Bangladesh are excited and curiously waiting for the tri-nation series comprising Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, followed by the Test and T20I series against the Lankans. And the chief reason is none other than the side’s former coach Chandika Hathurusingha visiting Dhaka as an opposition.
Since Hathurusingha taking the Lankan job was revealed, discussions have been circulating as to how to tackle his plans. Hathurusingha happens to know majority of the Bangladesh cricketers in and out and that might make things different for the Tigers.
The theory however, is not well supported by Bangladesh interim assistant coach Richard Halsall.
Halsall, who is the BCB High Performance Unit coach and has filled the vacancy created by the departure of Hathurusingha in the national staff line-up, said it is the Lankans players the Tigers have to encounter, rather than Hathurusingha’s strategies.
“It will not be him (Hathurusingha) we have to play against, it’s the Sri Lanka players. Talking of strategies, how did it go in South Africa? Did the strategies work? Strategies are small part of players. Good players win you cricket matches. If you have good players playing well, you win cricket matches,” said Halsall, who joined the Bangladesh camp Wednesday.
“We have got lots of good players here but they did not play well in South Africa. They did play well in a couple of games in the (2017) Champions Trophy, specifically in the New Zealand game. So we have good players, we have to get them playing good cricket. That comes for your preparation and being back home always helps,” he added.
Bangladesh played impressive cricket under Hathurusingha’s regime but now that he has met his “dream job” of coaching his nation, Halsall feels it will not put the Tigers in trouble. Rather, the Bangladesh cricketers, particularly the seniors in the shape of the two captains Mashrafe bin Mortaza and Shakib al Hasan are in a good space at the moment.
“I think Chandika’s principal reason for leaving was he thought he cannot add anymore to the players at the moment. I think that’s a really good place for the players to be at. Because Chandika not being here will give them more space to think and more responsibility. But Bangladesh are very lucky as they have got some excellent senior players likes of Shakib, Mashrafe, the two captains, and Mushfiqur [Rahim], Mahmudullah and Tamim [Iqbal]. Those players now can be more involved. I think when you get older you become more responsible. That’s exciting. I think it is another exciting step for that group of players,” said Halsall.
It is understood that the 49-year old Halsall, whose principal job in Bangladesh is to coach the BCB HP Unit, will be with the national team until the BCB ropes in a long-term coach. When queried if Halsall had any particular target to accomplish during his stay in the national dressing room, the former Zimbabwe cricketer explained, “I think it’s just reminding the players what they are really good at. Because when you go to places like South Africa and other parts, things you are not good at gets exposed. And then you just concentrate on those. And then you come back to where you are strong, you must remember what you are good at.
“They cannot play like a South African or an English player or an Australian. They have got to be Bangladesh players. When they play with the freedom they are an exceptional side,” said Halsall.