Bangladesh will try to carry their winning momentum while still trying out a few new faces in the ODI series against Zimbabwe, according to their captain Mashrafe Mortaza ahead of their second match in Chittagong. Fazle Mahmud, who debuted in the first ODI, continued to have Mashrafe's backing despite the opener scoring a duck in the first game.
"We have to be clinical and find a way to win while trying out a few guys," Mashrafe said at his press conference on Tuesday. "The likes of [Nazmul Hossain] Shanto, Ariful [Haque] and Abu Hider also deserve to play. But I also have to consider that this is the series-deciding game.
"I still think [Fazle] should get another game. It is hard to judge a player based on one game. You can't also blame him for getting out to that delivery. We have backed a lot of players in the recent past but we also can't afford to give someone a lot of chances before he performs. But we will try to give him the best of opportunities."
Bangladesh won the first game by 28 runs with Imrul Kayes, Mohammad Saifuddin and Mohammad Mithun leading the way with the bat, a welcome change from the usual performers like Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal.
But victory didn't come easy. Imrul and Saifuddin had to stitch together a 127-run seventh-wicket stand after Bangladesh lost their way in the middle overs. Fazle was one of those dismissed early, undone by a Tendai Chatara short ball that got big on him and took the outside edge. Mashrafe, however, felt that not only Fazle, but any Bangladeshi newcomer into the international stage, needs a bit of time to adjust to the frills that come with the standards of top-tier cricket.
"Firstly it is the presence of the camera. There is automatic pressure when a player knows that the match is being televised," Mashrafe said. "There is also the home crowd, and of course our social media which also plays a part.
"The press, teammates and family are also there, but all of these things don't really matter at the domestic level. Nobody even bothers finding out. So it is a huge difference."
Fazle was Bangladesh's fourth ODI debutant this year, with Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Nazmul Islam and Hider making their debuts during the Asia Cup. The absence of Shakib and Tamim would encourage Bangladesh to try more experiments, particularly if the younger players have a bad day out. But as Saifuddin showed in the first game with his half-century, a good outing solves issues both wide and small, something that Bangladesh want to do without as they look to complete the series win over Zimbabwe and move on towards the 2019 World Cup.