Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo on Monday expressed his satisfaction regarding the performances of his charges during the ongoing Bangladesh Cricket League but demanded more commitment from them to improve their Test performances.
Several batsmen displayed prolific performances in the first round of BCL with Tamim Iqbal hitting the headlines after an unbeaten 334 runs that made him only second Bangladeshi to score a triple century in a first-class match.
Apart from Tamim, Bangladesh’s Test skipper Mominul Haque, Mahmudullah and Liton Das all scored centuries for their respective sides while Saif Hasan, Nazmul Hossain and Mohammad Mithun also played handy knocks.
It was not just the batsmen, spin bowling duo Taijul Islam and Nayeem Hasan also claimed five-for in the first round which made Domingo optimistic about putting a good show against Pakistan in the first Test, starting on Friday in Rawalpindi.
‘There’s no doubt that runs in the middle is worth more than just practising in the nets. So the players who got runs will gain confidence,’ Domingo told reporters in Mirpur.
‘Tamim’s three-hundred is a fantastic effort and it is something that should be treasured, as it doesn’t happen often.
‘They have shown why they are in the Test team. It is always important for Test players to put in big performances in domestic cricket,’ he added.
Domingo, however, advised his charges not to get carried away with their domestic performances as he believed that the wicket in Rawalpindi would test them with more pace and bounce.
‘The wickets that they are playing here don’t have much pace and bounce. I am sure Rawalpindi might have some pace and bounce. It is going to be a big challenge for the boys,’ he said.
‘Some of them have been doing well with [batting coach] Neil McKenzie, who has worked with some technical things with the Test boys. Of course, some of the boys know that they have to put in some big performances on the back of a poor Test series against India.
‘We have to show a bit more commitment with the bat, and find ways to manufacture scores even when the conditions are not good,’ he added.
Domingo expressed his frustration at not being able to stay a longer period in Pakistan saying that it denied them more practice opportunities before the Test.
Bangladesh will depart for Islamabad today via Doha and would arrive in Rawalpindi only in little-over 48 hours before the first Test.
‘It is not ideal. You always want to go there at least seven or eight days before a Test match. Play a warm-up game, have a couple of days practice,’ said the 45-year old.
‘It is not great preparation for us, but there’s nothing we can do about it. The guys will practice and play here. We will reach there on Wednesday morning, practice Thursday and play on Friday,’ he added.
Domingo was also unhappy with regular changes to the squad and hinted that in the absence of wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim, who opted out of the series, skipper Mominul would bat at number four.
Mushfiq was expected to return for the one-off Test against Zimbabwe provided he recovered well from a hamstring injury.
‘You have to remember that Mushfiq got runs in the last Test, but we also need to consider the fact that, it is hard to pick a batting line-up, change it for one Test, and then change it again for the third Test,’ he said.
Bangladesh will return to Pakistan in April for the second Test, which will be held in Karachi from April 3-7.
‘At the moment Mominul is earmarked to bat at no 4. I will probably get Shanto [Nazmul] to bat at No 3, and Saif Hassan to open the batting with Tamim Iqbal. Mithun and Riyad [Mahmudullah] at No 5 and 6, and Liton probably at No 7,’ said Domingo.