October 20, 2021
Muscat , Oman
Oman Cricket Academy Ground
Prematch Media Conference
Q. PNG next for you, a bit of a different proposition. Obviously they've lost the two first games here, so do you see it as being an easy challenge for you?
ASHWELL PRINCE: No, absolutely not. I think PNG obviously will have been really excited about coming to the World Cup and putting in a good performance, and I'm sure they'll be looking for one victory at least before -- if it were to be their exit. Obviously, having said that, if they won the game, mathematically I still think there's a possibility for them to qualify, so absolutely not an easy game. They will be fully respected by the Bangladeshi team.
Q. Are there any threats you've identified in the way PNG play that can cause you problems?
ASHWELL PRINCE: Yeah, we have done an analysis earlier today on the team. We have a good idea of who the danger players are. They also finished quite strong with the ball yesterday in their match against Scotland at the death overs, so there are areas of their game that they are quite strong at, and obviously that they've done well so far in the competition. We've identified some of their batsmen that can be dangerous, so we've had a good session in terms of doing our analysis on their team.
Q. I think it's fair to say the side hasn't hit full throttle yet. How has the reaction been within the dressing room to yesterday's win, and do you think that gives you a lot more momentum now leading into tomorrow's game?
ASHWELL PRINCE: Yeah, I think that's spot on in terms of we're not at full throttle. We fancied ourselves in the first game to chase 140 against Scotland. They obviously had a -- came back well after being 53 for six, posted a competitive score, and we were disappointed not to get that. But we bounced back nicely yesterday. It was a tough match. I think it was a lot of pressure in terms of playing against the home team, and obviously going out of the competition if we lost the game yesterday.
That was a big result for us, but even so, there are still parts of our performance yesterday that we felt we could have done better at, and hopefully we will improve even tomorrow as we go into the final game.
Q. How are your players coping with the pitch itself and the conditions here? It's been difficult to assess whether it's a good pitch for spinners or fast bowlers. How would you summarise it?
ASHWELL PRINCE: Yeah, I think we played a warmup game against Oman A, and the pitch really nice nicely for the batters that came on. I think we have to give credit to the bowlers so far in the competition, especially in the powerplays. I think in the powerplays the bowlers have been pretty good from all the teams. Nobody has really got off to a flying start in the powerplays, so the bowling has been pretty good from all the teams in our group.
From our perspective our spinners have been really good, but we've got obviously Shakib, one of the most experienced spin bowlers in the world. Mahedi, as well, he's come on nicely, and they are skilled bowlers.
I think the guys are pretty comfortable with understanding what the surface has to offer. I think we're probably a little bit disappointed in terms of our performance at the moment rather than the surface not being ideal. I think the surface has been good on both occasions.
Q. Just want to understand a few of the teams have mentioned nerves have played a part for them in some of the opening games. Would it be fair to say that Bangladesh have been nervous in the two opening fixtures, and do you think there will be any nerves ahead of tomorrow's game?
ASHWELL PRINCE: I think definitely in the first two fixtures there would have been nerves around. Obviously we try and speak to the guys before the game to prepare them as much as possible.
At the end of the day, everybody wants to be part of the real thing next week, and Bangladesh coming into this group as the Test play nation, you sort of have a target on your back, where with the other teams, they're coming after you. We realise that. Obviously Scotland put in a disciplined bowling and fielding performance, and fortunately yesterday we got things going, and I think we're getting stronger at the moment.
Q. A nod to the associates, obviously there's been a defeat of Scotland, you were run close by Oman. Is this an indication that the gap between full members and associate members is closing especially in T20 format?
ASHWELL PRINCE: Yeah, I think particularly in T20 cricket, you only need three or four guys to have a good game, and anybody can beat anybody. We know that, and therefore tomorrow's game we'll pay utmost respect to the opposition, even though they've battled so far in the competition. But we understand that three or four individuals having a great day can definitely cause an upset, so there won't be sort of any complacency.
But to answer the question, absolutely. T20 cricket is the shorter of the format. Associate nations obviously become more dangerous. But the quality in the cricket in some of the associate teams, as well. Maybe perhaps they don't have the depth in their squads, but I think their best 11 are definitely competitive.
Q. Do you think that Bangladesh have to be more cautious in power batting and fielding, and what question did you get from your competitors about tomorrow's match?
ASHWELL PRINCE: So the first part of the question, we want to do better in the powerplay, absolutely. At the end of the day, as much as you want to impose your game plan, you also have to respect the bowling team on the day and opposition, and I think particularly against Oman yesterday, the opening bowlers, they were very good. They had some shape on the ball, both the left-arm opening bowler and the right dark arm opening bowler, the big guy. They had some shape on the ball, good discipline. They were aggressive in the field.
