We need to upgrade ourselves: KhadkaNepal’s dream of playing sub-continental archrivals India and Pakistan in the upcoming ACC Asia Cup was shattered due to a poor batting performance which came back haunting the team one more time.
Nepal’s dream of playing sub-continental archrivals India and Pakistan in the upcoming ACC Asia Cup was shattered due to a poor batting performance which came back haunting the team one more time. Nepal finished in fourth position in the qualifying tournament in Malaysia, which sends only the winners to September 14-28 Asia Cup, after they lost crucial matches against Hong Kong, Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). National team skipper Paras Khadka talked to Adarsha Dhakal of the Post about Nepal’s performance and the road Nepal cricket needs to take in the build up to future tournaments. Excerpts:
How does it feel to lose an opportunity to clash against world cricket’s Test giants?
It feels really terrible. Its sad that we missed a golden opportunity but cannot put blame on anyone else. We could not pull off a team performance in any of the games and I couldn’t lead with the bat. We did not play good cricket during this tournament. As a senior batsman and captain, I take the responsibility.
What do you think is the reason behind our batting failures?
Maybe we have not upgraded our game. Everything we do
is on our own and we don’t have much to rely upon except training ourselves.
Still with exposures that could have been enough for us, we should have done better in this tournament than what the results show. Batting has and will always be a question mark for a long time moving forward. We have almost the best players available. Its just that this week we were not up to the mark. We need to upgrade our batting standards if we have to compete against better teams in future.
Our batsmen were given more batting hours during build-up to the Qualifier. But we still struggled against lowly ranked teams in Malaysia. Why are we not getting consistent?
Consistency is always going to be the major factor among all the upcoming Associate teams. Everyone is basically trying on their own and helping each other without external helps. Consultants have come and given good advice but even for them they need six to seven months of work to produce better results. We might need to change the way we train, then we can plan and move forward. The upgradation is always required in terms of strategy.
We often look comfortable in Associate cricket while making 200 runs in a ground familiar to us. Were the bowlers up to their mark this time?
Putting too much blame on bowlers will be unfair. As a team we did not shine except few individuals. Bowling was also slightly not up to the mark but it could have been better for sure. These are new times in Nepal cricket. We have ODI status but we still are the same team that grinds and works hard for everything on and off the field. Our playing style, nature, culture will not change overnight. But we will surely have to adapt to things quickly, start new ways of upgrading our cricket environment if we want to improve as a team. It will take time bit we need to make a move as soon as possible.
What could be the best move for us specially when there is no cricket administration?
We need specialist coaches in batting, bowling and fielding departments for extended time periods. As a team, as a player we have become stagnant. We need to upgrade ourselves. We did very badly this week. People might even say we need a new captain and that can also be managed in due course. The point is for Nepal cricket and the players to grow as a better unit, we need a fresh perspective. Its more about the team than individuals moving forward and for that we need someone at the top monitoring us and guiding us into new way of things. Get specialists to work with the team in all three departments. This is not this week’s problem. It has remained for years now.
There were few matches during the World Cup Qualifiers and Division 2 where we won few of the matches despite you not doing good with the bat. Instead of gaining more confidence, few players seemed to have lost their touch. Are we not mentally prepared?
The players are trying their best all the time but its not happening. Its too harsh for the youngsters to take the blame at this point. As seniors, we couldn’t be up to the mark in Malaysia. Everyone needs to step up. That’s the bottom line.