Sunday, 26 March, 2023

Wicket in focus ahead of 3rd ODI

  • Z. Azam from Chattogram
  • 6 March, 2023 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Wicket in focus ahead of 3rd ODI
Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan (right) talks to head coach Chandika Hathurusingha (centre) and ODI captain Tamim Iqbal during a practice session at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram on Sunday. – TANVIN TAMIM

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Bangladesh seemed to have not got over their disappointing performance against India during their last ODI match at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram as they prepare to take on England in the same venue today.

India earned a consolation victory in Chattogram after losing the three-match series against Bangladesh as they beat the hosts by 227 runs on the back of a superlative batting display that saw them posting a massive 409-8, courtesy Ishan Kishan’s 210 and Virat Kohli’s 113.

Wicket turned out to be the most important thing for Tamim Iqbal and co as they spent a long amount of time trying to analyse what to expect from it ahead of their last game after losing the ODI series against the tourists earlier following seven series win on a row at their own backyard.

Shakib Al Hasan, who arrived in Chattogram at 09:00pm last night as he decided to stay back in Dhaka to complete a personal engagement instead of flying with the team on Saturday afternoon, came at the ZACS with his teammates during an optional training session that had everyone apart from Taskin Ahmed, Afif Hossain and Liton Das.

There were members of the T20Is squad as well that will be in action soon after the third ODI as they are scheduled to play the three-match series opener at ZACS on March 9. Shakib, who usually doesn’t bowl a lot in the nets, where he was seen sweating it out trying to work his pace variation against none other than Mushfiqur Rahim as the right-handed batsman was batting against him.

“Have the pace increased in my deliveries,” Shakib asked Mushfiqur after bowling a delivery and returned to his bowling crease with some kind of mental comfort when the latter admitted it is the case considering he knows better than anyone else due to his role as a keeper behind the wicket.

Shakib looked well aware that he needs to be at his top if he wants to compete against the dangerous England side and more so after what had happened during their last game against India.

ODI skipper Tamim called Shakib to have a look at the wicket and that seemed to be the order of the day leaving behind everything that is going around regarding them following BCB President Nazmul Hassan Papon’s revelation that they are not on talking terms outside the ground.

After all understanding the wicket seemed to be at the top of the priority list for the host’s team management as apart from them national selection panel members Minhajul Abedin and Habibul Bashar in company of head coach Chandika Hathurusingha had a long talk circling close to the wicket that seemed their sharing their opinion after seeing it.

However, Bangladesh spin coach Rangana Herath looked confident that they will be playing a different wicket from the one they have played against India. “It is a different surface (from the one we played against India) and so we are not expecting the same thing to happen in this pitch,” said Herath during the official press conference ahead of the third ODI game.

“We are trying to get the best out of the team. Comparatively, Mirpur has more advantage for spinners (than we have in Chattogram),” he said.

“There will be challenges from spinners and fast bowlers. It looks a bit dry, in that case when the fast bowlers will have a bit of challenge and same for spinners,” he said.

“Taijul, Miraz and Shakib bowled very well in the first match, but (England) batted very well in the second game. We need to improve in finding ways to stop batters from scoring like that. Sometimes you don’t have to attack too much. You can be defencive. Sometimes even the defencive options would be attacking. Those are the things we need to understand,” he said.

Herath added that he is not very concerned despite Mustafizur Rahman not picking wickets as he feels nowadays the left-arm pacers are playing a different role than he did earlier as he is more inclined to stop runs flowing away in the middle overs than picking wickets.

“We need to understand that Mustafiz bowls in the first few overs, in the middle overs and then in the last overs. We can’t expect him to take a lot of wickets and keep down the runs. He is doing the hardest part of the team. We need to understand that too. I am happy with him, but there are things to work on all the time,” he concluded.