Bangladesh played their last international series in September last year and the series was nothing more than nightmare for the Tigers. But new year is looming for a positive start for Mashrafe and Co with Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe is coming to participate a tri-nation series in Bangladesh where the hosts’ recent home records and the rivals’ wobble performance make Bangladesh the clear favourites to win the title.
Tigers’ assistant and fielding coach Richard Halsall is also hopeful about positive results in upcoming tri-nation series. He believes Tigers’ senior crickets can make a difference in the upcoming tri-nation battle despite Bangladesh have been without a head coach since Chandika Hathurusingha’s resignation last November.“I think Chandika wasn’t able to add new things among the current team and that’s why he decided to leave. I think our cricketers are passing fine days. With Chandika’s absence, they will be more responsible,” Halsall said on Wednesday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium during Tigers’ practice session.
“Senior cricketers are the key of team’s success. Bangladesh have some outstanding senior players. Mashrafe, Mushfiq, Shakib, Mahmudullah and Tamim — all five are playing sensible cricket. With the growing age they are becoming more responsible,” Halsall added.
Sri Lanka, a forgotten strong team of south-Asia, had nothing to show in their recent past years. Sri Lanka’s problems are many. Losing three greats — Sangakkara, Jayawardene and Dilshan after their retirement and Lasith Malinga’s poor form, the 1996 World Cup champions looked so wounded in last couple of international series at home and abroad.
A youthful Sri Lanka’s bowling worries are even more acute than their batting. No bowler was able to make the desired impact on batsmen. Halsall believes Bangladesh are stronger among the other two tri-nation opponents.
“Our head coach left but it is less important rather than a senior cricketer’s leaving. No Bangladeshi senior cricketer has left. But Sri Lanka in the meantime lost their key players. Malinga was ignored. But we are not facing such problems and that’s why are a balanced side,” Halsall said.
Tigers’ memorable series last year in Sri Lanka is still quite fresh in memory. Since 2015, Bangladesh have been almost unbeatable at home turf. Sri Lanka on the other hand had a recent nightmare series in India. The other rival Zimbabwe have been no longer as effective as a Test playing nation. And that’s why Halsall is confident about Tigers’ tri-nation success.“Sri Lanka were poor in India. They lost in humiliating fashion. They failed to make a comeback but they are also a good team. We know well about the team. Apart from England, no other nation have won series in Bangladesh in last three years. Bangladesh are well balanced side than the other two sides,” Halsall said.