:: Peoples Time Online ::
Despite losing the just concluded Twenty20 series against India, Bangladesh is taking inspiration from their maiden win against the hosts in the format as they prepare for the upcoming two-match Test series, scheduled to begin in Indore from November 14.
Bangladesh shift their focus on red ball cricket for the time being before moving it towards pink ball as the series-concluding second Test will be played under lights at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
The visitors, led by newly appointed Test skipper Mominul Haque, started their preparation for the series opener at Holkar Stadium on Tuesday, putting behind their disappointment of squandering the golden opportunity of earning a maiden T20I series win against India. According to Mohammad Mithun though, despite the limited-overs series defeat, all is not lost for they got some self-belief.
“Look, in the past, no one gave us any chance when it comes to beating India in a T20 and that too in their own backyard. But our players had that belief. Whenever we play, whether it is difficult or easy opponent, we try to win the match. It happens sometimes and it doesn’t on other occasions. We are disappointed that we could not win the last game despite creating chances, and at the same time now we are looking forward to doing well in the Test series,” Mithun told reporters at the press conference on Tuesday.
“We get down to the field with the mindset of winning the match. It is not a T20 match that we will try to win immediately. Here, every session will be important. The first two hours is as important as the last two hours. So we need to win session by session to create our chances of winning the game.”
During their first day of preparation, Bangladesh’s Test batsmen got the first opportunity to work with their new Test batting consultant Neil McKenzie, who has been Bangladesh’s white-ball batting consultant for years. McKenzie, who was earlier reluctant to work in all three formats due to lack of family time, has agreed to work only for the first game while the BCB officials maintain that his future in the Test set-up will be decided later.
The South African had made some special plans for the batsmen in the nets like keeping a forward short-leg and a silly point by putting up two stumps covered with a piece of cloth that made the batsmen play their shots keeping those two fielders in mind. The 43-year-old also had a drill, conducted by trainer Mario Villavarayan, where some of the top-order batsman had to leave the ball coming from the three-quarter length – with Mario throwing underarm – to ensure the batsmen have the reflex to save their face, in order to be able to counter India’s pacers.
“We all know the strength of their bowling line-up. We are working on how to tackle their spinners because we feel it will be difficult for their spinners than their pace bowlers. It is batting friendly for the first two days but afterwards their spinners come into play as they try to attack their opponents keeping them in the forefront. We are working on some technical aspects keeping our focus on how to handle them,” Mithun said of their first session with McKenzie.
“We are looking at our strength more than focusing on their weakness because no team could do well at their [India’s] home [in the recent past]. We are looking forward to do well here. Obviously it won’t be easy and we need to work really hard. The five bowlers they have we cannot take anyone lightly because everyone is world class. So it is not like we will work for any specific bowler. If we want to do well we have to do well against all the five bowlers, playing them with the utmost seriousness.
“If we build up a partnership and later two or three wickets fall quickly we will be on the back foot again. The match is open for five days. It’s not only the middle order but the top-order needs to perform as well because that will make the workload of the middle-order easier. We have to be consistent in each session,” he concluded.