Bangladesh bank on spin

Bangladesh are not underestimating Zimbabwe despite dominating the one-day international (ODI) series ahead of the first of two Tests starting tomorrow.

By Kevin Mapasure

Zimbabwe cricket coach Lalchand Rajput

The hosts are looking at using spin as their main weapon against Zimbabwe, who generally struggling to bat against spin.

Mehedi Hasan Miraz, who will be looking to take the leadership role in the absence of Shakib Al Hassan, is confident that the spinners will play an important part.

He told the Bangladesh media that they will be looking to win both matches.

“Our target is to win the Test match and we have to do well in both innings and all departments. We can in no way underestimate Zimbabwe as they are a good team. We won the ODI series because we played good cricket,” he said, adding that they were excited about the country’s beautiful new Test venue.

Bangladesh dominated the three match ODI series, making a clean sweep and they will be looking to continue on that path in the longer version.

“It’s unfortunate that we will miss the services of our two senior cricketers [Shakib and Tamim Iqbal] in the two-match Test series,” Mehedi told reporters.

Mehedi said that the spinners may get assistance from the Sylhet pitch.

Bangladesh selector Habibul Bashar said that spin is expected to play a big part in the first match.

“I believe the wicket will be good. There was always something in the pitch when I watched first-class matches here. I hope it will be a very good Test match as it’s a sporting wicket with turn and bounce,” said the former national captain.

Bashar also echoed Mehedi’s sentiment, saying that Bangladesh’s main target would be to win the Test. “Spin is our major strength. But we also have a good pace attack. Basically, our main target is to win the Test, whether it is the spinners or the pacers who help us do that.”

On the other hand, Zimbabwe coach Lalchand Rajput is happy with the progress his team has made so far and expects them to be competitive in the Tests.

“Batsmen are getting into the rhythm and it’s a good sign before the Test match. So we can definitely compete and players are looking forward because they have done reasonably well when they played in Bangladesh the last time,” he said, adding: “The mood in the dressing room is very positive. We are looking forward to it and hopefully we will have a better Test.”