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Old February 25, 2004, 06:28 AM
observer observer is offline
Richard McInnes
Manager / Head coach, National Cricket Academy
Former BD U19 Coach
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Default Canada and Uganda Games

We have managed to play our two worst games to date against the two worst teams we have played. In both games we have bowled first. First game we won the toss and bowled as we were not sure what the new wicket would be like, very hard to read. We should have bowled Canada out for about 60 or 70, but we let them get away, couple of lusty swings from the middle order batsmen. We then had to chase a middle of the road target, which can bring many teams undone. We started well, to be none for 60 odd off 11 overs and then had to go to lunch. Naeem got a good ball first over after lunch, then Nafees played a ridiculous shot 4 balls later. this started a slide that should nver have happened. The players are still very mentally fragile. This is something that will take much time and lost of tough cricket to change. We managed to sneak home for a win. The players almost were scared of losing and went into their shells, and managed to get out to nothing bowling. I certainly grew a few more grey hairs watching it.

The game agains Uganda was almost a replay except we lost the toss, We were going to bat today. We bowled very well with Nazmul poicking up his first 5 wicket haul ever. Enam bagged 4 and Rubaiyat one.

The batting was similar story, Naeem and Aftab played stupid shots, caught hooking couple of good bouncers. Nafees and Ashikur were both LBW to balls that stayed low, little unlucky but that happens. Riyad, edged one to second slip and then Nazim skied a drive when we needed 2 to win to be caught at mid off. A few more grey hairs for me.

I see our main problem as a lack of what i call "Sport Intelligence" and can really only be gained through match experience. The ability to make the right decisions at the right times. For bowling it is easier to develop as you have more time to think about each ball. Batting is tougher, as it is an open skill. We worked a lot on this in our preparation with many centre wicket practices and creating different scenarios for the players. The problem that occurs is one of time. We need players to be able to bat for long periods of time. To do this you need to have practice matches or net sessions where players can bat for 2 or 3 hours. To do that you need a lot of bowlers too. Any you need quality wickets to bat on, so that batsmen can actually "get in" and build and innings, with out worrying about a ball running along the ground or jumping off a good length as happened many times in our practice sessions.

If anyone has any suggestions for me on how to develop players "sport intelligence" as i term it then let me know. I don't have all the answers. Look forward to your suggestions.

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Old February 25, 2004, 07:30 AM
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RazabQ RazabQ is offline
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Default ideas for improving batsmens\' concentration.

Easy answer - institute a 2-day interschool tourney.

I fondly recall Nirman tournament (now called Standard Chartered). Players such as Opee, Sujan, Shumon, Moh. Ali, etc came through it. Unfortunately, we always played on matting wickets in small grounds and the matches were 40 overs long. So
a) we knew we'd get even, knee-level bounce most of the time,
b) life was good if you were spinner,
c) seaming the ball was difficult,
d) if one wasted more than one over in "watching" the bowling, the coach or captain would get on your case.
e) cross batted hoiks where u shuffled across would inevitably get you a four or six, while an attempt to drive along the ground thru the V would end up in a little dust storm and one having to run his *** off.

If we are able to switch the Standard Chartered interschool tourney to a two-day format and try and use proper grounds then
a) we will be emulating Sri Lanka who have built a pretty good program based mainly on school cricket
b) our batsmen will have to learn to last 80-90 overs - hence the 2-3 hours concentration issue gets resolved.
c) cross batted hoiks will go away
d) all players will learn to strategise - just like test cricket makes u do.

As for good practice bowlers, I think we need a bowling machine. And my pakistani coach in the US often made me practice batting against hockey balls on wet astro-turf (he learned it from Imran Khan). Man that will get u used to bouncy wickets fast.

Anyway, this is my first post so go easy on me guys. Happy to join this site

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Old February 25, 2004, 08:06 AM
SS SS is offline
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When we need to learn basic skills...we never were good in sports..what our parents do is to make us good in education and if we do that we succeed in life!!! so no point of spending money to these cricketers..because they are irresponsibles and just know how to degrade our country.
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Old February 25, 2004, 08:15 AM
chinaman chinaman is offline
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That was a very thoughtful laundry list of some dirty home works. You mentioned quite a few things that our coaches and officials need to take heart of.

