Bradburn puts his faith in the top order despite ‘not clicking’ in the powerplay

 – Gudstory

Bradburn puts his faith in the top order despite ‘not clicking’ in the powerplay – Gudstory

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Pakistan head coach Grant Bradburn admitted that their powerful batting style is yet to be seen in India, but it is something the team has not lost sleep on yet.

Many of these important questions stem from Fakhar Zaman’s careless style. He has a career high of 33 in 11 innings since his unbeaten 180 against New Zealand in April. The team management insists on keeping all options open for the Sri Lanka match without giving away too much.

During training, Abdullah Shafiq was among the first to take to the nets with Babar Azam a few kilometers away from the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium. Whether this is a hint that they are actually looking for a change, only time will tell.

“We are very aware that the first phase of our batting has not started yet, which we think is a good thing, in a way, because we have full confidence in all the players who are capable of batting within the powerplay,” Bradburn said. “And they’ve done it before. Maybe during the last period between World Cups, the top three scored the majority of our goals, which could hurt other parts of our game.

“So, look, we have full confidence in our top order. They will click at some point. And we are open and honest to say that we haven’t gotten what we want from the powerplay yet. But we’re certainly very happy with the other stages of our game that we’ve started and we’ve done enough in Last night to get over the line and create the W, create two points for us to come out of the locker room which was the ultimate goal.”

Bradburn is big on team culture. Since he was already part of this group as on-field coach under Mickey Arthur until June 2020, he had an overview of the dynamics within the team. It also helped that he worked with a lot of young players during his short stint as PCB’s Head of High Performance Coaching until 2021.

One area Bradburn touched on was giving the players what they want in training rather than creating a set of rules that the group must follow. Perhaps it is a sign of this being put into practice that some key players like Imam-ul-Haq, Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Rizwan chose to rest at the hotel rather than push themselves in training on the eve of the match.

“We have full confidence in our players in terms of understanding exactly what they need,” Bradburn said. “Especially the day before the game, to supplement their training, to ramp up their training instead, and prepare themselves mentally and physically to deliver what we want on the field, which is a strong performance.

“We want our players to deliver an impactful performance. It’s no longer about them individually. It’s about us as a team. It’s about getting two more points. And that’s our only job. We completely trust the players to know exactly what they want.” What to do to prepare . Some have chosen to prepare in ways other than drawing more energy from their bodies today. From a coaching point of view, I’m very happy with that.”

However, Bradburn also stressed the need to move away from “relaxation training” – essentially long net sessions involving bowling or hitting balls rather than working on specific areas. Just like Saud Shakeel did before the opener, shortening his backswing to give himself a split second more against fast bowling (link to Saud Shakeel’s post-match piece).

“Early on, from our coaching standpoint, there was a lot of energy and excitement to put the pads on, get in the net and start playing on Indian soil,” Bradburn said. “The facilities here are excellent, so everyone has been wanting to train. But as a training group of course we have to balance that because firstly – we want our tanks to be full of energy for match day. We are trying to cut back on players coming out of relaxed training and we really want all aspects of their training to be done with purpose.” In terms of their clear individual roles and our clear roles at play.

On the strategic front, Bradburn spoke about team manager Mickey Arthur’s knowledge of the Sri Lankan team, having worked with them until November 2021. Bradburn was all about the signs they took from their recent experience of losing an agonizingly tight last-ball match that cost them a place in the Asia Cup final.

There was no talk of revenge. Just a simple acknowledgment of what they need to do better. “Yes, look, we are really looking forward to playing Sri Lanka,” he said. “It’s a team we’ve become familiar with recently, obviously with the Asia Cup, and we know very well that they’ve had the upper hand over us over the last year in white-ball cricket.

“But we know their players very well. We have a secret weapon, if you will, in Mickey Arthur, who has coached them before. So, in our scouting meetings this morning and our video meetings this morning, Mikey was a very impressive player.” , a very useful addition to those meetings to be able to add some complex points about batsmen and bowlers.

“We’ve worked hard to get some absolute clarity around what we’re trying to do as a unit to win cricket matches, what the process is, what the little battles are along the way to winning. And along with that we’ve also worked very, very hard to give each of our players clarity.” “It’s absolutely about their individual roles within that. So, it’s no longer about the individuals, it’s now about the group and I’m really excited just feeling like this group they’re starting to come together really well, not just on the park, not just in training, but as a group.”

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo


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