So at the end of the day it doesn't matter whether it's a world superstar delivering the ball or if it's a lesser known name. When somebody delivers a ball on a good line and with some shape on it, you have to respect it.
I thought the Omani bowlers yesterday especially where I was standing, and similarly Scotland was during our first game, so as much as we want to get off to a better start, we have to respect the opposition if they're performing well.
Q. What questions do you have about PNG's bats?
ASHWELL PRINCE: Yeah, we've started the equation. The margin or the difference at the moment between Scotland, Oman and Bangladesh is not great, so the run rate, obviously yesterday's result helped us a bit. We have the equation within us, within the team and the players know exactly what to do.
Unfortunately we play the first game. The other two teams play the later game tomorrow. We will have to do our bit and try and apply the pressure on to Scotland and Oman. But we have a fair idea of what we need to do.
Q. Basically there's been a lot of talk about Liton since he made his debut six years ago, like the players have said that he's probably the most talented batsman in this generation. There's been a lot of divided opinions about his batting. I'm talking to you because -- I'm asking you because you have worked with him. Where do you think he's lacking at the moment, because he hasn't had a big score in a little while. He batted well, but there has been a bit of a gap, and he did well in one innings in the field, of course, but in this occasion what do you think is lacking, and how do you think he can improve?
ASHWELL PRINCE: I think at the moment he just wants to try and get a start. He batted really nicely in the warmup match probably about just two weeks ago against Oman. Him and Naim put on over a hundred for an opening wicket in the warmup against Oman A team. Yeah, he obviously hasn't had a big score since then, but I think when you're kind of labeled as the -- sort of the best batsman in your generation kind of thing, sometimes it can be a burden on your shoulders, and perhaps it is.
He's a fantastically talented player, and I think everyone at the moment is kind of waiting for him to burst out and be the player that we know he can be.
I think all of us, or everyone in management, not just the batting coach, all the coaches are trying to assist him as much as possible in terms of finding a balance between getting those -- his talent basically fulfilled.
But we still believe in him, and we trust in him, and hopefully there will be a bigger stage in a week's time for him to express himself.
Q. I just wanted to ask you how you as a batting coach will prepare the batsmen to be ready for any position because the other day Domingo said that batsmen will go out according to the situation. That's not something that they've done in the past too often, they've stuck to a lineup usually, and now in the last game we saw there was a bit of shuffling, and even Shakib said it's not a normal T20 lineup. How do you prepare mentally in these situations?
ASHWELL PRINCE: I think ultimately if you want to be a big player who goes up against all the other big players of the world, you've got to be able to adapt to any situation.
I think adaptability, especially in T20 cricket, is massive. Obviously if the coach has mentioned to the media that he wants flexibility in the batting lineup, I think every player should be prepared to do that, and we have had these discussions in our team meetings.
These days, there are so many stats, and you can really filter the stats to have a greater idea which batsmen are really good in which type of different situations, which batsmen are good against a ball spinning in, for instance, against a ball spinning out, against a fastbowler who has a left arm, a fastbowler who has a right arm, against a wrist spinner, so you have all these sort of stats, and yes, ultimately the player will have to go into the middle and make his own decisions when he's batting and bowling.
But I think if the coach wants to be flexible in the lineup, I think he's entitled to do that.
I think we've had one or two discussions around it, and the players are open.
At the end of the day we have 11 players trying to win a cricket match for Bangladesh, and whoever gets the runs doesn't really matter as long as Bangladesh gets the runs or we put the runs on the board and then we stick the opposition to less runs than ours.
Which individual it is is not as important as the team getting the job done.
Q. Lastly about Mahedi Hasan's batting. You guys tried him at No. 3 last game. He's the sort of guy that can bat anywhere. I'm just wondering what sort of drills you have to do with him and how confident is he as an individual?
ASHWELL PRINCE: I think if you look at Mahedi, especially the way he's bowled in this competition, if you watch his body language, and we know that the first two matches were pressure matches, against Scotland was a pressure yesterday, yesterday was a pressure match. If you look at his demeanor on the field, he's very calm, and he's very confident in his ability and what he's capable of doing. And so -- and that also translates into his batting.
Yes, obviously the coach have made a decision to put him at No. 3, and it doesn't pay off, or it didn't pay off yesterday. But then in a cricket match, there are a lot of decisions that are made. There are hundreds of decisions that are made, and you know, they don't all pay off. We don't get them all right. The captain has to make a lot of decisions on the field. In team management, the coaches, selectors, everybody has to make a lot of decisions, and it's not possible to get them all right.
I think if we can get an understanding about these things and understand that every decision that everybody makes, we won't get them all right, hopefully we get more right than we get wrong.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports