Sports


Batting disaster ‘the cause’



Muscat:  Batting failures were the main cause of Oman's shoddy performance in the recent ACC T20 Cup in Kathmandu, Nepal, according to national coach Duleep Mendis during a brief chat with Times Sport on sidelines of a function organised by Khimji Ramdas to congratulate Muscat CT players for claiming the A Division League crown.

"We did have limitations and, considering the average age of the team, I was surprised that the team fielded and bowled well, but our batters were a big disappointment," said Mendis. "Only our captain, Vaibhav (Wategoankar), looked solid during the tournament, but the others were just out of sorts. Some of them have good past records though," he stated.

"The problem is that we are using the same set of players, and I understand that most of the ageing players are gradually losing their reflexes," he pointed out.

"Moreover, I have found that most of the players surrender easily to pressure, and we should start thinking about giving them a different sort of training — maybe psychological training to help them strengthen their minds.

"One has to be strong physically as well as mentally to withstand the pressures of the game," remarked Mendis. "In Nepal, I found that the players tended to lose focus when the team started to lose, and this attitude was reflected in the other games as well. This is what we should try to overcome," he explained.

On his future assignment in Bermuda, where Oman will take part in the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 3 (April 28 to May 5), Mendis said, "We don't have much time, but the format is different, and we will need to work differently."

From the short version, Oman will now play in the One-day game, and the demands will increase. Coach Mendis signalled his intention to have at least two to three new faces in the team.  "My preference is to have younger boys in the team, be it nationals or expatriates," Mendis asserted.

Mendis admitted that Oman had no dearth in talent. "I love to see the nationals playing a major role. By next season, we should have full-fledged Omani teams playing in the top division, and Oman Cricket should make this compulsory," he noted. 

Mendis is indeed committed to developing a good national team, but he needs the support of the country's best logistics, which Oman Cricket must consider very seriously. 

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