Bangladesh lack hunger for win: McKenzie

New AgeJan 26,2020

A file photo from September 15, 2019 shows Bangladesh’s batting coach Neil McKenzie (L) giving some batting tips to Mahadi Hasan during a training session at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. — BCB photo

Bangladesh’s batting consultant Neil McKenzie on Sunday expressed his frustration regarding the mindset of his charges and rued the lack of intent from the players during the Twenty20 international series against Pakistan.

‘What’s been disappointing for me has been the intent,’ the 44-year old South African told reporters in Mirpur.

‘We have been working so hard in the last couple of years on rotation of strike, putting the bowler under pressure, where you are standing, making him bowl to where you want him to bowl, but I haven’t seen too much of those in the last Twenty20s,’ he added.

The Tigers provided disappointing performances both with bat and ball against Pakistan in the first two Twenty20 internationals and suffered two crushing defeats at the hands of the hosts to go down 0-2 in the three-match series.

In both the matches, Bangladesh batsmen failed to cash in during the powerplay, making 35-0 and 33-2 respectively, and had to settle for mediocre totals, 141-5 and 136-6 respectively, which were easily chased down by the hosts.

McKenzie, who opted out of the Pakistan tour and was currently working with players likely to feature in the Pakistan Tests, said that Bangladeshi batters were easily satisfied and were happy to just secure a position in the national team.

‘[I think they lack] a little bit more hunger for that consistency. A lot of the times guys are happy to play the next game and if you get a 40 or 60. It is the wrong mentality,’ said McKenzie.

‘I want the guys to try to be the best in the world, or be the best Bangladesh batsman. I think that’s what we are trying to install. We are making progress. But it has been a little bit frustrating.

‘The intent, looking to be a little bit more hungry, really playing with that ‘no fear’ that Russell [Domingo] and everybody tries to install in the players. It is human nature. You have a few young guys and some guys who are getting back.

‘There’s a lot of pressure on the guys to perform and stay in the side which is understandable, but hopefully they all understand that they are getting the backing from all the selectors and coach. They just have to go out there and play,’ he added.

McKenzie wanted the players to be selfish for the sake of the team and wanted to see the batters take the onus on themselves and singlehandedly win matches for the side.

‘I want someone to be selfish in terms of winning games for the side. Not selfish for their own right. Selfish for not giving it away. If I have an 80, why can’t I follow it up with a hundred, 140 or two-hundred?’ McKenzie said.

Bangladesh also had a problem of having too many top-order batsmen in the mix and not many specialists lower order batsmen, who made it difficult to form a balanced playing XI, felt McKenzie.

Barring Mahmudullah, the rest of the batters in the current Twenty20 squad in Pakistan batted at the top order in the recently concluded Bangladesh Premier League.

‘I think at the moment we have too many batsmen that bat at one, two and three. If you look around the squad, they are quality players but they are all top order batters.

‘It is a different skill to bat at No 4, 5 and 6. You are on nought and all of a sudden you are facing a quality spinner. It is a different mind-set. You have to know your game, try to rotate the strike and then go with your boundary options,’ he added.

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