Pakistan coach backs top order batting ahead of Sri Lanka clash
Pakistan’s head coach Grant Bradburn has backed the team’s top-order batting ahead of the Green Shirts ICC World Cup clash against Sri Lanka, despite an unimpressive run in recent games.
Addressing a press conference ahead of the match against Sri Lanka in Hyderabad, Bradburn highlighted that the team’s focus on continuous improvement.
“We’re becoming confident as a group and as a coaching staff. We’re very keen on critiquing our performance, especially when we win,” the head coach said.
“Not only when we lose, which is obviously common, but we’re really searching for our formula and what happens consistently when Pakistan wins games of cricket,” he said.
He acknowledged that the team’s batting in the power play had not met expectations, but Bradburn expressed confidence in his top-order batsmen.
“We’ve got full faith in our top order. They will click at some stage. And we’re open and honest to say that we’re not getting what we would like out of the Powerplay as yet.”
“Our full faith is with all of our players that could take up that position. We’ve got four to five options that we could put out at the top of the order and we’d be very confident that they can deliver not only the runs but the tempo that we want to play at.”
“We want to create a tempo for the middle order and the back end of our innings to build from. We’re not getting that at the moment, so those are discussions that we’re having, but we’ve got full faith in all of our options at the top,” the coach said.
Bradburn added: “We’re certainly very happy with other phases of our game which have kicked into gear and did enough the other night to get over the line and create two points for us coming out of that dressing room which was the ultimate goal.
We also look at it as six phases of the game. There’s the Powerplay, the mid-phase, and the close, obviously, in both innings. So, our simple focus is to win more of those phases than the opposition, and you generally win the game,” he said.
Replying to a question, he highlighted Hasan Ali’s contributions to the team, saying: “He bats, he bowls, he fields, and he’s a live wire in the dressing room always full of positivity.”
‘We know their players very well’
Reflecting on Pakistan’s preparation for the game against Sri Lanka, Bradburn agreed that the islanders had an upper hand over Pakistan in recent white-ball encounters but emphasised that players have become very familiar.
“We know their players very, very well. We have a secret weapon in Mickey Arthur, who has coached them before. So, in meetings this morning, Mickey was a very handy addition to those meetings to be able to add in some intricate points around their batters and bowlers,” he said.
Bradburn emphasised team unity as well by saying that it is now not about individuals; it’s now about the group. He highlighted the team’s efforts to achieve clarity on individual roles and responsibilities within the squad.
The coach discussed the unique challenges posed by Indian conditions, acknowledging that these conditions were foreign to many players.
He underlined the importance of scouting and research in understanding pitch conditions and praised the ground staff for their support.
Regarding the decision not to announce the playing XI in advance, Bradburn explained the team’s desire to be less one-dimensional and highlighted Pakistan’s versatility in playing different combinations.
“We want to be showing that we can win games of cricket in multiple ways.”
“With that, we’ve got a number of combinations that we can put out. We can play four seamers. We can play three genuine spinners and a part-time spinner. We’ve got five spin options, really, should I say, not half,” he concluded.