Tuesday, 19 October, 2021

Tigers look to tick all boxes

Tigers look to tick all boxes
Bangladesh spin consultant Rangana Herath (second left) talks to cricketers during a practice session at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in the capital on Friday. – BCB PHOTO

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Bangladesh began their preparation for the upcoming five-match T20 series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in the capital on Friday.

The five-match T20 series is scheduled to begin on September 1 at the SBNS while the remaining matches will be played respectively on September 3, 5, 8 and 10 at the same ground.

All the cricketers except Shakib Al Hasan were present on the opening day as the ace all-rounder is expected to be available from today following his three-day mandatory quarantine.

The practice session began with three coaches - Russell Domingo, Ottis Gibson and Rangana Herath having a small chat with their respective groups.

Domingo spoke with the batsmen and the all-rounders while Gibson and Herath talked with pacers and spinners respectively and tried to specify their roles for the series.

After the warm-up with a short football game, the Tigers team began their skill training with a ground fielding session.

During the net sessions, it seemed all the eyes were fixed on Soumya Sarkar and Liton Das as Domingo, batting consultant Ashwell Prince as well as fielding coach Ryan Cook were seen involved with them.

Soumya seemed to be in good touch and the way he handled pace bowlers and spinners it looked like he had left behind his bad form of the home series against Australia.

The left-handed opener drove the balls at ease while he also played the cuts and pulls to near perfection and received a vote of confidence from Domingo and Prince in the form of thumbs-up after completing the session.

It certainly suggested that the team management is ready to back him despite all the talks on social media regarding his form against the Aussies.

Meanwhile, since Liton returned to the training it appears that Domingo is trying to increase one of his scoring options by trying to add a sweep to his artillery, a shot that he hardly plays while batting.

Unlike Mushfiqur Rahim, who is considered to be a master in the sweep, the prescription for Liton was simple - play the sweep by keeping it down while closing the face of the bat.

Liton shook his head in disappointment when Mahedi Hasan got an edge when he tried to sweep him away but later he looked more determined to correct his flaws.

As a result, he went to the indoor and was sweeping the ball for hours together and tried to master the art and also decided to do it without cades and pads.

It suggested that he was ready to get hit if he missed the ball and to prevent it (being hit) he had to be precise with his footwork and head position so that he could connect the ball.

Ottis Gibson was more inclined to see whether the pace bowlers were having a perfect seam position.

To see whether the seam position was perfect he decided to put red tape on the white kookaburra balls that would help him and his charges see whether it (seam position was perfect) or not.

Bangladesh T20 skipper Mahmudullah was more inclined to sharpen his line and length that was monitored very closely by Herath and he tried to involve every slow bowler available that included Shamim Hossain rolling his hand for a few overs.

As Shakib was absent and Mahmudullah decided not to have a go in the net batting next, it opened the door for Nurul Hasan to bat in the second group along with Mushfiqur Rahim and Afif Hossain after the openers had their share of batting nets.

“In the last two series we played very well and the most important thing is that we played as a team and we need to play as a team,” Nurul said after the first day’s practice.

Prince was busy decoding Afif’s check drive and how he generates power and tried to come up with his observation during his discussion with his other two countrymen Domingo and Cook while the left-handed batsman was batting on the nets.

Mahmudullah later batted for a few minutes which were one of the last actions from the Tigers’ opening day practice session.