Nepali team is currently in Netherlands preparing for their important World Cricket League Championship fixtures. WicketNepal spoke to captain Paras Khadka before the departure in length and tried to figure out the sense of the mood.
Which do you think is the strongest point for Nepal ?
See, we are currently in Division One. So, being good in one aspect alone will mean nothing. We need to be good in all aspects of the game. This is not the level to win matches just by batting or bowling. If the team has to win, we need to be good at everything.
So keeping that in mind, do you think team is balanced enough to cover all aspects?
Definitely. I do think this team is pretty much balanced. We have a good mix of seamers and spinners. Keeping in mind the magnitude of the tour and the team balance, we have selected a 15th man in a promisimg U19 player. We usually have 14. Seeing the format, we need to win minimum 5 out of remaing 8 to even have a chance. So we do need points in Netherlands.
How has the CAN suspension hampered the preparations ?
If you are asking only about the national team or lets say 15-20 of us, we have been training with whatever facilities we have and CAN suspension has not made much difference. But, you know, cricket will not improve with only 15-20 of us playing. There are many many players and CAN suspension is unfortunate for everyone. I hope we can see some sort of conclusion to all these confusion soon. See, cricket is not only about runs and wickets, its a huge management thing. We need to quickly sort out issues before its too late.
With 8 more matches to go, can Nepal dream of winning the Championship ?
(with a broad smile) See, nothing can be said as of now. As I have always said, we need to take one game at a time. We will see how many we can win. Its a league so other team’s performance also matters in deciding positions. If we look back, out of 4 matches we lost, 3 were real close ones. With a slightly better finishing touch, we could have won them and been a lot higher in table. Having said that, we need to keep those results out of our mind and enter every match with a winning mindset. We should try and win every match and at the same time remain mindful of the fact that we need to finish top 4 anyhow.
Netherlands is likely to be seamer friendly but Nepal has some quality spinners. What team composition can we expect ?
We need to look at form and fitness of each player. Performance in practice matches and getting used to the conditions will be a big part of it. We may even need to make some tough tactical decisions. You know, against Namibia, we used certain tactics and it paid off. We got a good look-in at our players in UK tour and we certainly have made up certain plans. Lets see how the conditions are. We will surely choose the best possible 11 for every game.
How do you take the inclusion of Sunil Dhamala ? Can we expect him to get a game?
Sunil is a guy who has been knocking on the doors for a long while now. He has proved himself in every level of cricket he has played in. He now has a great chance of cementing his place in the national team. It will definitely be a huge learning curve for him. As I have already said earlier, we have selected him as 15th player – an alternative opening option as well as a handy spinner. He can still play if he fits well into the team requirements.
So that means, Dhamala opening is rather unlikely.
Not entirely unlikely. He is young and has a great career ahead of him. You never know, when someone gets injured or maybe Sunil gets into a good rythm in practice matches. Anything can happen. If the situation demands, he will play.
Finally, the last one. Netherlands are a good team and playing in home conditions. How can we beat them ?
(with a slight chuckle) Its simple – by playing good cricket. In this level conditions can never be a excuse. You know, we nearly won a game against Scotland chasing 230+ in 37 overs. I don’t think conditions are going to be much different than those. We have played good cricket on these conditions as well on the past. These matches could prove vital in deciding fate of our cricket for a long while so we need to play as a team and give our best. If we can do that, we will definitely come victorious.