Pakistan batting coach shares Kolkata pitch insights for Bangladesh match

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After showing a glimpse of a spirited fightback against South Africa in Chennai, Pakistan are set to face off against Bangladesh in a crucial ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 clash at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

With a promise to rebound, Pakistan look to get back a much-needed momentum to get back on the winning track. After having an ideal start of the tournament by winning the opening two games against Netherlands and Sri Lanka, Pakistan slipped through the ranks losing four consecutive games. Pakistan not only require victories in their remaining three games but will also have to rely on fate leaning in terms of semi-final hope.

Pakistan team had a rigorous training session at Eden Gardens, a venue marked by significant encounters, triumphs, and heartbreaks for Pakistan. Against Bangladesh, Pakistan has a dominance, playing 38 games, winning 33 out of them. In World Cups, both teams have won a game each. Their last World Cup encounter was at Lord’s in 2019, where Imam-ul-Haq scored a hundred and Shaheen Afridi clipped 6-35 (best bowling figures for a Pakistan bowler in a World Cup match).

Pakistan might have lost last four games but their most recent defeat came by the barest of margins of just one wicket. Reflecting on the positive from the narrow defeat to South Africa, Andrew Puttick, Pakistan’s batting coach said: “We put up a good fight, we went all the way to the end and it was a tough match. I think at times we had momentum, and similarly South Africa had momentum and it came down to a fine margin in the end. We were very close but eventually it went in South Africa’s way though I think we fought for every ball for every run so there were really good signs there.

“Obviously, boys were quite disappointed without the victory but it seems that it made the boys more hungry. There has been a good feeling around. We took a day or two to get over the South Africa game but we are refocused and spent some good energy around.”

Pakistan play their nine league matches in only five cities with Kolkata being the fifth venue that Pakistan will be playing their World Cup matches. “We have a new venue in Kolkata, which looks like a dry sort of pitch unlike the one we had in our previous games. We have to adapt, read the conditions quickly and be smart in the way we play in these conditions. I think it is great for all of the boys to play at different venues and experience different conditions in India. It going to be hot and sweaty evening. We have prepared our homework and it’s now about performing to the best of our abilities in the middle.”

Pakistan head coach, Grant Bradburn said: “We are desperate to bring joy to our nation. We are desperate to make our nation very proud of this cricket team. And we are also realistic in the knowledge that we haven’t put all departments of our game together over the last four games but four losses does not define who we are as players, as coaches or as a team. So we’re determined now to focus on what we can control and that is putting our best on the park in these last three games and then leaving that to fate to determine the remainder of the tournament for Pakistan.”