POST TIME: 3 November, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Tigers look to make wining start
Riyad wants to fortify team strength before Windies series
Sports Reporter from Sylhet

Tigers look to make wining start

Bangladesh stand-in captain Mahmudullah Riyad (M) along with other teammates stretch yesterday at Sylhet Int’l Cricket Stadium on the eve of the first Test against Zimbabwe today. BCB Photo

Emboldened by their convincing victory over Zimbabwe in ODI series, Bangladesh are looking forward to sweep of the Test series too, showing an unwavering resolve at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium which would make its debut today with the first Test as the eighth Test venue of the country.

Chances are high to make a winning-start to the venue unlike the other seven venues and Bangladesh just wouldn’t like the momentum, gained from ODI series to let away.

Bangladesh stand-in skipper Mahmudullah Riyad, who is leading the squad in injury-forced absence of Shakib al Hasan thereby stressed upon the requirements on keeping the focus firmly given their performance against West Indies where they tested a humiliating series defeat in two-match Test series.

During Bangladesh’s last tour in West Indies, the hosts crushed them convincingly inside three days in both matches including wrapping them up for their lowest Test score 43 in the first innings of the first Test.

“We will try our hundred percent to bring a positive result. We just want to carry the form, gained from the ODI series and execute our plan well,” Mahmudullah Riyad said yesterday.

“We are not taking anything for granted because they are a capable side and can always make a comeback. Test cricket is such a format where every session offers different challenge and we need to make sure we achieve all the small goals that we want to achieve in respective sessions.”

“We did not perform according to our expectation in West Indies and to be honest we performed badly (in the tour). We do have a big chance to prove our worth in the home condition and if we can do well in the opening Test, surely we can look forward in the next Test match,’’ he said   .

Bangladesh basically eye the series against West Indies as they want a revenge. Mahmudullah Riyad said, doing well in the Test series against Zimbabwe will help them to be in good stead before the series against West Indies, scheduled to begin on November 22.

West Indies will also play three ODIs and two T20 internationals alongside two-match Test series in November-December.

 ‘’If we think of a bigger goal than we have West Indies coming up and doing well against Zimbabwe is important in order to be well prepared,” said the interim skipper.

“It is not a fact that Zimbabwe is a weak side. We just played better than them in the ODIs and we need to make sure that we follow it up in the same manner against them in the Test series as well,’’ he added.

As the good beginning of any series is prelude to Bangladesh’s success, Mahmudullah ruled out of too many experiments in the opening Test match despite there is a lot of scope to think in that direction considering the fact that two of their major stars- Shakib al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal are missing due to injury as well as taking into account the strength of their opponent.

“We might not opt for too many experimentation in the opening Test match rather we will try to play with our best possible squad because the first match is extremely important irrespective of format. You know we always set the tone of the series,’’ he reminded.

 “We always believe when we have a good start we can take that confidence a long way,’’ he said.

The stand-in captain was unfazed by the injury-forced absence of Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal, saying that their absence would present a good chance for the other players to show their mettle.

“Shakib is the kind of player who can give the team a well balance while Tamim’s start is always valuable for our team. But still their absence is the opportunity for others to show their mettle. Hopefully the players would understand their role.”