Bangladesh interim Test skipper Mahmudullah on Thursday said that their performance in the first innings would decide the outcome of their second Test against New Zealand, starting Friday in Wellington.
The Tigers trail the three-Test series having lost the first Test in Hamilton by an innings and 52 runs.
They made a reasonable start at Seddon Park in their first innings but collapsed from 121-1 to 234 all out before New Zealand declared their innings for record 715-6 to take the game beyond their reach.
Soumya Sarkar and Mahmudullah hit fighting centuries in the second innings but Bangladesh could score only 429, their highest ever second innings total on foreign soil, which came inadequate.
‘In Test cricket, the first innings is always very important because it helps get a good build up for the rest of the game,’ Mahmudullah told reporters in Wellington ahead of the second Test.
‘Whether you are batting or bowling, it (first innings) will dictate a lot as far as getting hold of the match is concerned. So in that context first innings is very important,’ he added.
Mahmudullah was confident opener Tamim Iqbal, who made 126 and 74 in Hamilton, would play the game despite carrying some niggles but ruled out the chance of wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim.
Mushfiq also missed the opening Test with a wrist problem.
‘We are probably not getting Mushy [Mushfiq] in the next match but we are hopeful that he will be available for the last Test. He will have a proper net session and later we will know the exact condition of his pain is,’ he said.
‘I am hopeful about Tamim. Even though he has a slight niggle, I believe he will be okay for tomorrow [today]. I think he will be in good condition. He was comfortable with his batting and I think he will play,’ said Mahmudullah.
The Tigers were also expecting to improve bowling with the inclusion of Mustafizur Rahman, who was saved in the first Test to exploit the wind in the second Test at Basin Reserve.
Mustafiz’s inclusion would add some experience in the Tiger’s pace attack after the combination of Abu Jayed, Khaled Ahmed and Ebadat Hossain could take only one wicket despite bowling 87 overs collectively in the first Test.
Mahmudullah said they were yet to decide who would make the way for Mustafiz.
‘The pace attack is pretty inexperienced and it will hard for them if I expect a lot from them straight away. Certainly they are good bowlers but we need to give them time as they are going to be better for Bangladesh once they are groomed up,’ he said.
The match is scheduled to start at 4:00am and will be televised live on Channel 9 and Star Sports Select 1.
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