Miraz rues Shakib’s absence

Sports Correspondent

16 February, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Miraz rues Shakib’s absence

Bangladesh all-rounder Mehedi Hasan Miraz felt that spinners have to play second fiddle to pacers in New Zealand but ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan’s presence would have made things interesting. He then went on to highlight what he has observed the role spinners play in the pace-friendly wickets of New Zealand and the optimal method of bowling in such conditions.

“When we play in home, we mostly rely on the spinners to deliver. But the tides turn when we come overseas. If we have Shakib Bhai, then it’s a different story. I now have to fulfill the role of a main spinner. I feel that the responsibility of spinners in these conditions is to support pacers. Spinners cannot extract much turn out of these pitches. We can try to keep the batsmen in check and this strategy will enable the pacers to take wickets utilising the frustration of the batsmen,” felt Miraz.

Nonetheless, Miraz expressed his optimism to save the ongoing three-match ODI series against New Zealand by claiming the second ODI at Christchurch today.

“We still believe we can win this series. To do that, we have to win the last two games, and the next game on Saturday is most important now,” Mehedi told reporters on Thursday.

“In New Zealand the first ten overs are very important. We can’t lose many wickets during the initial period of the match. It doesn’t matter if cannot post a lot of runs on the board during that time. In the first match, we lost too many wickets early in the innings. If our top-order can score some runs, we will have a good opportunity to fight for a good result,” added Mehedi.

Mehedi echoed his team manager Khaled Masud Pilot’s views for a spirited show down under as he too felt that Tigers’ top-order need to click to give themselves a chance to fight.

“In the first match, Bangladesh lost too many wickets in the first 10 overs, and that’s why we lost the chance to post more runs on the board. If our top-order can deliver better, we still can do what we really want to,” the right-handed all-rounder further said.

Mehedi thinks the batsmen should post a total that can boost the confidence of the bowlers.

“If we bat first, we need a big total. If we have a big total on the board, the challenge of the bowlers becomes easier. And that boosts the confidence of the bowlers while defending the total,” he said.

Earlier, Tigers were outclassed in the first match of the series in Napier where the hosts came up victorious by a big margin of 8 wickets. Martin Guptill struck an unbeaten 117-run knock to help the host take a 1-0 lead in the series.

Mashrafe Mortaza, Bangladesh captain, said after the match they were poor while batting first after winning the toss in a wicket which was ideal for the pace bowlers.

Bangladesh lost six wickets in 96 runs. Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Lotion Das and Mushfiqur Rahim failed to show their limited-overs prowess in the match. However, Mohammad Mithun and Mohammad Saifuddin showed some resistance from the Tigers to guide them to 232 runs.

Bangladesh went to play in New Zealand after the bustle of one month in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) which might have taken much time to adapt to the condition of New Zealand.

Tigers have the experience of playing at Hagley Oval in Christchurch. They lost the game by 77 runs. In the match back in 2016, New Zealand posted a total of 341 while batting first with the help of Tom Latham’s 137. Bangladesh tumbled for 264 in 44.5 overs and eventually lost the game by a big margin.

While the history and the current situation of the series are against Bangladesh, the hosts are confident to wrap up the series on Saturday with one match to play.

They have had a good opening stand passing 100-run mark in the first match which was the first instance in 15 matches. That helped them outplay Bangladesh by eight wickets and they are upbeat to replicate the same success in the next match.

The final and last ODI of the contest will take place at the same time on February 20. Right after the ODI series, both of the teams will lock horns in a three-match Test series starting from February 28.