“He has put his name up in lights” – Malan also lauds seamer Graham Hume, who grabbed four wickets in the first ODI
Ireland coach Heinrich Malan wants his side to continue playing with the aggressive mentality that they have shown over the past few months. This, despite their 183-run loss against Bangladesh in the first ODI in Sylhet, where they slipped to 76 for 5 – and eventually 155 all out – despite being 60 without loss in the 12th over in pursuit of 339.
“The captain said that we are focusing on the way we play,” Malan said. “Of course, it is about results. We understand international cricket is about winning and losing, but it is the way we go about our business. I think if you look at the last 12 months, the way we have tried to play has got us into opportunities to beat some of the bigger sides. We beat England in the [T20] World Cup.
“We look at this series as one of those opportunities as well: to come here in different conditions against a team that just beat the world champions, and show what we [have] got in the bank.”
Ireland have achieved mixed results across both limited-overs formats since 2022, having won an away ODI series against West Indies and a home T20I series against Afghanistan, and drawn an ODI series in Zimbabwe and T20I series against South Africa in England along the way. They also came close to beating New Zealand and India several times during their home season last year – margins of defeat included four runs, one wicket, three wickets and one run.
Malan said Ireland will still keep fighting their own way, even with Bangladesh having been quite dominant at home since 2015. He even found the funny side of how the Sylhet weather became slightly Irish overnight; there has been non-stop rain in the region, with the temperature also falling. But Malan also acknowledged that this would work to the Bangladesh pace attack’s advantage.
“It is a lot more our sort of conditions, isn’t it? Hopefully, it keeps raining and hopefully it [the ball] keeps moving around,” he said. “Look, let’s not look beyond the fact that Bangladesh has three quality seamers too. They highlighted last night that they have become a very good all-round side.
“It is not just about playing spin anymore. They have an accomplished seam attack. If it is a little overcast and rainy, it will be a little more comfortable for us. We have to play on what’s in front of you; we are looking forward to the challenge in Bangladesh.”
Malan said his team was working on identifying areas they did well in in the first ODI and rectifying areas they didn’t.
“It is not the result that we are obviously after. I think it was a nice little opportunity for us to get a feel for the conditions,” he said. “They were better than what we anticipated. It was a nice surface. It wasn’t as effected as we thought it would be. It is something that we identified and something we will rectify tomorrow.
“We are trying to find ways to get wickets in the middle overs of white-ball matches. We picked up some wickets in the powerplay, [but] they built a nice partnership through the middle and allowed them to get a foundation to have a successful death period. We are taking that into account. Looking at tomorrow, we have to come up with one or two creative ways to get some quality players in the opposition under pressure.”
Malan praised how right-arm seamer Graham Hume bowled, taking a career-best 4 for 60 in what was only his fifth ODI. Although slightly expensive, Hume dismissed the dangerous-looking Shakib Al Hasan and Towhid Hridoy, as well as Mushfiqur Rahim.
“He is always an option as a bowler. He trains diligently and does everything in the nets. I guess it comes down to the match-ups”Heinrich Malan on not using the left-arm spin of George Dockrell in the first ODI
“We know what we will get from Hume. He is a very consistent performer,” Malan said. “He has been around for a long time. It has been a great addition to our bowling stocks. He has got a lot of opportunities over the last year with a few injuries. It is exciting that we are building a pace-bowling stock. He has put his name up in lights now through his performance. Hopefully he can keep doing that for us.”
Malan also said that they could use the left-arm spin of George Dockrell, who although he didn’t bowl a single over in the first game, is someone who keeps working on his bowling despite changing track as an international cricketer.
“Over the last couple of years, he [has] transformed himself into a quality batter after coming into the side as a bowler,” Malan said. “He is always an option as a bowler. He trains diligently and does everything in the nets. I guess it comes down to the match-ups. We were trying to create some match-ups with the lefties yesterday, hence you saw couple of overs from [Harry] Tector as well.”