How is the environment?
It is good. Quite fun and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I am first time doing as a head coach so I have to oversee everything. Certain things you can control and there are things you cannot control.
BPL provides great opportunities for local players; it is a big stage for them. Also for foreign players it is a good platform to launch for bigger leagues like IPL.
You played for Hampshire in 80’s. Then you came to coaching. But you did not get much recognition initially.
I played in the 80s. I was an attacking player. I would perhaps more suit now (smile). I felt I faced restriction as player and then also as a coach. It was all about head to the ball, high elbow. Cricket was very traditional in England back then. It was all boring stuff. Then T20 came along and maybe I saw where the game was going. I saw better and different ways of doing things. As a coach, as a player you have to think outside the box and I am a big outside of the box player. That is why probably I am getting reasonable success at what I am doing.
How did baseball philosophy impact on your thoughts?
Cricket was always hand-dominated. It was all about timing. Then we saw the arrival of T20, hundreds. Power is a big thing; players need no know how to generate power whether you are a big guy or a small guy. The bigger guy can muscle while the small guys need rhythm and timing. That is how they may hit big sixes. You have to look at the individual player and work individually.
When the timing is off, then energy leaks out. See, what I wanna do is get the rhythm and timing of your movements and the position of your movement spot on so that then you can maximise every fall. Well, I mean maximise every ball. I mean, I don't mean hitting every ball for six. You don't do that.
But if it's a single, you hit it to one, if it's a two, you get a two. And what I wanna do is be able to get create dots into ones, ones into twos. If you can hit a two, you can hit four as well. So it's just maximising every ball really. Giving them an understanding of that and realizing that there is pressure as well. And pressure in a game makes you do funny things. So it's controlling that pressure.
In Bangladesh they are not big guys. They have to understand. They cannot just whack it they need timing, the position into and the body awareness. When the timing is off energy is leaked. What I am trying to do is help them understand positioning. If you can position well you may maximize your shot. The pressure is the match makes funny things. Controlling the pressure is important.
May you talk about your meeting with England batting coach Graham Thorpe in 2015?
When I met Thorpy, I met him in a car park, so I must have looked a bit dodgy, me in the van, taking this stuff out, showing him. And he said, you know what, that's quite groundbreaking. And then he got me in England and I worked with England. This was just before 2015. I think they didn't have the right players.
So they were trying to hit, but they had the players were wrong, players were the wrong mindset and then in the 2015 World Cup England failed to go beyond group stage.
That didn't surprise me because of the players they had. And then they got rid of coaches, players, and they brought in Trevor Bayliss, who's brilliant and Eoin Morgan, who transformed English cricket. And then suddenly the mindset was different and they got the right players in at the right time and they had a plan, right? How are we going to become the best white ball team in the world? And they had a plan and it was a structure for four or five years, and that's the thing.
You cannot make it in one series or season. It is a process; you need to trust the process and be involved with it for a long time. It takes you to have a plan, you see, and that's why when I go to counties, when I go to teams, I emphasise on process.
Two weeks, it's fine, I'll make a difference. But you won't make a big difference. You need to. It's a process, so you need to trust the process and you need to be involved a lot for longer period of time you're planning to do.
The players need to trust you constantly. After two and half weeks only now they are feeling the process, feel heavy bat and ball here and the reasons behind them. They understand now. They must feel. That is most important.
The moment before a batsman hit you call the holding of the bat as ‘Elite Hands.’ May you explain?
You got to maintain the angle and the space. When the batter lifts the bat to hit the ball, the combination of the front hand, wrist and shoulder is called elite hands. The longer this alignment is maintained until the ball is hit, the farther the ball will go. In baseball, it's called the 'money-gap'. Baseball players who can position their arms like that have an open chest. As long as you may keep it open the ball will go further. The further you can put the ball the more money you will earn. That is why it is called money gap. Cricket is also like that. The person who hit more sixes earns more (smile).
Talk about your method and acceptance.
Initially, people used to remain safe and conservative. But gradually they are starting to understand me. The training method is vital. One has to undergo functional training. I can increase hand speed in 10 minutes but one has to maintain it.
Can you differentiate the training method between a 70-kg batter and 90-kg one?
It is about functional movement. It is not about gym and deadlifting. To hit the ball harder you need stronger hand and forearms. That gives you power but again power may come from back leg and ground
You train lean guy like Afif (Hossain) who hits the ball hard
Yes, He is different. His relies on his rhythm and timing that is the key to him. He does not need to muscle the shots. He can score runs with a great rate without trying so. Trying that would be a mistake.
Tell us about Suryakumar Yadav. Any explanation for his incredible T20 batting?
Surya has amazing hand-eye coordination. He stays ahead of the match. It seems as if two balls are ahead. He always knows what the ball will be. His hands, wrists are like rubber…these are his great strengths. Indians and Asians are great with wrists. Using the wrist to generate power is phenomenal thing. Maybe he will be a completely new generation of cricketers in the future, their representative!
This is your second time in Bangladesh. What is your analysis about T20 batting of Bangladesh?
They are skilled. Their touch is good and they also have power. No need for a lot of power you need enough. But how you utilise it is also important. If you use the maximum, you can get good output. I am here for six weeks. The boys are enjoying the training. But they have to continue it. If you stop after 6 six weeks nothing will happen. Honestly BCB should appoint me (smile) because they now need power hitting. Just watching YouTube videos will not fill that gap. Anybody can watch videos and try to copy but when you don’t understand the mechanism it is dangerous. It would not yield result.
Are you proud of your achievements? You have started coaching PowerHitting. Now there is a huge market for it.
Of course I'm proud. I started and kept at it. Now its market is also very big. That's why I'm here. After that I will go to America and I will go to Pakistan. Hope to go to IPL as well. The game is changing very quickly. So you might be fine if you stay within your box. But there will be no improvement. After a while you will fall back. Now I am 54 and still I look forward to do new things.
How do you see T20 cricket after 10 years?
Test cricket will be around. Not sure about 50-over cricket. But a lot more T20 will be played. There will be various leagues around the world for young players. There will be surge of T20 experts who will only play T20. They will keep the ball hitting the harder. The skill of the bowlers will also improve. They must improve. Like everything else it will move forward and it will be exciting.
How do you see the future of players like Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson in T20s?
Both are very good cricketers. There are spaces for these players. In slow pitches where you may not go for a bang you need someone to anchor. Everyone else will hit around him. You will need one anchor, the skill will still be relevant.