Confident Tigers leave for Pakistan

New AgeFeb 04,2020

Bangladesh cricketers Nayeem Hasan, Abu Jayed and Tamim Iqbal and physio Julian Calefato are seen at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport prior to their departure for Pakistan on Tuesday. — BCB photo

Selector Habibul Bashar saw an opportunity for Bangladesh Test team to make a turnaround from their recent Test debacle as they left for Pakistan for first Test of two-match series on Tuesday.

The team left Dhaka in two different groups for the Test, scheduled in Rawalpindi from February 7-11, via Doha unlike the previous time, when they travelled with a chartered flight for the Twenty20 series.

They are expected to reach Islamabad, the Pakistan capital and twin city of Rawalpindi, at 8:00am, a little over 48-hour before the first Test starts.

Bangladesh showed a terrible performance in longer-format in last year when they lost their all five Tests against three different oppositions, with four of their defeats came by an innings margin.

The Tigers lost both the Tests against New Zealand by innings margin in early 2019 before they suffered a humiliating 224-run defeat against Afghanistan at home.

The year ended with more embarrassment as they lost to India in both the Tests by innings margin within inside three days.

They, however, showed some sign of improvement in domestic cricket as several cricketers hit the form in the opening round of Bangladesh Cricket League, which encouraged Bashar, who accompanied the team in Pakistan.

‘Actually we didn’t do well in recent Tests so it will be a great challenge for us to perform well in the series,’ Bashar told reporters at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport before their departure.

‘We didn’t start well in the Test Championship. If we want to make a turnaround, the series is a big opportunity for us,’ he added.

Off-spinner Nayeem Hasan, who took a six-wicket haul in the BCL opener, was also optimistic to perform well in Pakistan and claimed that the performance in the match would help him doing well in the series.

‘My target will be bowling at good areas. The preparation is really good. Playing in the BCL helped us a lot,’ said Nayeem.

Top-order batsman Nazmul Hossain, who played his last Test against Zimbabwe back in 2018, claimed that he was only focusing on doing well in the Test match against Pakistan.

‘Actually both I and coach are confident. Insallah we will do well over there…I am not worrying much about our recent results. I am just focusing on our next game,’ he said.

Pacer Ebadat Hossain insisted that the consistency would be the key for the pace bowlers during the first of two-Test series against Pakistan.

‘I have heard that the wicket in Pakistan is batting friendly. We have taken the preparation by keeping this thing in mind,’ said Ebadat

‘In Tests, we have good opportunities to bowl for longer period. Consistency is the key in Test cricket. I have worked on it in first-class cricket. Let’s see what happens now,’ he added.

Bangladesh will return home after the first Test and will visit the country again for the second Test, which will be held in Karachi from April 5-9, after a one-off one-day international series.

In between the two Test matches, they will play a full-fledged series against Zimbabwe consists of one-off Test, three one-day internationals and two Twenty20 internationals.

Bangladesh visited Pakistan earlier in January amid tight security for a three-match Twenty20 international series in Lahore, which they lost 2-0.

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