Domingo also said he is looking forward to Shakib's return to the international arena after his one-year ban
Bangladesh cricket team head coach Russell Domingo spoke with the media at Mirpur Thursday where he shared his thoughts on the ongoing BCB President’s Cup and the players’ performances in the tournament, Tamim Iqbal’s captaincy and Shakib al Hasan’s return to the international arena, among other topics.
Here are the excerpts:
How do you rate the players’ performances in the President’s Cup thus far, especially the batsmen?
I am very happy. I think the tournament has been played with fantastic intensity. You can look how hard the players tried to perform. Yes, it would have been nice if the batsmen can get more runs. But you have to consider that players have not played any competitive cricket for more than seven months. The main thing for me as a coach was for the players to get some game time. There is no better way of practice than playing competitive matches. So as a coach I am happy with the intensity from the players. The wickets were not easy. That’s why some of the batters were struggling. But some players have put in some good performances. Some young players were impressive. Senior guys like Mushfiqur [Rahim] and [Mahmudullah] Riyad have got some runs. The main focus was to play some cricket and let the guys to play some competitive match and that happened.
Tamim was handed the ODI captaincy earlier this year. How do you assess his captaincy in the President’s Cup?
I had some good discussions with Tamim about his captaincy. It’s tough to judge him now as Tamim captained his side for only three matches in this tournament. He had some different types of bowlers and batsmen in his squad compared to the national team set up. Tamim is an experienced player and has been playing international cricket for years. He has a very good understanding of the game. I believe he can be a very good leader for the team in future.
The fast bowlers have bowled well in the President’s Cup, picking up regular wickets. Your thoughts?
From the time I have joined here, we are trying to find some good young fast bowlers, particularly if we want to compete and win matches away from home. Now we are finally developing a group of fast bowlers who can be competitive among themselves. If you look at Taskin [Ahmed], Fizz (Mustafizur Rahman), Al Amin [Hossain], Khaled [Ahmed], Hasan Mahmud, Shariful [Islam] etc, there are six or seven fast bowlers who can do well in international cricket. I am very excited about what I have seen in this tournament. Every good international side calls a fast bowler when they need a wicket or break through. Like England call Jofra Archer, South Africa call Kagiso Rabada, Australia call Mitchell Starc, India call [Jasprit] Bumrah. It’s great to see that we are developing some options for the coming games for taking wickets or beat opponents with pace and bounce. So if you take one thing from this one-day series (President’s Cup), then the performance of the fast bowlers is really exciting to see. We don’t want to be a one-dimensional spin dominant team, especially away from home. If you need to win games then away you have to take 20 wickets. So I am excited about what I have seen from the fast bowlers in the last couple of weeks.
Shakib’s one-year ban will be lifted in a few days’ time, what are your thoughts on his return?
I had a talk with him [Wednesday]. He is out of the country at the moment. But he is working hard about his fitness. But look, Shakib, like a lot of other players, need to play some cricket and game time. So we can’t expect from him to come straight away and perform miracles. We need to be more patient on this. He is out of cricket for over a year now. He is a quality player, one of the best all-rounders of the world. But he also needs some time to get back in his confidence.