was nice to give opportunities to other players. We wanted to make sure everyone had a game before they go into the World Cup, which will be cut-throat. Every game will be like a final. We have had two very good performances in the two wins here."

Aaron Jones: USA beating India or Pakistan cannot be termed an upset

Aaron Jones, who led USA in Monank's absence, said that they lost the plot in the middle overs. USA were 46 for no loss inside five overs, but once the openers Andries Gous and Shayan Jahangir fell, they slipped to 60 for 5 before being restricted to a below-par score.
"We didn't read the situation well in the middle overs," Jones said. "Shot selection was a big thing for us today. We could have played the sweep shot at times. Basically as soon as the Bangladesh bowlers got on top of us, we just rolled over.
"We should have tried something more. We could have rotated the strike a lot better. It is a learning curve."
Jones echoed the thoughts of his team-mate Khan from a couple of days ago, and said that USA's series win against Bangladesh served a good reminder of their quality.
"We are a very good team," Jones said. "Obviously we showed that against Bangladesh, one of the best teams in the world. I wouldn't call it an upset if we beat Pakistan or India. I will just say that we played better cricket on the day. It is a game of cricket. The bigger teams can lose as well."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84