On tour with Mike - WT20 so far

On tour with Mike - WT20 so far

The mark of a good side is that you still win when you're not at your best and I think that's a sign of this team's development - but in addition in these conditions we haven't quite nailed a performance that's 100% pleasing. I think we were pretty good against England - in Chittagong evening games we've seen par scores of around the 190s, so chasing 170 on a good wicket was a good bowling performance, and obviously the batsmen did a fine job in the five-odd overs.

We were all very disappointed with the last little bit against South Africa and hopefully it doesn't come back to haunt us. The overall performance in all disciplines was good, apart from the finishing touches you'd expect from a relatively experienced batting group group. If we were in that situation again with plenty if wickets in the tank, ideally the game doesn't go to the last over where pressure and the skill of Steyn comes into it.

The match v Netherlands was a solid effort - I don't think we were ever going to blow them off the park. There's been talk of net run rate but that hasn't been a factor since halfway through the tournament. As soon as England beat Sri Lanka net run rate flew out the window and that was actually quite good, because we knew that if we won two games of cricket, we'd be in the semi finals. It's far better than going into a game knowing you have to win in sixteen overs or what have you. 
 
I think Kane has taken to the role at the top of the order, in fact he's been exceptional. After all the questions asked about his ability to score at a strike rate, in fact he's been the one that's given the side the required momentum in the first power play, playing proper cricket shots.  Hopefully he can go on to be the next Jayawardene, who was the first to dominate a T20 World Cup opening the batting using orthodox cricketing shots. 

As for the guys in the squad who haven't got on the park yet, that's difficult in any situation. There's always disappointment and it's a matter of making sure they're ready to play. The fact we're playing all our pool games at Chittagong where the wickets have more pace and dew is a major factor and brings in different players from our squad than originally expected. If we were playing in Dhaka, all three spinners would have had a run by now and the seamers would have been sitting on the sidelines, conditions have dictated that. When you pick a squad you pick it to cover all conditions. If we're good enough to make the semi-finals and head to Dhaka I think we've got players to suit and that will certainly change the balance of our side.  

It's all good tournament experience - there's a number of guys here for whom this is their first World Cup - the likes of Jimmy Neesham, Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Anton Devcich, Mitch McClenaghan etc, they've got a taste of it and they now know what it's like. Overall, we're quietly building a much improved record in Twenty20, having won seven of our last nine games, and gone from ninth to seventh in the rankings on the back of a dramatic increase in points, so we're starting to show good signs for the future in the shortest format. 

There's been a lot of talk about the dew, and I think it's very disappointing that a World Cup is being played and we don't have the spraying agent used in other parts of the world. Playing here at this time of the year, dew was always going to be a factor and it makes the toss too much of an influence, that's something that should have been thought of. 

We had a long break between the South Africa and Netherlands games. It's a bit easier when you're a coach when there's downtime, because there's always something to do, there's tours coming up and selections or schedules to work on as well as players to sit and talk with, so there's not always a lot of spare time. It does give you a chance to work on your own fitness though which is something that sometimes gets neglected when you're touring most places or even at home with other priorities. We have one of the fittest support staff crews going around, when you spend so much time on tours that end up running into each other, it's really important to keep the body and mind sharp and ticking over.

The team has gelled well together off the park, which is a big thing in places like this where otherwise you can spend a lot of time in isolation.  As a group the fact we enjoy each other's company is fortunate as we can't leave the hotel anyway for security reasons, unless to go to the ground or a group dining outing at our local Ambrosia Restaurant.

Thanks for reading, we hope you've enjoyed the tournament so far, and we'll certainly be giving our all to make sure we continue on to Dhaka.  

Mike H 

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