Batting on wet turf, hmm, never heard of it, but seems very interesting.

BTW, welcome to the board, razabq. I'm already a fan of yours. Feel free to participate as much as possible.
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Old February 25, 2004, 09:53 AM
bhobishshot bhobishshot is offline
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Originally posted by observer
Any you need quality wickets to bat on, so that batsmen can actually "get in" and build and innings, with out worrying about a ball running along the ground or jumping off a good length as happened many times in our practice sessions.
To the coach:
So, what are the obstacles to getting enough quality wickets?

[Edited on 25-2-2004 by bhobishshot]

[Edited on 25-2-2004 by bhobishshot]
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Old February 25, 2004, 11:51 AM
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Beamer Beamer is offline
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Default Beamer\'s Suggestions

Thanks for writing and asking for a few suggestions from the members of this site. This is a first and I commend you for being candid and frank, even though we may not be qualified to answer your questions.

I agree with you about our players lacking "sports intelligence" or you can call it "cricketing sense". Our inability to stay in the wkt is our biggest problem ( both the senior and junior teams). I attribute this to one day cricket culture. Until, lets say, four or five years ago, there were no domestic competition involving three or four day matches. A whole generation of cricketers played for the country only in one day games, both domestic and intl, and developed bad habits. Its not that we excel in one day games. Even the senior members grew up with one day games and only relatively recently they switched over playing longer versions. It still shows the way they breakdown, however, the improvement is on.

To instill temperament in your players, I suggest you try to arrange for them to play overseas in other countires domestic league. England, Australia, India etc will be good choices. Since the domestic structure of Bangladesh for playing three-four day games still haven't evolved to the point were we can be very confident for the future, I suggest you send a few good batsmen overseas to play few games every year in their domestic circuit. The BCB has to get involved in this. You can lobby them to do so. We should grow the culture of longer version cricket in our junior team members rather than follow suit with the seniors who are finding the transition difficult. I beileve a good test player can also be a very good one day player. Playing longer version of the game will teach them basics, temperament , shot selection and above all, the crucial point of not throwing your wicket away. I am afraid, no amount of practice can simulate a game situation.

Anyway, good luck with the game against Ireland. I think our batsmen will come around.

[Edited on 2-26-2004 by chinaman : Add Subject to facilitate moving this post.]
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Old February 25, 2004, 11:55 AM
Zunaid Zunaid is offline
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Default Moved here

For a hopefully useful and cogent discussion.

- Z
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Old February 25, 2004, 12:03 PM
Sham Sham is offline
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I think the only way to get players to think out in the middle is by dealing with them on a one on one basis (coach and player) and talking about their problems and individually evaluating each performance, which I am sure you are doing already Mr McInnes. In other words, wisdom gained through expereince, given that the experiences are properly evaluated and learnt from.

Having said that, I am sure every BD national team coach has tried something similar with the national team players and yet senior players like Sumon still make the same stupid mistakes.
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Old February 25, 2004, 12:19 PM
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Mahmood Mahmood is offline
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Each batsman should go in, and set the mind as if this ball is the last ball of my life, I will not get out on this one. Once the ball is over, think the same on the next ball and so on.

Dont worry about the position of the game, dont feel fear or joy. It is just this ball that needs to be dealt with, I will put my 100% to play this ball.

It is a lot of hard work on the mind, but it may work.
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Old February 25, 2004, 12:50 PM
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Piranha Piranha is offline
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Default Here is my suggestion.

Mr. McInnes, here is my suggestion:

Way back in time when I was in high school, I was part of a weeklong trip to BKSP. Our sports camp included several hours of training cricket with coach Sarwar Imran.

One of the many things we did was practice batting using some innovative rules that Imran Sir (as we called him) taught us. You may have tried some of these ideas yourself.

