Toby Radford Bangladesh’s newly appointed High-Performance Unit head coach said that he is accentuating on evolving Test cricketers for the future. Bangladesh Cricket Board nominated Radford on a one-year contract starting from August 2020 after the post was available after the resignation of Simon Helmut.
The former West Indies assistant and batting coach, Radford had seen the Bangladesh Test team crumble during their last West Indies tour from close quarters as the hosts won both the Tests in two days.
Bangladesh’s weakness counter to the short ball was visible in the series and that possibly had a huge impression on Radford as he looks to develop the next group of players for the national team.
“I threw balls for four hours this morning, and I had a bloke throwing at them at 90 miles an hour, the idea was to test them for five-day cricket. You have to leave balls and get behind balls. Duck under them, be gutsy. Get forward. It is a test of what you want in Test cricket. It is the focus at the moment. The T20 and 50-over stuff comes later. I want to see the high-end players first. Radford told reporters on Thursday (October 29).
Radford pointed out how the greatest players in the world have the capability to become accustomed to different formats as a result of their solid technique. And since the young players in Bangladesh predominantly do not play red-ball cricket, Radford has made sure that tightening their technique is on top of his priority list.
“The whole of this 14-15 days in camp is red-ball cricket, We have got bowling machines turned up, short and swinging. It is designed to test technique and work on the areas that need working on. According to the local coaches, the young players don’t play a lot of red-ball cricket. The mindset is about scoring all the time. The problem is when you got three slips and a gully and they are coming at you, you want to be behind the ball and leaving the ball. You don’t want to be inside it.” He said.
“This whole period for me is technique, testing them, getting players that can deliver in a Test team. I also believe, and I did a presentation with all the players yesterday, that if you look at the best players in world cricket like Kane Williamson, Virat Kohli, Ben Stokes and Steve Smith, they are all good in all formats. They are all good Test players. They have a good basic technique, and once you have that, you can then develop the funky T20 stuff. I am working on them having a good, solid technique first. Let’s get the chassis of the car built before we get the alloys. I’d like to see Bangladesh be really competitive in Tests, but not just in Bangladesh,” he added.
“I think that’s the biggest learning: going into an environment that’s different than the one where they play day in day out here in Bangladesh and Asia. I think more is learned by having the blocks with the tour at the end of them. You can’t train players every day of the year just for the sake of it. There has to be a purpose. If the programme is really well written, they get a good development in the physical, tactical and mental side of the game, to make a complete cricketer.” Added Radford.