Bangladesh are keen to avoid any kind of embarrassment as they began their preparation for the lone Test against Ireland without skipper Shakib Al Hasan at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Sunday.
The unavailability of Shakib was nothing surprising considering the fact he missed the national net session on quite a few occasions in the recent past for his own commercial events but the BCB officials insisted that he had spoken with head coach Chandika Hathurusingha regarding taking the break from practice.
Bangladesh vice-captain Liton Das, who will be keeping wickets, and other members of the Test team sweated out in the middle after a meeting in the dressing room with head coach Hathurusingha on Sunday.
The Tigers are surely not taking anything for granted despite taking on Ireland, who will be returning to Test cricket after nearly four years and it is reflected through the fact the board included Shakib and Liton despite their request for leave during the Test series to make them available for Kolkata Knight Riders in the ongoing Indian Premier League.
Hathurusingha along with Tamim Iqbal had a close look at the greenish wicket that is prepared in Mirpur for the lone Test which surely indicates that Bangladesh are not interested to play on a low and slow wicket and instead want their pacers to do their job.
If pace bowlers are given the task to take the bulk of the responsibility, they also expect the wicket to have a certain amount of bounce.
It also implies that catching will be crucial in the game and as a result slip catching was on the agenda on Sunday as four players stood at the slip cordon beside Liton.
The wicket also implies that the batsmen can play their shots and the way Liton smacked fielding coach Shane McDermott in one of the centre wickets, it only suggested that the Tigers will be inclined to play a positive brand of cricket that proved dividends for them in the recent past in the white-ball cricket.
Meanwhile, Abdur Razzak, a member of the selection panel, told reporters on Sunday that he is excited to have the duo in his team.
“Having them (Shakib and Liton) on the side changes the environment and that’s what’s happening. The board had a decision regarding IPL and what the players want is also an issue,” said Razzak.
“I feel that the best team should play since it’s a Test. I don’t think any Test match should be taken lightly, winning is better. I also don’t think we are in a position that four or five players being unavailable will not be an issue,” said Razzak, adding that they want to play dominating cricket over their opponents.
“We want to play cricket in such a manner that we dominate the game and at the same time we have to make sure that we don’t take them lightly because it might hurt us,” he concluded.
Veteran Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar (left) holds a bat while wicketkeeper-batsman Liton Das (centre) and strength and conditioning coach Nick Lee look on during a
practice session at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Sunday. Dar, who recently stepped down from ICC Elite Panel of Umpires, will conduct the lone Test match between Bangladesh and Ireland, starting from Tuesday at the same venue and it will be Dar’s first match after he resigned from that panel. –TANVIN TAMIM