So, listening to radio commentary in the dressing room is not all that bad!
A day after skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza slammed the team management for judging the wicket by listening to commentary Sakib al Hasan found a positive side of it.
‘A lot of the credit should go to the coaching staff. We used to panic a lot in the dressing room, in the past, which was a big problem,’ Sakib said after Bangladesh’s Monday’s crushing seven-wicket win against West Indies.
‘Now the coaching staff is so calm that they don’t allow us to panic. When we see them listening to the radio or just relaxing, we also see this way.
‘It is contagious, you know, panic. I think this mentality has helped our mindset while chasing big totals,’ he added.
Not panicking in the dressing room is crucial to any big run chase and if the target is well above 300 runs in a must-win game of a tournament like World Cup, it is the basic requirement.
Bangladesh panicked in a situation like this historically, starting from 1994 ICC Trophy against Kenya, so the mental skill to keep the panicking away was as much necessary as the cricketing skill.
The Tigers succeeded in this aspect of their game rather surprisingly now to give them a strong chance to qualify for the semi-finals of the World Cup.
They have still few tough matches waiting, most notably against Australia on Thursday in Nottingham, but after a big chase against West Indies, they will also go into the match confident.
Before the West Indies game in Taunton, opening batsman Tamim Iqbal pointed out that they are a general target of short bowling by almost every team, but it did not panic them now.
During the chase of 321-8 runs in Taunton, West Indies did what the other teams usually do against Bangladesh by throwing a barrage of short balls, but the Tigers showed that the technic was not going to work against them anymore.
Only Soumya Sarkar fell to a short ball in the game and that not because he wanted to save his body but was looking for an opportunity to hit a boundary over the top of the slip cordon.
‘Everyone had their own ways to adjust to those short balls. And I think everyone had their particular game plan which worked brilliantly,’ Sakib said after the match.
‘They bowled, I think, 280 a side either full or short. We knew it was going to come. And we prepared for those challenges,’ he added.
The tri-series in Ireland did wonder for Bangladesh to adjust against short bowling, Sakib said, adding that it also made them strong while chasing big.
‘We have reached a new level. I think the Ireland tri-series helped in the sense how we kept chasing totals quite easily there. We never looked under pressure. We played big shots but those were proper cricketing shots like major teams do,’ he said.
After playing four matches in this World Cup, Bangladesh’s biggest strength is now this mental skill.
It made them fearless in true meaning, so much so that even mighty Australia also did not look them unbeatable to the side.
‘We have been facing some of the best fast bowlers in the last four matches. Every team has at least two bowlers with 140kph,’ said Sakib.
‘We have coped well against England and West Indies. We can overcome the pace challenge. We are a skilled team which can counter those challenges.’
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