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News

Hathurusingha: Overcoming England's pace-bowling challenge will be Bangladesh's biggest test

Also reveals that Shakib Al Hasan's workload management for the series will be left on the senior player

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
28-Feb-2023
Tamim Iqbal and Chandika Hathurusingha head to training  •  BCB

Tamim Iqbal and Chandika Hathurusingha head to training  •  BCB

Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha belives that his full-strength Bangladesh side are slightly ahead of an England side that is missing some key batters due to the Test series in New Zealand. Even while praising England's depth, calling them the "envy" of the rest of the world, he said that he backed his own side's skill levels in home conditions.
"We are playing full strength," Hathurusingha told reporters on the eve of the ODI series. "I don't think they have come with their full strength. Some of them are playing Test cricket. I back our skills and strength. Saying that, they have incredible strength in the last ten years or so.
"England have one of the best pace attacks in the world. They have five fast bowlers and three spinners on this tour. The challenge will be to play their fast bowlers in this series. They have developed great depth in English cricket. They are the envy of every Test-playing nation. I am hoping that by the end of my tenure, we can leave something behind."
Currently in the first week of his second stint as Bangladesh coach, Hathurusingha has also observed that his players are taking up responsibilities.
"They have improved in terms of understanding their roles," he said. "Mainly I was impressed with how they take the ownership of how they want to prepare. I am very pleased about it. Even the youngsters, you don't need to guide them too much. They know how to prepare and know their various roles.
Hathurusingha also revealed that he will allow Shakib Al Hasan to decide whether he is mentally and physically fit for the first ODI, after he arrived from the USA just 48 hours before the first game.
"There's so much cricket being played. The opposition just arrived two days before, and you have to play," he said. "That's the nature of the scheduling. Shakib had a family emergency, so he is back from a long flight.
"He said he is feeling good. He practice yesterday and today. I think you have to back him, because of his experience and who he is. He knows his body. I have to go by his judgement."
Hathurusingha said that he will be lurking in the background for the first two games of the series since he wants to see the processes in play. He also said that Bangladesh's XI for the first ODI will be quite close to the side that beat India in the ODI series in December.
"I am not going to talk much at all as I have been around for seven days," he added. "They have been playing good cricket lately, so my job is to see what they are doing. Their process to be successful. If it is working well, I don't need to say something. I will probably observe in the first two games, then take it from there."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84