Bangladesh skipper Mahmudullah stressed they are desperate to level the series against Zimbabwe. Bangladesh are trailing in the two-match Test series 0-1 after the visitors humbled them by 151-run at Sylhet International Stadium, report agencies.
“We have our backs against the wall. We have to come back strongly. There is no other option,” Mahmudullah said on Saturday (November 10). “After the Sylhet match, we all sat together and discussed the positives in that match and the mistakes that cannot be repeated in the next match. These things have been pointed out. If we stay strong in some areas then we can perform well.”
The blame for the loss squarely falls on the batsmen as Bangladesh have now failed to cross the 200-run mark for the eighth consecutive time. The Bangladesh captain admitted the poor show with the bat is a matter of concern for them.
“Batting is our real concern. In this area, we are not doing well in Tests as we do in other formats. But if we think too much then the pressure will be on us.
We will try to play our natural game. We will have a good chance if we can do that,” he pointed out.
Mahmudullah also quashed any speculations that Mushfiqur Rahim will bat up the order with Bangladesh missing their two key men – Shakib al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal. “We will have a few changes. But there is hardly any possibility of Mushfiqur going up in the order,” he said.
“He is expected to keep wickets so he needs some rest and number five or six will be the best place for him to bat.
Less than a month after Bangladesh’s ODI captain Mashrafe Mortaza’s called the Mirpur pitch “unpredictable”, their Test captain Mahmudullah has done the same. While Mashrafe had then said the team was used to the unexpected behaviour of the pitch, Mahmudullah has asked his batsmen to be more sensible in the upcoming Test, especially given their recent poor run with the bat.
Bangladesh aren’t quite getting favourable conditions in Dhaka, even though it is the venue where they play and train the most. Since the 2016 Test against England, the Shere Bangla National Stadium was given a “spinners only” tag under the Chandika Hathurusingha doctrine.
Even when Bangladesh beat England and Australia, the nature of the pitch did not get a lot of support from the team management and the players because of how the track was prepared against pace bowlers and batsmen.
“Everyone will agree with me; Mirpur’s wicket is always a little unpredictable. If you do not get what you expect, you will have to adapt to it.
We will try to play according to the pitch conditions. We have already decided some don’ts. At the same time, if each player sensibly plays his strong zone shots, we can perform. We have these things on the back of our minds.”
There will be considerable pressure on Gamini Silva, the Dhaka curator, after his pitch was given a below-average rating in the last Test held here, against Sri Lanka in February.
Dhaka has, over the last two years, dished out raging turners. The weather is forecast to be mostly dry.