Cumilla Warriors skipper Dasun Shanaka has said that his six-hitting ability comes from training and technique matters when it comes to hitting the ball out of the ground.
Shanaka scored a blistering 75 not out against Rangpur Rangers in Cumilla's first match of the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 2019. His knock took his side out of trouble and paved their way to a commendable 105-run victory for a good start.
In the post-match press conference, Shanaka was asked where his power-hitting ability comes from. He answered that it comes from training back at home. He said, "It comes with the training actually. Back home, I train really hard. So, I think this is the result."
He further added, " I don't practise so much for hitting sixes. I practise my technique. When I started, my technique was not so good. So, I turned it into a better one which suits my game."
Further enquired if it was power or technique which helped him to hit the ball long, he said, "It is not only the power, but the technique also matters as well. See, I am a skinny guy (laughs). The technique also matters to hit sixes."
Shanaka was questioned about what his plan was when he came into the crease as at one point his team was down to 89-6. He replied that he took a bit of time and that helped. He added, "I think our batsmen did not read the wicket very well. So, if they kept batting for some overs they would have recognized the wicket. Actually, I took 10-12 balls to settle in. So after that, I got my timing and also got the success."
Shanaka hit Mustafiz for four sixes in a row in the penultimate over, including one which saw the ball land outside the stadium. Questioned how did it feel to thrash Mustafiz in that manner, he said, "I have played against him 3-4 time now, so I now know what his plan is." He also said he enjoyed hitting that six which went out of the stadium.
Shanaka was happy with such a commendable win at the beginning as Cumilla have a side full of youngsters. He added, "It is a young side. So, the win is really good for the players and the management as well. We will continue with the same momentum in the upcoming matches. It is a great achievement."
Shanaka was followed by Jahurul Islam from Rangpur Rangers in the press conference, who said that he thought that Rangpur lost the game after the 16th over of the Cumilla innings.
"I will say that we were in a very good position till the 16th over, our bowlers were doing great. But we lost momentum onwards and that also affected the batting," Jahurul explained.
He further added, "The wicket was good for batting. If we could have started well, our batting order could have taken us over the line. But we could neither keep our wickets nor score runs in the first six overs."
Questioned if it was Shanaka who took the game away from them, Jahurul agreed. He added, "From what the situation was in the first 16 overs, we expected them to score around 135-140. Those extra 30-40 runs (from Shanaka) got into the minds of our batsmen."
Mustafiz was punished in the 19th over by Shanaka, inquired about that, Jahurul said that this can happen to any bowler in the world.
"It happens to the very best. After getting hit for two sixes, any bowler gets upset, it gets into the head. Mustafiz is a great bowler, but this can happen to anyone. He bowled very well in his first three overs, but maybe the consecutive sixes played with his mind and he did a mistake and gave away the full toss," Jahurul elucidated.
Bangladesh have longed for a power hitter for quite some time and Jahurul was asked in this regard that what is necessary to clear the boundary on a regular basis, technique or power. Jahurul answered that technique was the deciding factor. He said, "Definitely, the technique is more important. Because it does not matter how powerful you are if your technique is wrong."
He also talked about Shanaka's batting, where he said, "It did not look like that Shanaka hit the ball very hard, rather his base was good, his timing, his bat swing was good and that is why he can hit the ball so long. His body physique is more similar to us than the power hitters like Chris Gayle or Carlos Brathwaite. But his technique is very good."