Preston Mommsen: We expect all-spin attack from Bangladesh

Scotland are yet to register their first win in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and they face Bangladesh on Thursday at the picturesque Nelson. Ahead of the match, Scotland skipper Preston Mommsen spoke to the media on the possibility of facing an all spin attack from Bangladesh and how they are prepared to counter it. (ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Full coverage)

Q: Afghanistan match was upsetting?

Preston Mommsen (PM): That Afghanistan game was very difficult to get over. Obviously there was times in that game we were going to win that game and then it slipped away from us and got back and then slipped away again. To lose that game was very disappointing for all the 15 players, but we’ve had a good couple of days’ break, clean break from cricket, some of the boys have gone up north, seen some of the beautiful beaches in Nelson and just taken their minds off cricket, came back to training yesterday nice and refreshed, and the boys are ready to go for tomorrow.

Q: Most probably Bangladesh is going to attack you with spin as usual. Any particular plans for you to face them?
 Yeah, I think as you say, we are expecting a full spin attack from the Bangladeshis or we’re preparing for that at least. I think it’s important for us to play good strong shots during those middle overs, play good cricket to set us up for the back 10, 15 overs, you know. If we can get to that 40th over with wickets in hand, hopefully we can expose some weaknesses in their death bowling and hopefully get a good total by playing good cricket in that way.

Q: Anybody you’re planning for the left-handers?
 The left-hand spinners? Yeah, in the last 12 months we’ve spent a lot of time training in subcontinental conditions against spin. We had a 10-day batting camp with Matthew Maynard in Dubai where the main focus was playing against spin. We’re fully prepared. We’ve ticked all the boxes we need to tick, and again, we’ll do one more final session today with a focus on playing spin, making sure our batters know where our ones are and know where our boundary options are.

I think it’ll be important for us to stay composed through those middle overs. Obviously there are some very good spinners in the Bangladeshi line-up, so it’s important that we get that partnership going, and as I said, we go into those last 10, 15 overs with wickets in hand.

Q: Have you identified any weaknesses with Shane Jurgensen as your consultant or have you gotten to know anything?
Yeah, it’s been good to have Shane on board with the team. He obviously knows all the Bangladeshi players. He’s fully aware of the way that they like to play and the things they do and don’t like on the field. He’s added some very valuable information and insight into the Bangladeshi team, and we’ll be using that hopefully to our strength tomorrow.

Q: What are you expecting from Bangladesh and what is your actual target for the games?
Yeah, we’ve not played a lot of cricket against Bangladesh in the past. The only time I’ve played them was in the Twenty20 in the Netherlands, which we played good cricket on that day and things went our way and we came out on top. We have good memories of playing against Bangladesh; however, we know they’re a quality international team. They’re a full member nation. There will be more pressure on them. They’re expected to win this game. They want to get two points out of this game. But at the same time we know it’s a brilliant opportunity for Scotland as an associate team to play against a full member and have the opportunity to beat a full member. We are right up for this game. We are expecting a tough game, but we’re fully prepared for that.
Q: Preston, have you had a little look at the track? You’re talking about spin, about what it might do, and also, is the pressure off you a little bit now? You’ve got the Afghanistan game out of the way and a good performance against New Zealand. Can you free the arms up a little bit and see if the batsmen can do a bit of damage tomorrow?
 Yeah, we’ve had a look at the wicket. It’s a fresh wicket. To be honest we don’t expect it to take an awful lot of turn, which may suit us if the Bangladeshis look to play a full spin attack. That’s something we’ll need to assess on the day and adjust our game plan accordingly.

In terms of the pressure on the team, the Scotland team, yeah, we’ve reached halfway point in this tournament. Unfortunately we don’t have a win, which is disappointing, but at the same time we’ve had some invaluable experiences during those three games. It’s the first World Cup for many of the players, so you know, we’ve been exposed to things we’ve never been exposed to. We’re all in a much better place. I think we’re much more comfortable with our surroundings, and the time away has been – over the last couple of days being able to travel around Nelson and take in the beautiful scenery, I think that’s been invaluable for the guys to take their minds off cricket, and I think, yeah, there is an element of the pressure being slightly released, and hopefully the way we play our cricket tomorrow that’ll show.

Q: In this ground, Ireland won against West Indies. Is there any inspiration that Ireland beat a big team?
Of course. We love what Ireland cricket do on the world stage, at World Cups, the way they’re able to beat full members on a consistent basis. We do take inspiration from the way they performed here against the West Indies. I think they’re very aggressive in the way they took on the West Indies’ bowling attack, and we’ll try and represent the associates tomorrow as best we can.

Courtesy: ICC