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‘Batting is our major concern’

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 27 September, 2021 12:00 AM
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‘Batting is our major concern’
Bangladesh Under-19 national team head coach Naveed Nawaz chats with batsmen during a practice session recently. – FILE PHOTO

Bangladesh Under-19 national team head coach Naveed Nawaz said on Sunday that he isn’t losing his sleep over the mixed performance of his charges against Afghanistan counterparts in the recently-concluded home series.

Bangladesh won the five-match one-day series by a 3-0 margin while lost the one-off Youth Test series at Sylhet.

“What our targets have been before starting the series of forming a squad of U-19 and we had a lot of doubts in our minds, regarding who would fit in where, obviously playing a match within us, we knew that these players are going to play in these positions, but overall, we didn’t know how these players are going to respond in these positions, under the youth international atmosphere,” Nawaz told The Daily Sun on Sunday.

“So we wanted to try it out, and we wanted to play all the players during the series and that is what we did during the five one-day series, we used up about 16 players within the five games, so we had been rotating quite a lot, after the first three matches I would say, the first three matches until we won the series, and we weren’t rotating as much, and after winning the series, we wanted to try out the rest of the players, and we started rotating the rest of the players on their own,” he said.

“Obviously, I’m a bit disappointed after winning the series as to how the momentum shifted, but that is something an area for us to work and it’s good to figure that out early on in our campaign,” Bangladesh mentor said.

Bangladesh team will travel to Sri Lanka in October this year for a five-match one-day series against their Lankan counterparts as part of their preparation for the next ICC Under-19 World Cup.

The first match of the series will take place on October 15; the other matches will be played on October 18, 20, 23, and 35 respectively while the tourists will reach the island on October 7.

Though the venue is yet to be confirmed all the matches will be played under strict bio-bubble.

Nawaz said that they aren’t trying to put any pressure on the current crop as far as defending the World Cup is concerned as he feels it will put pressure on them.

“I think having the title of being the defending champions are going to be very hard on these boys, because you got to understand, that it’s a totally new unit, and it’s not the last years’ World Cup team, that is playing this year, it’s a totally new unit, and they’ve lost a lot of time, and finally they’ve finally got three or four months to prepare, and having that tag on becoming champions in another World Cup is going to be mentally very tough for them, so even going to the last year’s World Cup, we never even talked about winning the World Cup, we always talked about getting the process right, we wanted to do the little things right so that the end’s result would be better for us,” said Nawaz.

 “I’m happy that the boys have managed to win the one-day series, but there are a lot of areas, that I’d admit, that there are a lot of shortcomings that we need to prepare for, and the boys need to put their performance up, in the coming days. I mean, they don’t have much time, as they have only four months before the World Cup, and we need to rectify these areas and figure out how we’re going to handle it in the best way,” he said.

“If you look at the areas mainly, I’m a bit concerned about the batting of our boys, because, it has nothing to do with the technical issues or something like that, it’s just that, in cricket, sometimes batting becomes the hardest skill that acquires, and also, lots of mental skills come to play in batting, which makes it hard, because of the fact, that the batsmen can get out only once, and these boys make a lot of mistakes in the middle, so that’s something which will improve with the experiences, so I believe in the coming months with looking at our programme where the boys will have the opportunity to improve their skills,” Nawaz concluded.