Bangladesh batting consultant Neil McKenzie believes that the Tigers should rely on playing smart cricket instead of just power hitting to get more success in limited-overs cricket.
McKenzie, the former South African batsman joined Bangladesh during the recent West Indies series as batting consultant for the upcoming Asia Cup 2018 campaign in the UAE.
On Monday (3 September), McKenzie joined the Tigers’ preparatory camp at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium ahead of the multi-nation event, starting from 15 September.
As per reports in Cricbuzz, Neil told reporters in Dhaka, “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, midwicket and 45,. There are some big hitters in the side. [Mahmudullah] Riyad just got 28 off 11 balls in the CPL. Technically you can become a better hitter, commit to a better position to hit.”
McKenzie further went on to explain, “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 over the bowler. If I am chasing 12, I have to chase a little bit harder and go for bigger shots.”
The batting consultant also admitted that hitting sixes and fours were crucial in the shorter format, but it’s more important to go for constructive hitting rather than just going for fours and sixes blindly.
He further noted, “I think we can be very competitive by getting the guys hitting more sixes, but showcasing the talent of hitting more skilled shots. I'd like to turn around where a West Indian will miss, miss, six, six. I'd like to see a Bangladeshi guy go four, four, four. 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. I think it is just about preparation and putting the guys under a lot of pressure. A lot of the times you can practice, go through the motions and there's nothing on it. You get caught on the boundary and nothing really happens.”
McKenzie signed off by saying, “So the coach Steve Rhodes has put them under pressure. Most of the ODI sides in the world are quite similar, so it comes down to the last ball or the last over. The younger guys, after being in these situations, will know better on bigger occasions. It is a good exercise for the bowlers, see his field setting, 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.”
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