The Bangladesh Under 19 Team leaves for the UK tomorrow to participate in a youth tri-nation tournament involving Pakistan and hosts England. Manager and Head Coach Richard McInnes and Captain Mehidy Hassan Miraz shared their thoughts ahead of the tour: [Get Fixtures of Bangladesh Under 19 Team Tour of England 2013]
From a development perspective how important do you think this tour is going to be for Bangladesh cricket?
Richard McInnes (RM): This type of tour to a very different country is vital in their development, particularly their ability to adapt to different conditions. The ability to learn and adapt quickly is what separates the good players from the champions. It is something that currently we don’t do that well and the more exposure we get to different situations the better for their development regardless of it being at U19 or senior level.
What challenges do you foresee in England against the likes of the hosts and Pakistan?
RM: The English summer has been quite hot and dry this year so I am not expecting the wickets to move around as much as they might normally. The ball still however swing more and for longer than it does here and as we regularly see that creates a challenge for our batsmen. We have spent a lot of time training in the indoor center with new balls to try to generate more swing and bounce so I am hoping to see that transfer into smart batting from our batsmen. Ranadeb Bose (National Academy pace bowling coach) has done a great job with our bowlers, particular around their consistency and ability to swing the ball so I am looking forward to seeing them in action.
I don’t know much at all about the opposition which is normally the case at youth level. Both teams are generally very strong in youth cricket and expect no different this time. By the end of the tour we will have gathered a lot of information about them to use later on.
Do you have any result oriented goal from this trip or are you looking at the long-term significance and benefits?
RM: I like to focus on the processes, not the outcomes. If we get our processes right we will win games, history tells you that. If we bowl in consistently good areas, while varying our pace and angles, with well set, assertive fields we will have success. If we rotate the strike well by backing and knowing each other’s games well we will prevent bowlers creating pressure on us and be able to keep the score board moving. If we constantly get ourselves into good positions on the field we will be ready to take the half chances and able to turn the game in our favour by taking catches and effecting run outs. If we do all or most of those things more than our opponents then we can win. If we don’t, we won’t.
You have been involved with the under 19 programme in the past and now you have another under 19 squad at your disposal for this tour. How would you compare the class of 2004-05 to the present one?
RM: Difficult to compare players 10 years apart. I don’t see any real obvious differences though. We probably have a stronger pace bowling group here but hard to tell yet.
RM: There are some good players in this group and I hope they go on to become much better than Shakib, Tamim and Mushfiqur. We need to be developing Tendulkars, Pontings, Kallis’ and Sangakkara quality players if we want to move up the ICC rankings.
If these players and even some of the ones who missed are hungry enough for success we will produce those sorts of players. Mike Hussey didn’t make the Australian under 19 team, so being a good u19 player does not guarantee success.
How has the preparation been for the tour? What are the strengths of this unit?
RM: Preparation has been quite good in and around hartals and rain. The coaches Zafrul Ehsan, Mizanur Rahman Babul, Shohel Islam, Bose and trainer Tusher Kanti Howlader and physio Bayzidul Islam have done a really good job in preparing them.
The group seems to all get along well and very keen to learn. I have been impressed with how quickly most of them have picked up concepts and ideas and been able to apply them.
As the head of the SAHARA-BCB NCA and the head coach of the Under 19 Team how hopeful are you with the way the BCB development programme is taking shape?
RM: I am always hopeful. We have made some progress in some areas but still so much to do. I have a number of proposals awaiting consideration of the Board and if we can get some of those things up and running it will be good.
MEHIDY HASSAN MIRAZ
You have captained the under 15 and under 17 sides in the past and now you have been entrusted with the responsibility of leading the Under 19 team in England. How are looking forward to this tour?
MEHIDY HASSAN MIRAZ (MHM): This will be a tremendous learning experience. We played some very competitive cricket in our last outing against Sri Lanka three months ago. Afterwards we have had some intense training and it also gave us the opportunity to work on specific areas and weaknesses. We are all feeling very confident going into this tour. I feel we have a pretty good team
How do you plan to adapt to the English conditions?
MHM: We know that the conditions over there will be different. We have tried to simulate the practice sessions keeping that in mind. Everyone knows about the Bangladeshi spinners but I think we have a formidable pace line-up also. I have much faith in the abilities of the four quick bowlers in our team – Abu Hider (Rony), Mehede (Hasan), Mustafizur (Rahman) and Rifat (Pradhan). The batsmen have also been told what to expect and they are fast learners.
What have you concentrated on during the last few months?
MHM: Apart from skills and fitness we have really worked hard on improving our strength. This is an area where other teams have an advantage over us. I think the training will pay off in England.