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Aqib Javed – (Sri Lanka Fast Bowling Coach) pre-match Press Conference 

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I’m sure you would have seen this morning’s game and if anything, that’s probably helped you a little bit just for sort of South Africa to race away and Bangladesh is still just a game in front. What do you think the mood is like in your camp after watching that game and knowing that destiny to this point is still in your hands. You have control in making the next round of the tournament.

Aqib Javed: I mean, look, now people are realizing that how unpredictable the pitches are. We were the first one who’d gone through this process. Because I mean, look, as a player, you cannot expect anything like that, which we played the first time in New York on a new pitch. Now the people are realizing what total to place and what they’re expecting when they’re choosing – even a small total. Even though the Dallas pitch we played was I think one of the best in the country to bat on, but still these new conditions are surprising not to just us but many teams. You are right, after today’s match, The batters especially, they’ve gone through a lot. This is not the normal behaviour of the pitches and the conditions. So, I think now the teams will change their strategies, and there will be a little bit change in the homework as well.

Reporter: Speaking of that strategy, you come here, it’s the first match of the tournament in Florida, what do you expect from here and your opposition in Nepal who are challenging every single time they go out and play?

Aqib Javed: I mean the beauty of this World Cup is that you cannot take easy to anything. We have seen some outstanding results from the associate teams. I think honestly if you look at the pitch, you have to be very careful especially as batter what to adopt, what to leave out and I think the best plan is to go out there and assess the situation and the conditions are the key.

Reporter: Boys are coming after two defeats. So how is the group mentality?

Aqib Javed: I mean, look, as team, when you see after two games, if you ask me, what happened in New York, nobody knew what’s going to be the wicket behaviour. 77 was never enough. Even in the second game, we could have scored 150 to 160 because if you look at the batting card, we scored like 114 and the last six overs, we didn’t capitalize like we should be. But otherwise, the way the captain and the team fought in the fielding and in the bowling, I think the morale is there, the spirit is there. It’s just one missed opportunity. Otherwise, if you want to judge anyone, how they feel, just see them how they bowl and how they field.

Reporter: Do you have any idea about the competition tomorrow How is the five bowlers or four bowlers are going to play?

Aqib Javed: Look, I’m the believer of going for the best. And I’m really happy and enjoying the role as a bowling coach because this is one of the bowling sides which can challenge anyone. Ideal combo for any international team. You got the best leggie in the world, you got mystery baller, and you got slingers which is very unique and very effective in T20 cricket.

Reporter: Nepal and Sri Lanka are meeting for the first time at this level. So what preparations are there because after the results in the last two matches, the pressure would be on Sri Lanka more than Nepal. Do you agree with this?

Aqib Javed: When you are playing any international game, there is always pressure. But now the players and the batters and bowlers, they know that on these pitches you don’t need to try much. Just play the basic, basic game. Best plan to bowl on this pitch, they just hit the deck hard. That’s it. No experiments. So basic areas to hit as bowler and you need to bring lot of patience during the batting time.

Reporter: Coach, in the previous match against Bangladesh, Nuwan really brought you back into the match despite that low total and if you look at Nepal’s history, they struggle facing such pace bowling attack that you possess. Do you think that will be the turning point that will be an important part of the game tomorrow?

Aqib Javed: Definitely, Nuwan done really good. I mean, look, when you have a small total, then somebody has to come up and bring something like Nuwan brought the other day. Really proud of his performance. And definitely why we ranked the team, because of their skills and talent. And this is how the Sri Lankan bowling attack is known of their natural talent and the ability to do what other teams; many teams doesn’t have the kind of talent they have. So, I think – you can’t say anything in cricket but see Sri Lankan bowling is quite difficult to handle.

Reporter: If you look at group cricket, both teams have faced each other quite a while and there have been close matches and tomorrow both are without a win in this World Cup. Do you think both teams will start at the same point or do you think Sri Lanka is a bit ahead of Nepal?

Aqib Javed: I mean look you can’t say anything on these conditions, you can’t take anything easy, the team which keeps the discipline on and play their A game, that is important and we hope for the best and the best team should win. Whoever plays the better cricket.

Reporter: As you already faced Nepal as a UAE coach before many times, so how did you see the prospect of Nepal?

Aqib Javed: Look, the first time I went to Nepal with the UAE team, I was surprised, taken aback. The passion of the game in Nepal is amazing. We went to the stadium and it was packed. And there was like a few thousand outside the ground. So, I think once you have a passion, then you are not far away from the glory. I think good to see Nepal coming up and qualifying for the T20 World Cup. And it’s a growing nation, the cricket is expanding and good to see Nepal in this tournament.

Reporter: How satisfied are you with the bowling attack in Sri Lanka?

Aqib Javed: I think it’s pretty good. It’s not easy all the time to defend the low totals, but so far, I think it’s good to see the captain leading from the front and you can see that energy in the field as well. And still, I think we have very good bowling options. I’m really satisfied so far.

Sources by – Sri Lanka Cricket

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