Litton: Bangladesh 'really can't play power cricket' and it hurts them

Litton: Bangladesh ‘really can’t play power cricket’ and it hurts them

Litton Das believes Bangladesh’s lack of striking skills could be a problem ahead of this year’s T20 World Cup in Australia, scheduled for October-November. It was one of the main reasons, he said, for the team’s five-wicket loss in the third T20I, which gave West Indies a 2-0 series win.

“Nobody in our team is as powerful as [Kyle] Mayer – they [West Indies batters] can clear large lots at will,” Litton said. “We are not capable of it. We always think about hitting all fours. They hit over six. This is the difference that always exists. We are behind most of the big T20 teams. We have a lot to work on. We really can’t play power cricket.”

Bangladesh hit two more ovens than the West Indies [11 vs nine], but the home side hit 11 sixes to Bangladesh’s five in Thursday’s game. Overall in the T20I series, West Indies reached a total of 21 sixes – six more than Bangladesh – while Bangladesh reached 31 fours, compared to West Indies’ 23.

“We always talk about T20 being a game of skill, technique and tactics, but I think sometimes you have to hit hard,” Litton said. “We will play the World Cup in a country where the pitches are big. It will hurt us. The only thing we can do is play a lot of matches, so that we can approach the tournament with confidence.”

Litton felt that the fly-half’s lack of runs also hurt Bangladesh. They used two different opening sets in three matches. On Thursday, Anamul Haque, Litton’s partner, fell from the third ball of the fifth. In game two, Litton and Haque were dismissed inside eight balls of innings, while in game one, Munim Shahriar and Haque were both back in the middle of the fourth.

“We didn’t hit very well,” said Litton, who scored 49 of 41 in Game 3. “We didn’t do it in the first game, and we didn’t hit well in the second game either, except for Shakib bay. I thought we were playing in batter-friendly conditions. If the first, including me, had played correctly, it would have allowed the middle order to express itself.”

“The only thing we can do is play a lot of matches, so that we can approach the tournament with confidence”

Litton Das

Defending 164 in the third and final T20I, Bangladesh started with spinners and did well, but then lost their way. After taking three opening wickets, Bangladesh were unable to contain Nicholas Pooran and Mayers, who added 85 runs for the fourth wicket to turn the game around. The two pace bowlers targeted Shoriful Islam and Mustafizur Rahman, who went for 40 in three overs between them.

The fact that their two left-arm spinners, Shakib and Nasum Ahmed, barely played against the pair could also have played a part in the loss. Shakib took a wicket on his first pass while Nasum threw a convenient first spell before the two were wrapped. However, Nasum came back again in the 15th to break the Mayers-Pooran stand.

“A right-handed bowler can bowl a right-handed batsman – but that’s entirely the captain’s decision,” Litton said. “You wouldn’t have asked this question if this decision had been made the right way. The captain runs the pitch, not the other ten players. We have to follow this decision.”

Litton said the way Pooran and Mayers hit the bowlers put the bowlers under pressure because they knew the West Indies batters could easily cross the boundary. “We didn’t execute well with the ball,” he said. “Pooran and Mayers hit the right balls for the boundary as well. It was to their credit – they play powerful cricket. We can’t play that way. I think it plays on the minds of the bowlers that they can’t really make a mistake. [against such a batting line-up].”

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s correspondent in Bangladesh. @isam84

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