Later on, I adopted some of his innovative batting rules to the game I played with my cousins (while playing for fun). One rule I remember particularly well is described below.

A "2 on 2" game played by four players (i.e. two pairs of batsmen) but a full set of fielders for every innings.

The batsmen's rules are:
- normal scoring except (-) 10 runs (negative 10 runs) every time the batsman is out.
- The batting pair faces a fixed number of overs each. Preferably a long time, say 15-20 overs per batting pair.

- Each pair bats for the full quota of overs.

- Fielding side gets 11 men on the field.

- The winner is decided after looking at the net runs scored after two full innings.

When I played under these rules I became aware of some things:

- I am free to bat the entire inning. The pressure of being out is much reduced. I was able to concentrate on scoring freely.
Most importantly, the guilt associated with playing a bad shot was very low. I realized that it was very important to get over a bad shot and move on with the game, rather than come back to the dressing room and go over my shot selection with a guilty conscience.

- Although I could score freely, I was aware that every bad shot I played cost me a few runs.

- I knew that getting out (i.e. -10 runs) was not a bad thing as long as I quickly got my act together and prevented myself from getting out again later.

- Everyone was playing under reduced pressure, so lots of run were being made. The deciding factor in the end always turns out to be the number of outs my pair had. This is directly related to the number of bad shots I made.

- After several games I quickly realized that the point of batting was not to go in and score like mad, but to judge every shot carefully because in the end, it is my bad shots that matter.

- Partnership spirit was improved.

I hope this helps. Obviously, this is a long term training plan, and not something that will take effect overnight.

If you need any elaboration, just let me know on this string.
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Old February 25, 2004, 01:21 PM
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great post piranha! Maybe all of us should write down how we learned/approached cricket during our formative years. The sum of everyone's writing might give the coach clues on our collective cricketing culture/habit etc..
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Old February 25, 2004, 01:24 PM
bhobishshot bhobishshot is offline
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For instant effect, buy a mini tape recorder for each player. Record the following messeges in a soothing voice:

1. Before facing each ball, take a couple of deep breath.
2. Focus on the delivery you are about to face.
3. If you don't have 100% concentration step out of the crease and start from the breathing again.

Put this in reapet loop and have each player listen to it for 1 minutes every hour. Ask them to listen to it when they go to sleep every night. Ask them to listen to it continuously before they go for batting.

For improved performance in the future, start the therapy one week before the team starts a tour or a tournamnet.

Dav could also use this with the national team. He will have to add the following messege at the beginning:

"Your goal is to build an innings not score as fast as possible"

Hope this helps.

[Edited on 25-2-2004 by bhobishshot]
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Old February 25, 2004, 01:36 PM
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adnan adnan is offline
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The no of posts from the coach are increasing and the members are finding it very warm. So do I.

But the performance curve is still going down, although we are playing in the Plate (In bangla I would say "dudh-vat").

The only rescue from it as I may imagine is a win against Australia. Or all will be in vain.

[Edited on 2/25/2004 by adnan]
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Old February 25, 2004, 02:18 PM
crazyisland crazyisland is offline
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Make them dream high. We never had a world class batsman who we can look up to. India's young players can look up to Gavaskar, Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly or Laxman among many other. Pakistan's kids can look up to Miandad, Imran Khan, Sayeed Anwar and so on. Same is true for Australia, SA or WI. Their kids can look up to their own super stars and could see how they played and how they build their innings. By the time they are ready to play at national level they are already thinking like Lara or Waugh.

I think even our national players look up to these guys. The problem is on the field they are not our role models any more but our opponents. For our national openers - they have to start believing that they can also become Waugh or Tendulkar. We have to think world class to become world class.

And as far as the under 19 team is concern we have to plant the seed of dreaming big in their brain. We need to let them know - "You need to be our first Tendulkar or Lara". We are all playing on the same level now and you not only have to play good but but better than them to beat them."

We can't keep saying "We will try our best" but start saying " We will win because we are stronger".

