Published: January 7, 2010
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan’s first wish will be to hope for the rub of the green when it comes to tossing the coin with India skipper MS Dhoni for today’s third one-day match in the Idea Cup tri-nation tournament at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.
And then the all-rounder will desperately try to regain the rhythm of the past year to prove that he has not been going through a lean patch. The 22-year old skipper made a poor start in the New Year as he scored only one run and bowled without any success against Sri Lanka in the first game that Bangladesh lost by seven wickets.
Shakib’s performance was at the peak in the international engagements in 2009 but he failed to carry it on to the domestic circuit and as well in the first international game in the New Year, so the number one all-rounder in ODI rankings, who is suffering from mild fever, needs to come up with his best in the battle with the wounded Indians who suffered a five-wicket defeat in the second game of the competition.
Winning the toss however has become a vital issue due to dew factor as in the previous two games Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara on both occasions tossed the coins rightly and in the end had the last laugh.
It was a tough job, especially in the first game, for the team fielding second as the spinners struggled to grip the wet ball and that helped the Lankans to overtake the formidable total in both matches with ease. Things get even more difficult for a team like Bangladesh who are mainly dependant on their slow bowlers.
“Nothing would be better if luck favours us in the toss but we can’t control this thing rather we have to make sure that we play our best game against India. We have the self-confidence that it is possible for us to beat any team if we can play our best cricket,” said vice-captain Mushfiqur Rahim after a training session at Mirpur yesterday.
Though Bangladesh captain Shakib blamed the dew factor behind his team’s poor bowling in defence of 260 runs against the Lankans, his deputy Mushfiqur however admitted yesterday that the pace bowlers also failed to bowl in the right spot and it would be a big challenge for the bowlers against the formidable Indian batting line-up. It was a forgettable international debut for young Shafiul Islam and Rubel Hossain also struggled with his line and length. There is however a good chance to see experienced left-arm pacer Syed Rasel included in the side in place of Shafiul but still the Tigers feel the absence of leading paceman Mashrafe Bin Mortaza who had a pivotal role in his team’s success against India at home and in the 2007 World Cup.
“I think our pace bowlers failed to bowl in right spot and that was the reason we could not put initial pressure on the Sri Lankan top order and on the other hand it was difficult for the spinners to grip the wet ball properly. It will be a tough challenge for us to stop the strong Indian batting line-up.
“We got a very good batting track and we have to try to restrict the Indians between 270 to 280 runs if we bowl first and on the other hand I think we have the ability to score even three hundred runs on this track. Actually we want to stick to the basics,” opined the wicketkeeper batsman.
Bangladesh’s batting performance was impressive as they rode on Mohammad Ashraful’s 75 to score 260 runs despite a top order hiccup but Mushfiqur believes that there is a lot of scope to improve their batting.
“We got a good start but suddenly we lost a few wickets, so we have to make sure that we lose less wicket to create the opportunity to accelerate the innings in the last ten overs. We proved the big hitting ability in the last game as we collected 90 runs in the last ten overs,” he said.
A tough challenge awaits the Tigers against India but there was no short of confidence in the Bangladesh tent ahead of their second match in the tournament.