The Telegraph
Thursday , March 27 , 2014
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‘Saqlain doing wonders for us’

Samuel Badree

Dhaka: Samuel Badree has credited his success against Bangladesh to assistant coach Saqlain Mushtaq. The leg-spinner, who opened the bowling, picked up four wickets for 15 runs and was the most successful of the West Indies bowlers on Tuesday.

The former Pakistan off-spinner has been working with the West Indies bowlers, especially the spinners.

“Saqi (Saqlain) has been a calming influence… He doesn’t panic under any situation and is never anxious. He’s been doing wonders and sits back and analyses the game,” Badree said.

“Saqi isn’t too much technical but his calming presence works to our advantage. He gives advice at valuable stages and helps by finding the batsman’s weaknesses.”

The four-wicket haul has done wonders to Badree’s confidence. “This is exactly what I needed. It gave me confidence… We needed to win the match, and with the big total we posted, Bangladesh needed to come hard at us. They needed to take some risks… Thankfully, things happened that way.”

Badree feels variations are needed to be successful on these sort of slow turners. “Variety is the key. I was not predictable on Tuesday… I was mixing pace with my deliveries. Accuracy is also important. The bowlers were backed up well with some superb fielding,” he remarked.

The victory has raised West Indies’ hopes. “If you see during the last World T20 in Sri Lanka, we lost the first match to Australia and then went on to be champions. This year too we lost the first match… We’ve got experience from the last tournament.

“We’re in a tough group and are aiming to win as many matches as possible. Anything can happen… We’ve got two difficult matches coming up. We’ll be taking one at a time and have Australia next… We need to execute our plans to perfection.”

He feels fielding will also be important in this tournament. “When guys excel on the field, it lifts your spirits. (Dwayne) Bravo has been athletic and (Darren) Sammy took a blinder as well… Fielding will play an important part in this tournament.

“A lot of high catches has gone down in this tournament. If we can hold on to a few high catches and pick up a run out here and there, any game could change dramatically,” felt the leg-spinner.

To be ranked No.2 in the T20 rankings is a matter of much satisfaction for Badree. “It’s nice to up there. But I don’t look up to the rankings much. I try to bowl as best as I can. Playing for the West Indies is a matter of pride and I always play as though it’s my last game… I always give 100 per cent.

“It’s nice to have to two West Indies bowlers at the top, Sunil Narine and myself. (Krishmar) Santokie is bowling well… May be by the end of the tournament, we’ll have four West Indies bowlers at the top.”

Badree feels his partnership with Santokie, who took three wickets on Tuesday, is doing wonders. “Santokie is known for his wicket taking abilities. That is very important in T20s. We can thus put the batsmen under pressure. If we can get a few early wickets in the first six overs, it works to our advantage. Our partnership is working well.”

The leg-spinner feels West Indies need to stay calm under pressure against Australia on Friday. “It’s a pressure game for both teams. They’ve a powerful batting order with Warner and Finch. It will be about keeping calm under pressure.

“We need to do the basics right. The conditions will favour us more… The execution of plans under pressure will be vital. We need the victory and we’re all keyed up,” he said.