Shakib Al Hasan, the Bangladesh allrounder, has said the conditions in Mirpur would favour his side more than West Indies in the series starting this week. Shakib, who last month was relieved of the captaincy, was also bullish about Bangladesh's chances during the series.
"I don't see many problems in Mirpur," he said after training at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. "We have played in England and also against Australia here, so I don't think the short ball is much of a problem for us."
Back from Kolkata Knight Riders' Champions League T20 campaign, Shakib insisted that there was no question of burnout. "I'm very relaxed. I can think more about myself [now that I'm not captain]. I think I'm quite fresh. It's not like, 'Oh I'm mentally tired'. There's nothing like that."
Shakib also called for more international Twenty20 matches for Bangladesh. His side has played only 16 international T20 matches so far, the same as Zimbabwe, but less than half the amount other Test nations have played. "No matter how much we work on it, the best way is to play lots of matches. We play international T20s after three-six months. It becomes difficult to adjust. If we play them regularly, at least play one every series, it would do us a lot of good."
Bangladesh lost both the Test and the one-day series against Zimbabwe, their previous international engagement, but Shakib said the team was better prepared for this series. "I think the preparation has been very good. We played lots of matches, there was a tournament [BCB Cup]. We've all been working hard during the practice sessions."
The last time Bangladesh took on West Indies was in the World Cup when they were bowled out for 58. Shakib said that defeat wasn't playing on the batsmen's minds. "It is a challenge for our batsmen; if we could do well against them our confidence will be much better. But I think our batsmen have the confidence to produce the goods.
"Our batting group has to be careful and disciplined against their pace bowlers, if they want to do well. I think 150-160 is a good total here, on an average that's a good score. Making a big score is difficult in this ground as it is quite big. One needs a lot of strength to clear the rope here."