Great India Drive

Captain Speak

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Captain Speak

Saturday, 15 June 2019 | ICC Business Corporation

 If there's a doubt that Lungi  is not 100 percent fit, would you still keep him?

Tricky one, because we're in a position now where we need to win five games out of five. So you want to have your best guys available for selection. We are trying to make sure that if he's not 100 percent or even 90 percent ready for the game, and even if it's going to shorten game or a bit rain around, is it worth the risk. So that is the conversation that we have spoken about. Yes, so probably the right call to make would be to say that if he's not ready, you just give him a little bit more time to see if he can play the next four games, which is going to be big.

How much are you drawing on your experience from the IPL and facing Afghanistan’s spinners?

I think what's clear in the world of cricket now is that you can't call teams minors anymore. You can't call them weaker sides because they have the ability and the players in their dressing room to change a game. You need two or three guys in any game to stand up and win you a game. And they've got those players. Obviously Rashid Khan is probably the standout for them in the fact that he's proven in T20 cricket that he's certainly, probably the best leg spinner in the world in T20 cricket. In 50-over cricket, it gives him a bit more time but you also don't have to attack him as much as you do in one-day cricket. So it's really important for us to make sure that the learnings there is from the players that's played against him in the IPL, that we share that knowledge in the dressing room and just make sure we annihilate that threat. If he bowls and he's not getting wickets, then it gives us an opportunity to make sure that we can get some players towards other bowlers.

How different is it to prepare and also play a day/night game?

We've played a lot of day/night cricket. You just try to alter your preparation, just get used to the lights, because every place you play day/night cricket the lights feel different. This ground looks like there's a few pockets that are not as bright as the middle. So it goes a little bit darker towards the end of the — so it was good to have a night practice on Thursday to see what was going on.

Could you explain what changes from a batting and a bowling point of view when you have such short, straight boundaries?

I think from a spinning point of view, guys would generally want to attack straight. That sounds obvious. But that tells you that spinners will probably drag their length, try to drag their length and make you hit square. So if bowlers do bowl like that they actually take a little bit of their weaponry away because they're just short of that perfect length. And then you can score naturally off any spinner. So, there is a pro to it, but there's also a negative to that. And hopefully we can take it to our advantage. And from a seamless point of view, yeah, you want to be making sure that you are making the guys play square. But also there's no point in just bowling short all the time.

This is the venue where you guys lost. How much are you drawing on that experience?

We did — the nice thing is we played, we've batted on this wicket. I suppose a positive from playing under the conditions like this is the last time we played here the ball didn't spin much. So that is a weapon that Afghanistan has or have. They've got a very good spin attack. And if you get them on a surface that is a bit slow it does spin a bit. They just as dangerous as WI, England, Australia with their bowling attacks because they've got guys that can get wickets all the time. Hopefully that's the same tomorrow. Hopefully the spin doesn't assist too much.

 Courtesy — © ICC Business Corporation


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