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14 January, 2021 12:22:31 AM
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Tigers likely to field pace-prone attack against West Indies

Md Abu Talha Sarker, Dhaka
Tigers likely to field pace-prone attack against West Indies

Bangladesh’s ensuing home series against West Indies is knocking at the door with just six days remaining left for the main series, which will open with one-day international (ODI) matches commencing from January 20. Before stepping into the series, comprising two Test matches and three ODIs, both Bangladesh and West Indies teams will play a slew of practice matches at BKSP to hone their skills and techniques.

The hosts already launched their campaign at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium (SBNCS) in Mirpur with an intense batting-bowling-fielding session, supervised by Head Coach Russell Domingo and his coaching staff. Irrespective of players, coaches and team management, all are concerned about doing well in the upcoming series, which will be the first international games for the Tigers after the protracted corona-enforced layoff.

Meanwhile, national selectors of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) came to the headquarters and watched players’ activities regularly. They are now busy preparing their game-plan to tame the tourists, who are unlikely to be easy preys to Bangladesh although they came here with an under-strength squad after a total of 12 first-choice players skipped the tour citing their concern over Covid-19.

Everybody knows about their fire-power. If it clicks at the right time, that may somehow drift the fate of the match and the overall scenario towards their way. So there is no way to take them lightly.

However, ex-captains from Akram Khan to Khaled Mahmud Sujon and Minhajul Abedin Nannu to Habibul Bashar Sumon repeatedly suggested Tigers not to be worried about the visitors. Rather, they said, the hosts should be attentive more towards their own games and on-field applications. Currently, Shoriful Islam and Hasan Mahmud have joined the Bangladesh pace armory with Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Al Amin Hossain and Mohammad Saifuddin.

Fast-bowling coach Ottis Gibson is fine-tuning them. The selection panel coupled with the team management is now thinking as to how they can prepare their bowling strategy beside the batting and fielding departments. Sohel Islam is looking after the spinners in place of Daniel Vettori. Fielding coach Ryand Cook is working with the players to develop their catching and fielding issues. It’s been learnt from a highly-placed close source that the selectors are planning to keep maximum five pacers in the final squad that will be finalized after the intra-squad practice matches, which will be played at the SBNCS on January 14 and 16 respectively.

Four experienced pace bowlers- Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Al Amin Hossain and Taskin Ahmed -are bowling against Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan at nets continuously, while Mohammd Saifuddin, Shoriful Islam, Hasan Mahmud bowl against Liton Das, Mahmuduallah Riyad and Soumya Sarkar. The question is now swirling at the corner of the mind of the fans, cricket lovers, sports journalists: Are the hosts preparing a pace-prone bowling attack against the Caribbean side coming out of its traditional spinning strategy? If it’s true, then it will be new after the last few years.

Bangladesh gave more emphasis on pace bowling during the tenure of Chandika Hathurusingha, who stunned all concerned thereby fielding four pace bowlers against oppositions on home soil. Chandika convinced the management to develop pace bowlers and if they can do so, they will also do well at overseas conditions for which he started applying his plan at home den to build the confidence of the pacers. Because Tigers have to play more games on foreign soil, where pace is the main ingredient for doing well.

The BCB paid their full-scale attention to Chandika’s well-thought strategy. Because there was no alternative to doing well at foreign soils without it. Along with that, Tigers needed to show off their cricketing progress to world cricket after the meteoric surge at home yard. Even they produced their credentials of doing well in the 2015 World Cup down under and the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.

As of now, Tigers have to play obligatory matches regardless of formats of the game due to the World Test Championship along with the 50-over and T20 World Cups. Once, Bangladesh would get a rare schedule from the top-flight teams like India, Australia and England. But this time, those teams will play Tests against Tigers on home and away basis for which the former has to prepare themselves in that way. West Indies might just be a test case for the Tigers with regard to their future movement.

TH

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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