“Whoever bats, whether at top-order or middle-order, it’s important to bat with intent based on one’s strength.”
Bangladesh played 123 matches in this format and won just 43, all of which came against a weakened side or in a designed pitch. They lost a staggering number of 78 matches. Of the six matches against Afghanistan, they won just two and lost four. The seventh match against the Afghans will begin at 3:00pm.
I won’t be able to describe the aspect of style. I prefer to bat with intent and positivity and to bat fearlessly. At the same time, bowlers need to have the same attitude knowing that if we can bag wickets upfront, we’re in the game
While Afghanistan particularly found this format to their likings, Bangladesh still can’t win matches in this format if not they prepare a designed pitch. But while designed pitch worked against teams like Australia and New Zealand, it hardly would fetch result against the Asian teams, who specially have strong spin attack.
But Mahmudullah is confident that his side still can win the game against Afghanistan in this format should they play with right intent and fearless brand of cricket.
“Expectation is obviously to win. T20 cricket is such a format that anybody can win on any particular day. We have to play well and our focus is on tomorrow’s (Thursday’s) game only. We are focusing on the start and if we can do that, hopefully we can build on it,” he said.
“I won’t be able to describe the aspect of style. I prefer to bat with intent and positivity and to bat fearlessly. At the same time, bowlers need to have the same attitude knowing that if we can bag wickets upfront, we’re in the game. So we prefer positivity in our T20 cricket and will try to have that same attitude from tomorrow,” he remarked.
The captain is not fazed by their defeat at the hands of Afghanistan in the third match, which many believed ruined Bangladesh’s momentum.
“The feeling is good in the camp. As I said before, T20 cricket is such that whether you play the number one ranked side or the 10th or 12th side, it’s just a matter of one good partnership, one good bowling partnership,” he said.
“In ODIs or Tests, you get time to comeback but in T20 cricket you won’t get that time. Whatver you do, you need to think instantly on your feet and direct your effort likewise. At someday you may be successful other days you may not succeed. But I feel that regarding the process of how we want to play our T20 cricket, will depend on us. We may not succeed straightaway but if the buildup is good, we will get the result afterwards.”
With another World Cup on sight, the Bangladesh captain emphasised they are not looking too far now. Instead, their focus is more on the current series.
Bangladesh are currently number nine in the T20 team ranking while Afghanistan are at eight. Bangladesh will have a good chance to surpass the Afghans if they can win this series 2-0
The Tigers might include Munim Shahriar in the teams, who drew the attention of many in the just-concluded Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) with his ability of clean hitting.
“Munim has a good chance to play tomorrow (Thursday). But I cannot confirm it now. We’ll plan on match-day morning about the batting order,” Mahmudullah said, mentioning that Mohammad Naim also has a good chance to start the innings despite his lean performance in the BPL.
Munim scored more than 170 runs in the BPL with a strike rate of above 150. In contrast, Naim had been out of the form in most parts of BPL while representing Minister Group Dhaka, which was led by Mahmudullah.
Bangladesh also included Yasir Ali in the T20 squad. The right-handed batter got his ODI cap in the ODI series against the same opponent but failed to prove his mettle on two occasions the batted.
Bangladesh are currently number nine in the T20 team ranking while Afghanistan are at eight. Bangladesh will have a good chance to surpass the Afghans if they can win this series 2-0.
Bangladesh are going to miss the service of Tamim Iqbal who did well in the BPL. The left-handed batter took a six months’ break from this format.
Mahmudullah called his team to play T20 cricket in an aggressive manner. He also said that the batters of the top-order need to come up with some explosive batting to have a good start to the match.
Mushfiqur sustains thumb injury
Mushfiqur Rahim sustained an injury on the thumb of his right hand during a practice session at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
He underwent a scan quickly on his injured finger but that revealed nothing serious. Despite that he has immense pain on the finger which made him doubtful in the first T20 match against the Afghanistan.
“After being injured, he underwent a scan and it revealed nothing serious. But he has pain on the injured place. He will be under observation till the night. The team management will decide whether he will play the first match after judging the extent of the pain,” BCB physician Monjur Hossain said.
Spotlight was on Mushfiqur as he returned to the T20 squad with this series against Afghanistan after being dropped against Pakistan in the last series.
Mushfiqur played a superb 86-run in the second ODI against the visitors in Chattogram. His knock was crucial alongside Liton Das’s century to help Bangladesh win the second game by 88 runs. Mushfiqur, however, was dismissed in single digit figure in the first and third ODI.