Bangladesh’s newly-appointed fielding coach Ryan Cook admitted that the Tigers need heroes to develop a robust fielding culture in their side. Bangladesh’s fielding was pretty ordinary during the second Test against Zimbabwe in Dhaka with debutant Khaleel Ahmed dropping a slew of chances.
”’In South Africa, we’ve got a lot of players one can aspire to [become like] Jonty Rhodes and Herschelle Gibbs. Sometimes, lack of heroes [can be demotivating] and I think they must set their own standards and they must be the best fielding team in the world. And there is no doubt we are capable of doing that,” Cook, who was appointed in July ahead of the West Indies tour, told Cricbuzz on Monday.
”I think the chances were tough to start with. In the first Test, we caught 91 per cent of the catches, which I thought was outstanding. In the second game, there were some tough chances that went down. The boys have come around and said that they are going to work hard on their catching even more to make sure that doesn’t happen.
”It is very difficult [keeping concentration]. If someone can come up with a drill to keep the guys on the field for six hours and then [ensure they] catch at the end of six hours, then I’m all ears. But they’re professionals – a doctor in the last surgery of the day has to be the same as the doctor in the first surgery of the day. And you hope that they keep their observation and focus.”
Cook, who has worked as the head coach at the Gary Kirsten Cricket Academy in Cape Town, pointed out how slow wickets in Bangladesh could be one of the reasons that the fielding has suffered.
”Some of it is from the history. In South Africa, from a young age, you might have four slips and a gully. With the pitches you play on here, you might not have that, you might have two slips.
“So, there is a lot of exposure to slip fielding, while here there is more exposure [in terms of] short leg and silly point [fielding positions]. Obviously, through producing different wickets you’ll probably get more guys fielding in the slips. But good slip fielders come in pairs or sometimes three and four. It’s important to be able to get a rapport and trust with the slip fielder standing next to you, so it’s important that we have continuity in that,” he said.
Cook said that the team management are planning on developing fielders through a rotation policy.
”We’ve tried to take the approach of rotation policy in order to get as many players [as possible] to upskill. So, if we are short or a guy’s injured, you can always bring another fielder into that position, who is quite good at that position.
”Obviously, when you look at the really successful slip cordons and you’d have Mathew Hayden, Shane Warne. Mark Waugh, and they were there for years and years, so they could develop the trust. We can build that over time.”
Bangladesh will face West Indies at home in two Tests, three T20Is and as many ODIs beginning with the first Test on November 22 at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong.