Whatmore wants players to be aggressive, not reckless


Pakistan head coach Dav Whatmore has said he wants the Pakistan team to be aggressive, but not reckless, while performing. “I feel that most teams are at their best when playing attacking or aggressive cricket but firstly Pakistan is unique, compared to other ICC full member countries, in that we play both our home and away series offshore. Secondly, this is my first assignment where players are “Decentralized” which brings with it some logistical problems regarding facilities and consistent player monitoring.
“Another aspect that really doesn’t help the National objective is the overpowering state parochialism in the media. Having a media that challenges poor decision making, or governance is completely acceptable; however simply taking a contrary stance, no matter what the topic, is unhelpful at best, and downright destructive in some instances.
“But, that aside, I must say in all honesty I am happy with things both on and off the field.
“It is important to remember that success in my position is measured quite simply in a “Win-Loss Ratio”, so I must be mindful of the fact that as I will be judged on each team that competes; hence the need to play the strongest possible Xl wherever possible. That aside, it is important to allow young up & coming players the opportunity to play at the highest level possible and this is where a good A’ Team structure is important.
“But I also feel that it is important to embrace cricket at all levels in whichever country you are based, in order to get a feel for the national cricket culture & structure. I have a real desire to experience as much of Pakistan as possible, both from a cricket perspective and beyond. I would love to get a taste for the cricket talent that inhabits Pakistan, wherever time allows me to,” said Whatmore in an interview with Pakpassion.
“Having experienced cricket in a variety of countries, I think it is a well-accepted fact that it is hard to produce a strong national team if your domestic structure is weak. The jump from domestic cricket to international cricket is quite a big one, even in strong domestic structured nations; where domestically cricket is weak, that jump is far greater. You only have to look at any of the lower ranked ICC full member nations to see that perhaps what would help push them up the rankings is a stronger domestic structure, which would in turn, feed stronger players into the national setup.
Finally, it is also very important to ensure that once players are identified, they are constantly engaged in a “High Performance” environment. Now, more so than ever, it is vital to make a players transition between U19, ‘A’ Team and National Team as fluid as possible; all supported by a strong domestic structure.
On IPL and T20, he said: “There is no doubt that T20 has certainly taken the world by storm, with leagues cropping up all around the world; the IPL being the largest and most successful currently. What it brings to cricket and cricketers is a chance for local players to showcase their ability on a world stage along with the chance for them to learn from and understand other players (both foreign & domestic) as well as the obvious financial benefits to all concerned.
Another great aspect to T20 tournaments is the increase in fielding standards and the general increase in skills and tempo; all of which will benefit the national team further down the road.”
He further said: “As Head Coach obviously I was able to voice my opinions to the selectors; however, to say I had a “Major Say” is possibly a misconception. We have a selection panel headed by a chief selector who are ultimately responsible for how the squads are chosen for each format. Theirs is not an easy job, and they value input from both myself and the captain; but ultimately it is their choice.”
“I feel that most teams are at their best when playing attacking or aggressive cricket. However, playing aggressive cricket does not mean playing recklessly, as this defeats the overall objective and can make winning more difficult.
I like to see our batsmen play each ball on its merit, rather than trying to “Crowd Please” as this can be counter productive. I am sure most Pakistani cricket fans would rather see the team win consistently and rise up the rankings, than lose due to reckless cricket. In my opinion, we have the hardware, now we need to upgrade the software.”