Chattogram track in focus as Bangladesh aim to avoid whitewash


Chattogram track in focus as Bangladesh aim to avoid whitewash

by Atif Azam • Last updated on Sun, Mar 5, 2023

“Has the pace increased in my deliveries?” Shakib Al Hasan asked Mushfiqur Rahim in the nets at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium. Even the veteran spinner who rarely bowls in the nets, was busy working on his pace variations on Sunday.

Shakib, who arrived in Chattogram at 9:00 PM on Saturday (March 4) after having stayed back in Dhaka to complete a personal engagement instead of flying with the team in the afternoon, came at the ZACS with his team mates during an optional training session, which included everyone apart from Taskin Ahmed, Afif Hossain, Litton Das and Mehedy Hasan .There were joined by the members of the T20I squad as well, who will be in action soon after the third ODIs – with the three-match T20 series scheduled to start at ZACS from March 9.

Even as Bangladesh prepare to play on a new surface at the against England on Monday, they are far from getting over their disappointing performance against India in their last contest at the venue.

India had earned a consolation win at Chattogram after losing the three-match series, beating Bangladesh by 227 runs at the back of some fine batting performances. Ishan Kishan hammered 210, while Virat Kohli notched up a century to help the visitors to 409-8.

Tamim Iqbal and Co spent ample time trying to analyse what to expect from the surface ahead of their last game of the series, after having already lost the series – their first ODI series loss at home since 2016.

Bangladesh’s spin coach Rangana Herath isn’t too fussed about the scars from the last contest, and said, “It is a different surface (from the one we played against India) and so we are not expecting same thing to happen in this pitch.

“We are trying to get the best out of the team. Comparatively, Mirpur has more advantages for spinners (than Chattogram). It looks a bit dry, so there will be a challenge for spinners and fast bowlers.

“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 defensive. Sometimes even the defensive options would be attacking. Those are the things we need to understand,” he said.

Herath added that he is not too concerned despite Mustafizur Rahman’s lack of wickets, and insisted that the left-arm pacer is playing a different role than he did earlier.

“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.

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