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Mckenzie focuses on Tigers’ slog-over hitting

  • Published at 10:27 pm September 3rd, 2018
Neil Mckenzie

According to the South African McKenzie the match scenarios are done to put the players under pressure under certain situations and make it easier for them to deal with such situations in a real game

Bangladesh batting consultant for limited-over cricket Neil McKenzie expects smarter technique and a clearer mindset can help fix the side’s struggles in the slog-overs. The Tigers on several occasions has been held by their poor execution with the bat in the slog overs and lack of big-hitting ability has been indicated as the reason.

Bangladesh are now preparing for the Asia Cup 2018 set to lift curtain in Dubai on September 15. The Tigers on Monday were busy with grueling match scenario sessions at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. 

According to the South African McKenzie the match scenarios are done to put the players under pressure under certain situations and make it easier for them to deal with such situations in a real game. 

“I think it is just about preparation and putting the guys under a lot of pressure. A lot of the time you can practice, go through the motions and there’s nothing on it. You get caught on the boundary and nothing really happens. So the coach Steve Rhodes has put them under pressure. Most of the ODI sides in the world are quite similar in terms of strength so it comes down to the last ball or the last over. The younger guys, after being in these situations, will know better in bigger occasions. It is a good exercise for the bowlers, to see his field setting and what’s his best ball. It is for the players to report back and get their thinking on. They know each other so they know a guy is strong over covers or against the short ball,” explained McKenzie to the media on Monday.

The former Proteas opener also informed work is in progress to better Bangladesh’s ability in the slog overs and minimize the challenges that are often spoke about.

“Technically you can get into better positions. We are not going to be competing against the West Indians, the way they hit the ball. But we can be very competitive is our skilled hitting, targeting the four inner-ring guys – going over cover, point and midwicket. There are some big hitters in the side. Riyad just got 28 off 11 balls in the CPL. Technically you can become a better hitter and commit to a better position to hit. If you are chasing six an over, I am looking for ones and twos and looking for space. I am going over cover or midwicket when I am looking for a boundary or straight back past the bowler. If I am chasing 12, I have to chase a little bit harder and go for bigger shots,” said McKenzie.

“I think we can be very competitive by getting the guys hitting more sixes. I’d like to turn around where a West Indian will miss a few ball but then connect for six. I’d like to see a Bangladeshi guy go three fours in a row instead of a big power-slog. I am not too fazed by big sixes but by what’s happening in between. We can get 12 off three good cricket shots and another one with talent and committing to certain areas,” he added.

Opening has also been a problem for Bangladesh to deal with. The side, despite trying many combinations, have failed to find a long-term partner for its prominent opener Tamim Iqbal. The issue has been addressed several times but is yet to reach a solution. In the Asia Cup, Tamim is likely to be seen open with Liton Das after Anamul Haque got axed from the ODI team. Anamul was partner to Tamim in Bangladesh’s last ODI series, on tour of West Indies. Anamul was below par with the willow scoring just 33 runs in three innings.

“I am a fresh pair of eyes at the moment. I want to give everyone their time to grow. I think (Liton) Das played a beautiful innings in the T20s. Tamim got most runs. I think getting 70 off five overs was a step in the right direction. I think it is about one of the young guys putting up their hand and showcasing what they can do. The talent is there. We have to talk about game-plans, commitment and the mental side of things. I am very positive of what’s to come. I see the guys left out of the Asia Cup side, which means the guys in the squad are the best players,” said McKenzie.