Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim has said that consistency will be their main target in the second Test against England, even though their fighting performance in the Chittagong Test raised expectations of a better result in Dhaka. Recent history, however, suggests that Bangladesh have a hard time following up on a good performance in home Tests.
Against Pakistan last year, they were hammered by 328 runs in Dhaka after earning a credible draw in Khulna in the first game. In 2012 against West Indies, they got close in the first game before going down in the second game by ten wickets. Three years earlier against Sri Lanka, they again fought well in the first game but were crushed by 465 runs in the second Test.
"Our challenge will be to play consistently, especially against a good side like England," Mushfiqur said. "We wouldn't have become the No. 1 team in the world by beating England in Chittagong so our target remains to do well over four to five days in a Test, and afterwards if we get into a winning position, we will push on. We have many more performers in our side these days. So everyone has expectations from the players. Our performance and the fight we put up in the first Test wasn't unexpected. We will also try to cope with the pressure of expectation."
Mushfiqur said that the loss in the first Test, and the bitter aftertaste as the margin was their closest in terms of runs, would spur them on for the second match. "We are still hurting from the loss in Chittagong so it is best to move on from that game," he said. "We know that had we given 1% more, the Test would have been in our favour. We would like to take the positives from that game, and use them in Dhaka."
Mushfiqur said that the Bangladesh spinners' attacking nature would keep them in the game for a long time, though heavy rain on the day before the first Test could have some effect on the Dhaka pitch, which was expected to be drier than usual.
"The rain might have some impact on our plans," he said. "The wicket is mostly prepared but if the sun was out today, it would have dried up further. If there's a bit of moisture, the ball would be gripping on the surface for the spinners. Shakib Al Hasan, Taijul Islam and Mehedi Hasan combined to take 18 of the 20 wickets to fall, and they will be expected to have a similar effect in this game as well.
"Their spinners don't have to attack because of their pace bowlers. For us, the spinners are the main weapon; they have to attack and take the wickets. I think in that sense, our spinners are ahead of them. They are natural at bowling with the new and old ball, defensive or aggressively. But I would still say that our spinners have room for improvement."