Bangladesh national team will fly to Rawalpindi, Pakistan on Tuesday to play the first Test of the two-match series against Pakistan starting from February 7.
In the first phase of the series, Bangladesh played a three-match T20 Internationals series against the hosts which Tigers lost 2-0 with the third and the final match of the series were washed away due to rain.
Ahead of this series, Bangladesh and Pakistan faced each other in 10 Tests with the Tigers lost nine of them and the other one ended in a draw. Four out of those Tests were played in Pakistan, and Bangladesh lost all of them.
But this time, Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo insisted that the Tigers are equipped well to register their maiden Test win on the soil of Pakistan. However, Domingo was facile enough during the recent media interaction to express concern over having no practice game before the Rawalpindi Test.
“We can definitely win in Pakistan if we can play our natural game. I am confident that if we do things well and improve considerably we can push Pakistan. It is going to be tough since they are a quality side. But we know they can also have a bad day. We need to have a great day when they have a bad day. If that happens, we give ourselves a chance,” Domingo told the media at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Monday.
Bangladesh will get only one or two practice sessions after reaching the venue. Domingo said it is not ideal to have this short time at the venue before a Test match. According to him, a team deserve at least seven/eight days in a new venue before playing a Test.
“It is not ideal. You always want to go there at least seven or eight days before a Test match, play a warm-up game, have a couple of days practice. It is not great preparation for us, but there’s nothing we can do about it. The guys will practice and play here. We will reach there on Wednesday morning, practice on Thursday and play on Friday. So it is not good,” Bangladesh head coach told the media.
In the T20 series, Bangladesh played under a tight security situation. A sum of 10,000 cops were deployed to ensure proper safety for the Tigers. There was matter of three-four hours of playing under tight security, but in Tests, Bangladesh have to play the whole day under a circumstance which is not generally ideal.
Domingo, however, ruled out the thoughts of the game being to be disturbed by the situation. He said, “It is going to be okay. When you are at the ground, it is a normal game of cricket. You are in the change room and dining hall, so there’s no problem while you are at the game.”
Tigers are going to miss the service of Mushfiqur Rahim in this series as well. Mushfiqur had earlier missed the T20 International series. He skipped the entire Pakistan series citing security concern from the family. But the coach is happy with the squad he has for the series.
“I am very happy with the squad. We have got some good batters. We have two spinners. Obviously (Mehidy Hasan) Miraz is not fit at the moment. There are opportunities for players like (Najmul Hossain) Shanto, Saif (Hassan) and (Mohammad) Mithun to try to establish themselves in the team,” Domingo told the media.
Bangladesh will carry a big hope with Tamim Iqbal who hit a triple-ton on the eve of the Pakistan series. At the same time, Mominul Haque and Mahmudullah Riyad hit centuries and Mithun got a 60 in the ongoing Bangladesh Cricket League (BCL) which will surely help the Tigers to be more confident to pose a strong challenge to Pakistan.
“Tamim’s three-hundred is a fantastic effort and it is something that should be treasured, as it doesn’t happen often. Mominul and Riyad got hundreds and Mithun got a 60. Guys have got five wickets. They have shown why they are in the Test team. It is always important for Test players to put in big performances in domestic cricket,” Domingo further told the media.
Bangladesh squad for Rawalpindi Test: Mominul Haque (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Saif Hassan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mohammad Mithun, Liton Kmer Das, Taijul Islam, Nayeem Hasan, Ebadat Hossain, Abu Jayed Rahi, Al-Amin Hossain, Rubel Hossain and Soumya Sarker