Shaun Pollock’s interview

‘Bangladesh should be able to beat others consistently’

There’s a small diner in the lobby of Hilton Hotel in Trinidad. He bought a sandwich and chips for lunch there. While the sandwich was being made, he gave an interview standing right there. Former South African captain Shaun Pollock is a commentator at this T20 World Cup. And the interview is also all about T20 cricket.

Utpal Shuvro, from Trinidad

Chief Sports Editor, Prothom Alo

Prothom Alo:

What’s your take about South Africa’s performance so far? Seven wins in seven matches before the semifinals but almost all the wins were indeed a torture on the nerves…

Yes, it has been. It hasn’t been very polished performances but they found a way. They have shown some good character. Sometimes that is more important than a polished performance. If you just find a way to get over the line and that’s what they have managed to do.

Prothom Alo:

Do you think that it will actually help South Africa in a crunch situation like semifinals and finals?

Yeah, I think it will because, at some stage you always face elimination in these tournaments. And, in all honesty they have faced crunch games in a way if they didn’t get it right, they might have been eliminated. So, I think it does help them. I still think they will be searching to try and put together a better performance from a team perspective. They have had a few individuals doing good things but I definitely think they will be looking for that.

Prothom Alo:

I know you have answered this question so many times before. South Africa couldn’t win a World Cup even after so many years. Don’t you think it’s high time to win a World Cup now?

Yeah, we would obviously want to win. They got into the semifinals of the fifty-over now they have got into this semifinal. If you keep getting into semifinals you’ll hopefully will win at some stage and then see what you can do.

Prothom Alo:

The only ODI world title South Africa won was in Bangladesh. So, you must have some good memories of Dhaka from winning in that knockout world cup in 1998?

Yeah, and the Commonwealth Gold Medal. We beat Australia in the final there for the gold medal. That was also a good memory.

Prothom Alo:

Have you seen a little bit of Bangladesh's performance in this tournament?

Yeah, we saw a couple of games. I saw one game that they played in St Vincent against Netherlands. I just think they have got some good players. It’s just that they don’t seem to find the consistency that’s required for this kind of tournaments. I think they have always got the potential to beat anyone on their day. But we have been telling that for many many years. I think as a team, they need to move past that so that you can say well, they can consistently beat people rather than just beating them on their day.

Prothom Alo:

Where do you think the problem is, maybe it’s a confidence thing or a leadership thing?

I don’t know the ins and outs. Only thing from the outside is I see that a lot of things keep changing. The support staff, the captains and everything… is a lot that changes all the time. And, I’m not convinced that that’s the best thing for a team. I think stability in any walk of life is important.

Prothom Alo:

The last game against Afghanistan was very interesting. Bangladesh had suddenly got a chance to be in the semifinals. Chasing 116 in 12.1 overs was not easy but I think any team of the world would go for that. However Bangladesh, actually the captain admitted after the match that after losing three wickets they only tried to win the game and not to qualify in the semifinals. Do you think that’s right?

Yes, I mean if they coming out to try and qualify and that was the plan then that’s good. If after certain time they thought that we can’t qualify but do you still want to win the game, you can’t have too much of a problem. But, I think you obviously would have tried for as long as possible to try and win the game cause what do want, you want qualification either way. I mean, I don’t know when they had decided not to keep going for the score, not to try and qualify, I don’t know that. I didn’t see the game and I’m not privy to what the captain’s thoughts were. But, in a same state I think I would have been thinking to try and win.  

Prothom Alo:

So, which team is your favorite to win this tournament?

You wouldn’t have thought that Afghanistan would have been there at this stage of the tournament. There weren’t too many who would have picked that. But, they have shown that they have got capabilities. They have beaten New Zealand and they have beaten Australia. They are a side that doesn’t often play together. I think it’s being quite unique that the real strength and the real development of those individuals have been kind of on franchise leagues around the world. That’s where they have all learned their trades and it’s actually wonderful to see that all those skills and all the potential players have come back together and perform. We see a lot of them in our SA20. Noor Ahmad’s there, we have seen Gurbaz, Naveen we’ve seen and obviously Rashid Khan plays in South Africa. We have seen them play in IPL. So, I think it’s great for them that they have managed to get it together and structured enough to be in the semifinals now. It’s obviously a new experience for them so we’ll have to see how they get on.

Prothom Alo:

Bangladesh have been playing Test cricket for last 24 years and Afghanistan is relatively young. And the difference between the two teams is that Afghanistan seems to be more driven than Bangladesh. Do you think Bangladesh should have made more progress in those long years?

I don’t think you judge a T20 performance on who plays Test cricket. Well I’m sure they know they are hungry. Everything is a new experience for them. They want to play as well as they can. There’s a desperate hunger to every time they get a chance to show what they are capable of. Bangladesh has been around for a long time so you can understand why there’s new energy. But, I don’t know what the Bangladesh issue is.I can’t give an answer on that.

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