August 18, 2003

Bangladesh promise improved showing against Pakistan

Wisden CricInfo staff

Bangladesh have promised to be more competitive on their tour of Pakistan under Dav Whatmore. "We promise to be more competitive and will show improvement on this tour," Khaled Mahmud, the Bangladesh captain, told a press conference.

"Since Whatmore took over as coach we have been playing tough and are progressing well," he added. Bangladesh play the three Tests and five one-dayers in Pakistan, starting on August 20.

On his last tour to this country in March 2002 Whatmore coached Sri Lanka to victory in the second Asian Test championship. He took over as Bangladesh coach in June after Sri Lanka refused to extend his contract.

"It is a fact that since Whatmore took over he introduced some professional things and now we know what it means to play a Test," said Khaled, who has captained Bangladesh since their winless World Cup campaign in March.

Since gaining Test status three years ago, Bangladesh have lost 20 of 21 Tests, 15 by an innings, and have not won a one-day international since upsetting Pakistan in a preliminary league match of the 1999 World Cup in England.

They were crushed by Australia in both Tests by an innings and lost all three one-day games last month. Whatmore, however, believes the Australian tour will boost the team's performance. "I have always been saying improvement is what needed and we had some positives from the Australian tour and since both teams are in (the) building process some individuals will have to lift gear or two," he said.

Rashid Latif said his team would try some new players in the series: "We are trying some new but exciting players in the series and this is a very important season for us in which we also host South Africa and Bangladesh."

Pakistan recalled Inzamam-ul Haq to the 15-man squad inclusive of seven uncapped players and left out allrounder Abdul Razzaq.

Bangladesh team: Khaled Mahmud (captain), Hannan Sarker, Javed Omar, Habibul Bashar, Sanwar Hossain, Mohammad Ashraful, Razin Saleh, Alok Kapali, Mohammad Rafique, Khaled Mashud, Tapash Baishya, Monjurul Islam, Anwar Hossain, Alamgir Kabir and Mashrafe Bin Murtaza. Dav Whatmore (coach) and Latif Khan (manager)

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