Plenty at stake for Tigers in tri-series opener

Staff Correspondent | Updated at 12:12am on March 08, 2018


Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman (2nd-R) bowls as captain Mahmudullah and coaching staff look on during a training session in Colombo on Wednesday.— BCB photo

Bangladesh national cricket team will be looking to make a fresh start when they take on India in their opening match of the tri-nation Twenty20 tournament in Colombo today.
The match is scheduled to start at 7.30pm and will be televised live on GTV and Channel 9.
Bangladesh have plenty to gain from the opening match as a win will not only give them a positive start to the tournament but will also remove the air of negativity that left them suffocated in recent weeks.
The will be first meeting for Bangladesh against India in Twenty20 format since their ignominious one-run defeat during the ICC World Twenty20 2016 at Bangalore.
While an urge for revenge will surly spur of the players, Bangladesh will be taking the field in this game with a point to prove having failed win a game in this format for nearly a year.
The Tigers, however, are in need of a massive turnaround in their performance from the last series against Sri Lanka, when their bowlers were hammered with disdain at home.
They will be again without their inspirational skipper Sakib al Hasan, who was yet to recover from a finger injury that he sustained during the final of tri-nation one-day international tournament in January.
Mahmdullah will continue to lead the side, which was struggling to find a set combination in the absence of Sakib. The off-form of Sabbir Rahman and Soumya Sarkar’s inconstancy also put the team-management in a dilemma over their best squad for the opening game.
Both Sabbir and Somuya failed in their only opening match in Sri Lanka, which, nevertheless, the Tigers won and that too in a convincing manner by against Sri Lanka Cricket President XI.
Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah and Liton Das’s performances in that game was giving the Tigers real hope in the batting friendly R. Premadasa Stadium against an inexperienced Indian bowling attack which looked ordinary in their five-wicket loss to Sri Lanka in tournament opener.
Mahmudullah insisted that Bangladesh must play well if they are to overcome India, who, according to him still is a formidable squad despite the absence of some regular players, including their red-hot skipper Virat Kohli.
‘Though many of the experienced players didn’t come to play in the tournament, those who are here they are much capable as they played so many Twenty20 matches in IPL [Indian Premier League],’ Mahmudullah told reporters in Colombo.
‘However, I feel that if you can play well against them, it will be better for us,’ he added.
Mahmudullah, who was one of the three batsmen dismissed in the final of World Twenty20 match against India in Bangalore, said they have moved on from the loss and took their lesson from it.
‘The match in Bangalore finished there. Such accident can happen in cricket,’ said Mahmudullah. ‘‘We can’t stop with it. But it is essential to learn from that. If we can, then it will work for us,’ he added.