Interim Bangladesh coach Courtney Walsh admitted that the Tigers will be underdog in the Nidahas T20I series against host Sri Lanka and India.
Bangladesh team underwent their final training session Saturday where they played against each other like a match scenario at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka. This was the Tigers’ last practice session before they fly off for Sri Lanka Sunday afternoon.
Sri Lanka won both the T20Is against the Tigers recently while India are always a very strong side in the shorter formats. Walsh however, believes Bangladesh can reach the final if they play according to their merit.
“I think we have a very good chance. Obviously we will be going as the underdog, playing against two quality teams. I think if we play consistently enough, we have a good chance to make it to the final. Once we are there, things will be taken one game at a time. We will be hoping that we can give a good account of ourselves and play good, consistent cricket,” Walsh said to the media at a press conference Saturday.
“We want to play one game at a time. I will tell them to go out there and express themselves and enjoy the game. They have to execute the game plan as best as they can. It is no point going into a game with added pressure. We have to relax and enjoy what we are doing, with purpose. I want them to feel proud playing for Bangladesh.
“It is an area in which we haven't done too well. We won a T20I on our last tour of Sri Lanka. I distinctly remember it was Mash’s (Mashrafe bin Mortaza) last game, so we will try to rekindle and focus on the good that we did there. It is going to be challenging coming up against quality teams but there are three quality teams in the competition, as far as I am concerned. On the day who play better and want it more and who execute plan more will win,” he added.
This is the first time Walsh is coaching a national side. The West Indies great said he is very much excited and seeking support from everyone in order to achieve success.
“I am very excited that the board had the confidence to bestow this position on me. It is every coach’s dream. I know it is an interim job. I am going to try my best in terms of our execution and game plan. I am looking forward to the challenge,” said Walsh.
“Everything happened in a rush the last time. It is different now since there’s someone who is responsible for organising and ensuring things are done properly. I will be trying to have dialogues with all the relevant parties, as to what’s required. I think it is good for someone to be able to hold their hand up and say yes or no to what’s happening. I am excited to be in that position. I am sure I will get the full support of the BCB, president, directors, senior players and even the junior players. Once everybody comes to the table and we work together, it will be good to start planning how we go from here.
“My target will be to win as many games as possible on this tour. I am very hopeful that we can do so. It will be nice to get into the final. We are taking it each game at a time, at this point,” he explained.
Bangladesh will play their first game of the tournament against India Thursday.