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Tigers get big boost with Shakib, Fizz

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 13 June, 2022 12:00 AM
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Tigers get big boost with Shakib, Fizz

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Nothing could be better for Bangladesh as their Test skipper Shakib Al Hasan joined his teammates in the West Indies ahead of the two-match Test series while their leading left-arm pace bowler Mustafizur Rahman began his preparation for longer version cricket by completing an individual stint with Duke ball on Sunday.

Both of them missed the three-day practice game as Shakib was enjoying a brief vacation with his family in the USA and so could not join in time to play the ongoing practice match for the Tigers before the Antigua Test, slated to begin on June 16.

The team management is not ready to put Mustafizur straight away in longer-version cricket considering his long gap from the format and as a result trying to make sure that he prepares him in the nets with the Duke ball that will be first time experience for him considering he did not had the chance to play this ball earlier considering it is only used in England and West Indies during the Test series.

The difference between Duke balls and SG balls that are used in Bangladesh during Test series will surely come into play and Bangladesh pace bowling coach Allan Donald echoed the same sentiment after having a session with pacer Mustafiz.

“The balls have a very proud seam and it will take a lot of work to get used to this as we have seen before. I had a session with Fizz after his first one since the IPL. Just told him a little bit of the ball and also his first time of the Duke ball,” Donald was quoted in the BCB’s official Facebook Page on Sunday.

“Just change his grips subtly and it was like it was coming out really well (for Mustafizur),” he said, adding that his charges need to make the most out of practice game as far as adapting with the Duke ball is concerned.

“The first little stint out there against West Indies President XI will be a very good work out to get used to this ball,” he said.

Bangladesh pace bowler Ebadat Hossain did not take long to get adapted with the Duke balls as he as picked up three wickets to make his presence felt with the cherry on the second day of the three-day warm-up match between Bangladesh and CWI President’s XI at Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua.

The right arm pace bowler triggered a collapse by picking three wickets in quick succession but still tourists bowling unit failed to make an initial impact as home team’s opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul (59) and Solozano (not out 83)  added 109-run in their opening stand before the pair was broken by Rejaur Rahman Raja.

However, Mustafizur seemed he understood what to do as he picked up two wickets in his first over on the third morning following the session he had with the bowling coach Donald on previous day. West Indies President XI were at 236-6 after resuming at 201-4 when the report was filed.

From a batting perspective apart from Test opener Tamim Iqbal (162 not out) and Nazmul Hossain Shanto (54) to some extent none could show any real resistance.

The poor form of Mahmudul Hasan and Mominul Haque continued as none of them were able to open their account while in-form Liton Das failed to spend some time in the middle making 4 runs.

Yasir Ali failed to make the opportunity count as he was retired hurt on 11 runs due to back stiffness on the opening day and did not bat on the second day as part of precaution. Nurul Hasan made 35 runs at the lower order was the only noteworthy contribution while Mossadek Hossain failed to impress with the willow making just 19 runs.

Bangladesh two leading spinner Taijul Islam and Mehidy Hasan bowled 24 overs combined but failed to make an impact will be another thing that will worry the team management.

 However, Shakib’s presence will surely make a difference in the coming days considering he is known to take away most of the responsibility on his shoulder to help his team mate play at ease.