Bangladesh in Sri Lanka 2017 March 5, 2017

Bangladesh aiming to stay competitive for longer periods


Tamim Iqbal said that achieving small targets would make a difference © Associated Press

Bangladesh's players have often stressed on the need to do well in the first hour of a session. But they have understood, and justifiably so, that far too many times they have given it their all in the first hour only to fizzle out in the second.

In their last three Tests in New Zealand and India, there have been examples of Bangladesh starting well in a game or a session, only to be unable to carry on for the rest of the day and press home the advantage. In Hyderabad against India, Taskin Ahmed and Kamrul Islam Rabbi started strongly on the opening day, but the pair, as well as subsequent bowlers, could not keep up the pressure on the Indian top order. The same situation transpired with the ball on a number of occasions in Wellington and Christchurch, where they could not push on after a good start.

This happens even more when Bangladesh are batting. Too often, they lose wickets in a cluster in the latter part of a session after getting into a position of strength. Well-set batsmen lose focus, which is one of the two problems addressed by coach Chandika Hathurusingha.

"The one-percenters and five-percenters are letting us down," Hathurusingha said. "We know that we have the capability. There are two things - one, concentrating over a period. We sometimes switch off. The other thing is something that we have identified and spoken about, which is that we have to play the whole session rather than giving everything in the first hour and fading away in the second hour.

"We have discussed the game plan, how to be competitive for two-hour sessions. We did well when we tried this in the two-day practice game. I think this is going to help us. Now, we will learn from those mistakes and identify those moments in the game when they come, and obviously, we are going to keep reminding [ourselves] those things during this series."

Tamim Iqbal, Bangladesh's opening batsman, also spoke of the need to achieve small targets within the Test. One of the early boxes he has ticked has been getting a big score in the practice match in Moratuwa, where he cracked 136 off 182 balls with nine fours and seven sixes.

"The team and I have to take on small targets so that our process remains on track. If we can bat well and stick to our plans, we can do something good. Things will be different.

"I did well in one innings, but that doesn't mean I will keep playing the same way in Galle. But, as I said, if I am on track with the process, it gives me more chance to get a big score."

Tamim said that Bangladesh have a chance to beat Sri Lanka in a Test series, something they are yet to do. "We know the importance of the series. We feel we should win it if we play good cricket," he said. "They are also a good, young team. We are mentally prepared and everyone is trying their best to make it to the final playing XI."

Hathurusingha said that the players, having impressed more on an individual level, and sporadically as a team in New Zealand and India, would now have to put it all together for a major team effort in Galle and Colombo despite the heat, which is a worry.

"I think we have a good chance this year - other than the two Test series in India and New Zealand - for various reasons. We had good performances in those conditions, but here, we stand a good chance if we execute our plans.

"Skill-wise, both teams match really well. Home advantage for Sri Lanka is a huge factor. It is totally different to any other Test country. Heat is a huge factor, for concentration and building pressure. That's the only thing that I am bit concerned about, but we are going to be very competitive."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • yadava5614172 on March 7, 2017, 10:36 GMT

    Bangladesh bowling looks pathetic. ...shakib could one bowl and control run his wickets taking ability is gone. ...kausal mendis still playing will not surprised Sri Lanka score 450+ runs. ...Bangladesh should find test bowlers to compete. called all rounder who could neither score big or take wkts. waste of spots. went with five bowlers that shows mentality to hope from this team hope they win few odis or t20. ...

  • Shabbir Ullah on March 6, 2017, 19:04 GMT

    Bangladesh should be optimistic not cinfident. Australian beaten here in Srilanka by this new looking team. So we have to realistic also. ALSO I AM BIG BANGLADESHI FAN.

  • Shabbir on March 6, 2017, 18:35 GMT

    SREYASSREE ON MARCH 6, 2017, 9:50 GMT: Robiul Islam was very good at reversing the ball but slowly fell out of favour with the selectors after being injured. Taskin can reverse it occasionally,

  • Rownok on March 6, 2017, 17:28 GMT

    srilanka is a tough team to beat specially in their home ground.people saying bd has upper hand is completely wrong.srilanka has strong cricket structure with quality of their player is reasonably high.i will say that srilanka is ahead with home has only one good weapon which is fizz given that lankans try to hit him like loi's....but that is a foolish thought.

  • graite0848289 on March 6, 2017, 12:14 GMT

    @87266267: He said the truths and be said that this the best BD has ever played in his past. Learn English before jumping to conclusions. This is also the youngest, most inexperienced SL side BD has faced, therefore being the weakest BD has ever faced.

  • roshan1138369 on March 6, 2017, 10:25 GMT

    MasumKhan on March 6 "Bangladesh is also playing better cricket than any time in the past." seriously have you lost your mind dude. Is it ok to say you will give a good fight and may come as winners with Sl. But saying your team playing better than other international teams is just so pathetic . Is this really BAN fans do the comments what's wrong with these Bangalis ??

  • Emon on March 6, 2017, 10:00 GMT

    Shakib should bowl at least 20 ovrs a day!

  • masum on March 6, 2017, 9:59 GMT

    This is probably the weakest Sri Lankan team Bangladesh has played so far. Bangladesh is also playing better cricket than any time in the past. If we take these two in consideration , this is Bangladesh's best opportunity to register their first win against Sri Lanka.

  • krishnakumar on March 6, 2017, 9:50 GMT

    not tht use a track which makes ball reverse swing . Bangladesh bowlers are not known for reverse swing.

  •   cricfanMattegoda on March 6, 2017, 9:24 GMT

    I don't think our spinners are going to be a threat to Bangladeshis.. we should use 3 fast bowlers and a little-bit grassy track to tame their batsmen. Lakshan sandakan should be the second spinner.

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