Nepal’s game plan with bat is poor: Indian coach Umesh PatwalIndian coach Umesh Patwal is currently looking after the Nepali national team as batting consultant for the upcoming One-Day and Twenty20 International Series against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which begins from February 25 in Dubai. Patwal, a former batting consultant with Afghanistan during the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh and Asia Cup, is not a new name to Nepali cricket.
Indian coach Umesh Patwal is currently looking after the Nepali national team as batting consultant for the upcoming One-Day and Twenty20 International Series against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which begins from February 25 in Dubai. Patwal, a former batting consultant with Afghanistan during the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh and Asia Cup, is not a new name to Nepali cricket. He was with the Nepali team in the same position for the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe in March last year. He was the tournament director in the Pokhara Premier League and coach of the one-time Everest Premier League chammpions Biratnagar Warriors this season. Patwal talked to Adarsha Dhakal of the Post about Nepal’s current status of batting in an interview. Excerpts:
Can you explain a little bit on your current role with the Nepali team?
I’m more as a batting consultant, a batting coach who would look into the batting aspect of the game of each and every individual player.
What is your focus right now (ahead of upcoming series against the UAE)?
Because we are going into the tournament it’s more about strategizing and giving them lot of game sense.
What are the areas Nepal need to improve on?
The boys have a lot of ball sense but the game sense is missing. They pick up the ball well but the execution of shots, like when they should go for big shots and when they should go for singles, thats where they are not very sure. The game plan is poor. They appear to be uncertain when to go after the bowlers and when to stick to the wicket.
You have been touring with Nepali team in last few tournaments and has also been part of domestic franchise leagues. What do you think is the problem with Nepal’s batting?
The problem is we don’t have any competition. They are not playing against any competitive side or quality bowlers except for the three Twenty20 leagues (Everest Premier League, Dhangadhi Premier League and Pokhara Premier League). So when they play the 50-over tournament they would always struggle because they don’t have strategies against good bowlers. They would struggle in any chase around 250 because they haven’t batted for too long. Even the structure of fitness is very much up to T20. So, obviously the stamina or the intensity for 50-over game would definitely be lacking.
Does it mean that our batsmen don’t have longevity for one day internationals?
It’s a game, few guys could cope because of the way they are as a character. I believe that cricket is played by character but not the cricketers. And if you want match winners you need more characters. So hopefully if you find few characters in the team, you could still end up on the winning side.
We had not had best opening combination for the last few years. Can we solve that problem against the UAE?
It would be too early to predict that. We don’t have good competition and good bowlers to face. It’s about finding the best person to play new ball in different conditions. If it’s about playing in Nepal it’s fine but doing it (playing new ball) in different condition is not going to be an easy job.
You have been closely monitoring national and domestic cricket of late. How do you rate the batting of Nepali cricketers?
It’s poor. If you see (in last few franchise leagues) there was hardly any cricketer who deserved man-of-the-match accolade for batting except for Dipendra Singh Airee in one of the games when he finished it off (during the PPL). Otherwise when you look at the openers there is not a single player who scored 50 or 100. That shows where we stand.