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SRI LANKA TOUR OF BANGLADESH

Shanto was vocal about Bangladesh's poor batting performance through the series against Sri Lanka

Shanto was vocal about Bangladesh’s poor batting performance through the series against Sri Lanka © Getty

Bangladesh skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto has requested for more match practice for his side’s red-ball specialists ahead of international assignments. The left-hand batter felt that if those specialising only in the longest format could get practice by being in the ‘A’ teams, it would help them and the team’s cause in a big way.

Bangladesh were whitewashed at home by Sri Lanka in the two-match Test series and fingers were pointed on their preparation levels, considering that most of Bangladesh’s cricketers hardly had any practice coming into the series.

“If we can send our Test specialists in the Bangladesh A team to play in our next Test destination, we will be better prepared,” Najmul told reporters following their series loss to Sri Lanka at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium on Wednesday (April 3).

“They will know about those wickets and conditions. Those who will play white-ball cricket, they have to do the job in the nets, and make mental adjustments. Even if the A team series is at home, it will help,” he said. “The way modern cricket is running, those who play the three formats have to make that adjustment. Those who play fewer formats could take better preparations. We have to find a way to adjust to the three formats going forward, and prepare accordingly.

“Better wickets in domestic first-class will help, but we don’t face a lot of challenges there. I personally feel we don’t get to play quality matches in first-class cricket. I think playing more matches help in overall improvement of each player.”

Najmul admitted that their batting failures has cost them dearly in the recent past as far as Test cricket is concerned. Bangladesh have been able to cross the 200-run mark only once in their last six innings, when they posted 318 in their second innings of the second Test, chasing 511 runs at ZACS.

“We didn’t bat well throughout the series. There’s no option to give excuses. We can say lots of things but we didn’t bat well as a team in the four innings. We aren’t as poor a batting unit as we displayed in these two Tests. We are more capable. We have room for improvement both technically and mentally,” he said.

“This is a very young team. We don’t have much experience. Every player has the desire to improve. Give it more time, the team will make better decisions,” he said. “We always struggle in our batting. But I can tell you that every batter is giving their 100 per cent. They want to contribute to the team. They practice hard. We didn’t get the desired outcome in this game but I firmly believe that we will get the outcome. The way we are working hard, practising and having desire to improve, I am sure we will see the outcome.

Najmul was also unsure about the reason behind Bangladesh’s dropped catches across the two Tests. Particularly as the same fielders were doing a great job in the fielding drills.

“Everyone takes their catches in practice. They work hard on their fielding. There’s no answer to why we dropped the catches. We couldn’t take the catches though everyone was well prepared as a fielding unit,” said Najmul.

“Our fast bowlers were not of this quality even three or four years ago. Now they are taking wickets on these types of wickets (like in Chattogram). Khaled bowled superbly in both Tests. Hasan Mahmud bowled well on his debut. Shoriful was good in the first Test. Taskin always contributed when he played Tests. Every bowler is hungry to contribute to the team in every condition,” he said.

Najmul also added that the return of Shakib Al Hasan in Test cricket after a gap of one year has helped them immensely.

“There will be a lot of talk outside. It is not in our control. The players back each other. We accept that we didn’t play well. We know what to do to get out of this. We have a bit of time to prepare for the next Test series, those who have the opportunity will do it well,” he said.

“I knew that Shakib bhai will play the second Test in Chattogram. He always allows us time to know his plan. He contributed in this match. He took three wickets. He bowled a lot of overs. He also batted well in the second innings. I got more than I expected from him. It always helps to have an experienced player. He gave the players a lot of feedback, which was also quite helpful,” Najmul said.

© Cricbuzz

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