Bangladesh v Zimbabwe, 3rd Test, Chittagong November 11, 2014

Things falling into place for us - Mushfiqur

The entire Bangladesh team had turned up at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium for what the BCB had said would be an optional training session on the eve of the third Test. Nets were running smoothly near the Bangladesh dressing-room, where fielding coach Richard Halsall was giving catches. Nearly every player with a chance to play in the third Test against Zimbabwe had a bat, while Sohag Gazi, who is undergoing remedial work on his bowling action, was one of the bowlers in the nets. Even Imrul Kayes turned his arm over for a while.

A couple of hours later, Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim spelled out exactly where his side stood and how great the feeling of being 2-0 up in a three-match series - a first in Bangladesh's history - was for him and the rest of the team. He warned against complacency but stated that the advantage and momentum was with the home side, as they sought a 3-0 win.

"It is a rare feeling to be 2-0 up before a third Test," Mushfiqur said. "I can't remember when it had happened the last time. Of course it is good to feel this way. But the reality is that we are heading into a tougher test than the first two games that we have won. They have been here for three weeks so they have got an idea of our bowling and conditions. Having said that, we would remain confident of playing well and making it a clean sweep.

"I don't think there is any room for complacency, especially having lost so many matches this year already. We have a lot to prove. We don't play a lot of Tests like other teams, so we have to value each one of them. We don't usually get the chance to make it 3-0, so we should make it count."

Asked if he had noticed any change in the dressing-room over the last three weeks after ten months of disappointment, Mushfiqur said that the only change has been a better grasp of tight situations and the presence of Shakib Al Hasan, the world's No 1 Test allrounder.

"There hasn't been too much of a change," he said. "In the past we didn't perform in tight situations but now it has happened for us. Things are falling into place for us. Batsmen are getting set and batting for long. Shakib [Al Hasan] is a big plus for us and at the same time, he makes our opponents think.

"The sign of a good team is for the form players to carry on for longer and for the others to take every opportunity to perform. This is also our overall goal."

The Bangladesh captain was also quick to point out two areas in which he would like to see improvement: catching and longer innings from the batsmen.

"Firstly, we would like our fielding to improve. We have dropped a few catches," he said. "I think we got away with it because we are playing against Zimbabwe. We have been successful in creating more chances. But batsmen from bigger teams wouldn't give us more than one chance.

"We have to concentrate for longer periods. We have made some small mistakes with the bat, which we should avoid. I would hope the set batsmen in this Test would go on to make a big score."

While it is likely that Bangladesh will go in with two seamers - Shafiul Islam and Rubel Hossain - Mushfiqur didn't rule out playing with only one seamer as the pitch in Chittagong is slower and offers less bounce than other grounds. He also urged the pacers to provide the early breakthrough.

"There isn't much bounce in the Chittagong wicket. We know it aids the spinners but we haven't decided on the selection yet. If we do employ the single pacer, we will pick an extra batsman.

"In Chittagong, the pace bowlers are not likely to pick up five or seven wickets. They don't get that many overs to bowl, too. But their initial breakthrough is important, so we have also kept that in mind. I don't think there will be too many changes from the last match."

Mushfiqur was happy his side had leapfrogged over Zimbabwe in the ICC Test rankings and said the side needed to keep winning in order to send the world a message that Bangladesh could dominate a team.

"Ranking is a major factor. It works both ways. It does keep us under pressure because ultimately teams have to win and earn points. Rankings also motivate the players," he said. "We play less Test cricket than other teams, so winning a series 3-0 is a message which says Bangladesh are dominating a team."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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