He has been considered as one of finest batsmen Bangladesh have ever produced. Mohammad Ashraful, the former Bangladesh captain, in an interview with the CricketSoccer on Wednesday, gave credit to Chandika Hathurusingha for the recent success of Bangladesh.
Here are the excerpts:
CricketSoccer: How would you describe this epic win of Bangladesh against Australia?
Mohammad Ashraful: It’s really a big achievement for Bangladesh Cricket. Australia is literally a giant in World Cricket. They are five times World Champion. They have ruled the world of cricket for nearly two decades. Though they are going through a build up period, still defeating them in any format should be considered to be a milestone for Bangladesh Cricket. I would like to congratulate all the players, coach and support staffs of the national team
CS: Is this the weakest Australia team ever?
Ashraful: It’s difficult to comment whether they are weakest ever or not, depending on the result of one single match. But I believe that this Bangladesh team is stronger than the current Aussie side. There is a big difference in this two teams right now. If you see the current Bangladesh squad, you will find out at least 5-6 players who have huge experience in international cricket. They are tried and tested in every condition. The likes of Shakib al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim are seasoned in all formats of the game. There is a perfect balance of youth and experience in the current Bangladesh squad. Where as the Australia team lacks experience. They have only two match winners. David Warner and Steve Smith. They have to take a lot of responsibility, thus, have to bear extra pressure. If Australia is to do well, both Warner and Smith have to deliver. That’s why I would tell that this Bangladesh team is far better than Australia side.
CS: Is it players’ performance or home advantage that clicked for Bangladesh?
Ashraful: Obviously the cricketers have performed under the pressure. But I would say that Bangladesh utilised the home advantage properly. Earlier, we couldn’t use the home advantage. But now, we have realized the importance of utilising the home condition, especially against the teams outside the sub-continent. You see, we have played against Australia on a complete turner. I would give credit to coach Chandika Hathurusingha for this superb planning.
CS: How would you assess the performance of coach Chandika Hathurusingha?
Ashraful: Ohh, Hathurusingha is doing a wonderful job. He has taught the Bangladesh players how to utilize the home condition. He has changed the entire mentality of the cricketers. Now we have started to believe that we can defeat any team in the world. I would like to mention one thing. You must remember the 2015 series between India and Bangladesh. We hosted India and played all the three one day international matches on seaming track. Now that’s called homework. Chandika Hathurusingha observed India’s weakness against pace bowling and that’s why didn’t hesitate to play the matches on pacer friendly tracks. And the result was that India was defeated handsomely in that ODI series. Hathurusingha has the skill to read the opponent’s strength and weakness and plan accordingly. His homework is the secret behind all this success.
CS: Sunil Joshi was appointed a consultant for the spinners. Was it a fruitful move on Bangladesh Cricket Board’s part?
Ashraful: Yes of course. Joshi was a left arm spinner. It’s very natural that he will have a great understanding with Shakib and Taijul Islam. Joshi is an experienced spinner on sub continental condition. He must have been a good motivator for the Bangladesh spinners.
CS: How would you describe Shakib’s performance?
Ashraful: Shakib has been an integral part of the Bangladesh cricket for last 11-12 years. He is world number one all rounder in Test. And don’t forget that Bangladesh have been the 8th or 9th team in test cricket in all these years. So being on top of Test cricket, that too after representing a country with a low ranking, it reflects the greatness of Shakib itself. He has been a special player for Bangladesh Cricket.
CS: Can Bangladesh win the series from here?
Ashraful: They should. and if that happens, it will be a milestone for us. Let’s pray for a 2-0.