By the way, if you really are our U-19 coach then I have to say you are doing a great job. I think we are a lot better team than what we were even a 6 months back. We can't give up on these kids. They are no less than the best of the bests.
I really liked your idea of making the boys sing the national anthem after practice. A psychological booster.
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Old February 25, 2004, 03:24 PM
deshitrader deshitrader is offline
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Nice to see you making an effort to interact with the fans. Unfortunately, I do not have any profound answers or ideas for you. I also do not know if you will find the answers that you seek from this board. I will say, however, that I believe you have pointed to one of the greatest problems facing Bangladeshi cricketers when they make international appearances. Too often, we find batsmen failing en masse not because they lack talent, not because they lack knowledge about how to play the ball that was sent their way, but because they allowed their concentration levels to slip. And when one's concentration slips, one reverts to emotional, rash, gut reactions to negotiate the scenario with which one is faced. Among many other examples, we saw this during Bangladesh's 2nd innings in the test against Zimbabwe and we saw this during the U-19 team's recent matches.

My one suggestion would be that you speak with Dave Whatmore about this--because the two of you face this exact same problem. Neither one of you may have quick solutions to this problem, but ideas may emerge from any discussions you have. More generally, I would think that interaction between the U-19 and national team coaches is important for a country in such a formative phase. Would you care to share with us the extent of your interaction/discussions with Dave Whatmore?

Good luck in your work and thanks again for dropping in once in a while.
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Old February 25, 2004, 05:59 PM
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AsifTheManRahman AsifTheManRahman is offline
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Hey Piranha I played that game too...Imran Sir was my school team coach and I played under his supervision when I was in the school team!!!!
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Old February 25, 2004, 06:29 PM
Sham Sham is offline
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Default Piranha,

good post. Makes me regret not going to BKSP with the rest of you!

However, I think some of us are addressing a different issue altogether. Lack of concentration is a problem with BD batters, but I don't think that is the only thing our coach is referring to. When he talks about 'sports intelligence,' I think he means the inability of our players to evaluate the sitation and play accordingly at times, as deshitrader mentioned. Its not that our players get out due to the lack of concentration all the time. Often, especially in ODIs, our players dig themselves a hole and then get out trying to come out of it.

Thats the sort of situation that the coach described as having occured against Canada. After losing a couple of quick wickets after lunch when BD were 60 odd of 11 overs, the middle order batters should have just milked the singles and gotten to 120 odd or whatever was set without any problems. But they managed to dig themselves a whole and lost 6 wickets in the process. It wasn't the lack of concentration that cost us six wickets. It was the inability of our batsmen to think on their feet! That is something we need to work on and I am happy that McInnes is thinking about it and working on it. But he is right, there is no quick fix to this problem.
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Old February 25, 2004, 06:45 PM
rafiq rafiq is offline
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Sports intelligence, and the type of thinking on your feet that Sham brings up, comes from many hours watching, playing and studying the game. Things like when to rotate the strike, when to be aggressive vs passive, how to avoid being the third wicket in a hat-trick ( ). I wonder if the coach breaks down different scenarios and how to react during his chalkboard session.

One of the problems may be each batsman trying to play for himself as opposed to playing for the team. A 4 or a 6 looks a lot better than a single. Cricket is inherently an individual game, but team building and drills to emphasize team work may be useful.

Good luck against Ireland.

ps for those of you demanding Bangladesh should beat Australia, isn't that a bit unrealistic? It would be great if Bangladesh could, but it's still positive if we play well and make the match competitive.
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Old February 25, 2004, 09:28 PM
Optimist Optimist is offline
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One very interesting thing that I noticed in our matches against Canada and Uganda was that only one bowler accounted for most of our batsmen. Did our batsmen tried to go after these bowlers? Top class batsmen like Richards used to go after the most successful bowler to disrupt his line and length. But I think for players of lesser calibre it is better to see him through without loosing any wicket. But surely MccInnes knows better then me (no pun intended). So I would like to know what suggestion our coach gives to his players when a particular bowler is bowling particularly well (offcourse it will vary with situation).

[Edited on 26-2-2004 by Optimist]

[Edited on 26-2-2004 by Optimist]
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