Hashan Tillakaratne, Bangladesh women head coach, is feeling optimistic after the conclusion of their series against India. The Sri Lankan talks freely about the state of his squad and their future goals.
Considering how difficult it was to play effectively against a top-tier team like India, I believe the performance to be monumental. BCB deserves all the credit for making sure we had everything we needed to be ready. The victory was monumental because it gave them reason to believe in themselves; we are fully aware of the further obstacles that lie ahead, but we also know that we can prepare more efficiently for them if we perform well against strong opponents. I believe we have advanced to the next level, with significant contributions from young women.
Did you believe, when you took over, that your squad could compete with powerhouses like India?
I observed no shortage of talent when I saw them play in the qualifying rounds and the Asia Cup; they simply needed some more practise. It was tough, but I enjoyed it because they were motivated to become better.
When did you first realize you could win against India?
Bangladesh women head coach Our confidence in our ability to defeat India grew after the second Twenty20 International. There were a few setbacks, but ultimately, they began to believe, and that was the most promising development in our cricket.
You’ve always shown a lot of interest in strengthening the team’s bats. How do you feel about the batting unit’s overall performance in the series?
I anticipate the batting to take some time. Having faith in yourself and your coach is crucial. We just had a really good chat with the ladies after two poor performances (in the first two T20s) and came up with a batting strategy. We devised a strategy to get 220. We had two anchors in Lata and Pinky, and we were confident in our bowling ability. The other batters had to work around Pinky and Lata, who had designated duties. Pinky hit a home run and accepted the blame. She put in a lot of effort to earn her hundred, but she also benefited from the generosity of others.
Do you think the anchor position is necessary in women’s cricket, given that current men’s cricket involves attacking the bowlers from both ends?
Yes, there are distinctions between men’s and women’s cricket. Someone needs to hold the lone end as the rest of you bat around her. The fact that we are performing the fundamentals correctly, such as having confidence in our own abilities, is a positive step forward. Someone had to take charge, so we did, and we made things as straightforward as possible. Simply said, we adhere to the fundamentals.
From a bowling perspective, you fielded two leg spinners in Rabeya and Fahima and another, Swarna, who was injured and could not play. It seems that three leg spinners may be played simultaneously. Given the high cost of certain leg spinners, are you willing to accept the risk?
See, wickets will fall to your leg spinners. Rabeya’s bowling style and obvious skill and freedom of movement were on full display for everyone to see. She is free to just take pleasure in the centre ground. In my opinion, our spin bowling assault is the finest in the world right now. Dhinuk was vital in the group’s growth, and their pre-tournament spin camp went swimmingly. After mastering the technical aspects, we moved on to the tactics at the spin camp. Runs usually leak from leg spinners, and they won’t feel at ease if you’re not friendly with them. We’ve set the stage for them to go out and be themselves in the hub. Swarna is one of our best players, and we were sad that the rest of the globe couldn’t get a good look at her throughout the series. Because of her height, playing against her leg spin bowling is challenging. Why not go with three-legged spinners if the track allows spin? That’s something more we can consider for the future. Before making that judgement, we need to assess the opponent’s capabilities.
Bangladesh women head coach Give Marufa a grade, please.
Superb youthful talent, and now getting some recognition in women’s cricket. Foreign nations are sure to hold her in high esteem. She’s a fast learner and a great student of the game. The issue is, as a child, she doesn’t feel any pressure, and she plays with a grin on her face because she’s having fun, which likely contributes to her success Bangladesh women head coach.
Do you think she would be able to create more speed if she bowled a little more upright?
That’s exactly accurate. We’re now honing her fast bowling, and we’ve noticed that if she can get her motion a bit more upright, she can put a yard or two more speed on the ball.
In your opinion, how good of a captain is Nigar Sultana?
She is a flexible captain, and the fact that we are headed in the same direction makes working with her a breeze. She has a well-rounded understanding of strategy and technique, and she relishes the challenge of competing against the best.
Bangladesh women head coach Jahanara, Rumana, and Salma (who were selected in the team but didn’t play much) were among the veteran players that Bangladesh benched for the India series. Bangladesh women head coach This was a bold statement, but can we confidently argue that this series is a watershed moment for women’s cricket in Bangladesh?
It’s not that I have something against old people. The problem is that there aren’t many promising young players, and the 2024 World Cup is rapidly approaching. We haven’t shut the door on anybody, and we recognise the need for a mix of young and old perspectives. The door is always open for someone who is good enough or doing well. They deserve a great deal of praise for everything they’ve done to advance cricket in Bangladesh. They are always welcome to try out for their national team if they do well enough.
How far have you come in the field since you joined, which seems to be your main focus?
Bangladesh women head coach, We put a premium on fielding, and we take pride in it even when it’s not our strong suit. We have limited unit fielding, thus our effectiveness is limited. The game is effectively over if we can prevent 20 runs while also making two catches and two run-outs. Bangladesh women head coach We’ll be putting more of an emphasis on our fielding, so they’ll need to be in better shape to handle the pressure.
Do you think this alliance has what it takes to take on the world’s major powers?
Bangladesh women head coach, We took on the world’s number two power and won, so we can take on anybody. They’re pretty competent, and in my opinion they possess the talent and wherewithal to compete with any team in the world on any given day. It’s a procedure, and there will be many difficult stages; you’ll need to use your expertise to overcome these obstacles.