New Zealand stand-in coach Glenn Pocknall expects hosts Bangladesh to come back strong after a defeat in the third T20I in the ongoing five-match series, but is confident of his side building onto their form in the upcoming games. The fourth T20I will be played on Wednesday, September 8.
New Zealand didn’t enjoy the best of starts to the tour, going down by seven wickets in the series opener, in which they were bundled out for 60 - their joint lowest T20I total. They fared better in the second game but ended four runs short in a closely fought contest, before registering a resounding 52-run win in the third.
Pocknall was immensely proud of the comeback and is hopeful of his team replicating the performance ahead of the fourth T20I.
“Oh! It's amazing,” Pocknall said of the third T20I win. "It was a pretty special feeling just because the guys have been working so hard and having such good conversations around the way we want to play the game. So to execute all the things that we've spoken about was so pleasing, and [I am] so proud of the guys to do what they did the other night because it [Bangladesh] is a challenging place to play. These guys have shown that if you put everything together, then anything is possible. That's exciting, moving forward."
While Pocknall is aware that the hosts will present a stiff challenge in their own playing conditions, he stated that his team is prepared for the contest.
"We're in with a sniff, so we've got a lot to play for tomorrow and make it 2-2. The guys are up for it, which is great,'' he said. ''They've (Bangladesh) had a fantastic record... not just against us but also against every other team in the world [at home]. So for them to lose... they'll come back pretty strong and they'll be hurting from that (loss). We're certainly prepared for a backlash from them.”
Pocknall reserved high praises for Henry Nicholls and Tom Blundell, both of whom laid the platform with the bat with an unbeaten 66-run stand after the visitors had been reduced to 62/5 in the 11th over during the third T20I.
"It's almost like the middle overs of a 50-over game if you are picking up three-four an over with minimal risk and creating a partnership, which is giving you a little bit of time at the end. They executed that perfectly. So two inexperienced guys at this level in this format, but they've played a lot of cricket in other formats both for New Zealand and domestically, so that experience shone through," he said.
Pocknall further emphasized on the importance of self-belief in the shortest format, especially in challenging situations.
"It's a fine line but it's about having belief in their method," Pocknall said. "You are going to fail a lot more than you succeed in Twenty20, so having belief and trust in your method... just trying to instill in them as often as we can. They'll all have their day and a lot of them have had their days so far in the first three matches. I thought that's what we are looking to do moving forward, if we are going to have more of our players having their day then we will be in a good position tomorrow night," he added.