Zimbabwe in Bangladesh 2015-16 January 13, 2016

Hathurusingha, Whatmore aim to build settled combinations

Chandika Hathurusingha: "We have settled line-up in ODI cricket but in T20s I don't think we have our combination or gameplan understood." © BCB

Chandika Hathurusingha and Dav Whatmore, the head coaches of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, have said that the four-match T20 series between the two sides will give them a chance to try out new combinations.

With the Asia Cup T20 looming and a World T20 to follow, Bangladesh are keen to identify a settled combination. Zimbabwe, after losing four successive limited-overs series against Afghanistan, will also look to build for the World T20.

"We are looking to win because we are playing international cricket but still we want to get our best combination," Hathurusingha said. "At the same time give the players comfort in their roles, to understand their roles. So that's the main focus. In terms of combinations, we will try to do different ones. We still want to win but we will experiment in terms of combinations."

With Zimbabwe looking to play many more T20s after Bangladesh and before the World T20, Whatmore said that the returning trio of Vusi Sibanda, Brian Vitori, and Sean Williams will get a chance to play.

"We have come here to win. We are also mindful that we have another 10 games before the World T20," Whatmore said. "There will be a portion of looking at different combinations.

"They [Sibanda, Vitori and Williams] will get a chance. Sean is certainly in our best team. The other two boys have got a chance to impress. They will be given their opportunity. No one has come in here just to carry the drinks. So they will all play."

Neither team has a good record in T20 internationals, a discrepancy that needs correction. Bangladesh had lost their last T20, against Zimbabwe in November from a winning position.

Bangladesh's last T20 win against a top side was against Pakistan in April last year. Hathurusingha said that he wanted his players to understand their roles, especially on the batting front.

The return of Shakib Al Hasan and Soumya Sarkar will ease Bangladesh's concerns about building a settled combination. Shakib had gone on paternity leave and missed the last two T20s against Zimbabwe while Sarkar missed both the ODIs and T20s because of a side strain.

"We have a settled line-up in ODI cricket but in T20s I don't think we have our combination or gameplan understood," Hathurusingha said. "It is the biggest challenge, especially in batting. So batsmen have to understand and be comfortable in their roles. Shakib and Soumya are world-class players so they are both in the team."

Whatmore, on other hand, conceded that Zimbabwe had not fielded their best team for quite a while. "Our bowling attack has been a bit inexperienced without [Tinashe] Panyangara," he said. "We haven't been able to keep a settled team. We have had a close look at it. Our best team hasn't been on the pitch in quite a while. We are still looking at other objectives to achieve in this four-match series."

Keeping in view the World T20 and conditions in India, Whatmore also called for flexibility. "I am not sure Indian wickets are going to take too much spin. What I have seen in the IPL are good batting wickets," Whatmore said. "Some of the matches are also under lights so the dew factor will also come into it. I think teams need to be prepared for either medium-pace quick combinations and also have the ability to use spin bowlers without damaging their batting. I think you need to be flexible."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ain_EL_Sabet on January 14, 2016, 6:03 GMT

    this series should be used only for experiment in order to sort out right combination of Bd for the t20 wc and asia cup, doesnt matter if Bd lose in this series. Mustafiz playing too much cricket , he should be given rest otherwise might get injury before the big series. playing in pakistan league will improve mustafiz better than playing this series.

  • shajeeb on January 14, 2016, 4:05 GMT

    Playing 11 should be: 1.Tamim Iqbal 2.Soumya Sarkar 3.Imrul Kayes 4.Shakib Al Hasan 5.Mushfiqur Rahim (wk) 6.Nurul Hasan 7.Sabbir Rahman 8.Mashrafe Mortaza (c) 9.Arafat Sunny 10.Abu Hider 11.Mustafizur Rahman But the reality is- Mahmudullah will play in place of Nurul Hasan though Mahmudullah is not a T20 element at all.

  • Cricinfouser on January 13, 2016, 17:55 GMT

    Agree with you, Chandika Hathurusinge. In T20 we are just not right infact we simply fold in to our shell when the opposition shows a bit of aggression. We just lose our shape from a winning position. If we can manage to improve in T20 then I think that will help us to improve in other formats as well especially abroad.

  • Rohit Kumar on January 13, 2016, 17:11 GMT

    Zimbabwe best eleven for t20 is 1.chibhabha 2.masakadza 3.peter moor(wk) 4.williams 5.Waller6.chigumbura 7.james bruce 8.Solomon mire 9.cremer 10.madviza 11.chisoro

  • Emon_Das on January 13, 2016, 16:41 GMT

    We sd try 11 fresh blood agnst zim.

  • virendra_s on January 13, 2016, 15:26 GMT

    whom against the next t20 matches Zimbabwe is going to play against after this series?

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