Tigers relax before stern Test
While the Indian cricket team were sweating it out in the afternoon in the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium yesterday, Mushfiqur Rahim and Co spent the entire day away from cricket.
There were no official training or media sessions arranged. The closest that they came to cricket was when they had a meeting in the evening where the team management discussed the strategies for the first Test.
Other than that, the players were mostly confined within the team hotel or left to deal with their personal plans. Shakib Al Hasan, who barely gets a chance to roam around freely in Dhaka undisturbed, was seen shopping with his wife.
Tamim Iqbal, who incidentally will be completing 10 years of international cricket on the first day of the one-off Test against India, was busy trying to pick a hotel for the team dinner yesterday.
The obvious choice of food was Hyderabadi biriyani. Unfortunately, it was hard to settle on a restaurant that would serve that and provide an appropriate environment for the entire Bangladeshi team.
These are activities that the team often does in order to improve the team spirit. It goes without saying that Bangladesh will face a tough time in the one-off Test. They did not do well against a second string Indian team during the warm-up and it is bound to get a lot more difficult against the main Indian line-up.
It is still not certain what kind of team Bangladesh will field for the match. One of the questions that still needs to be answered is whether the visitors will field seven or eight batsmen. With Imrul Kayes out due to injury, Soumya Sarkar is expected to replace him at the top.
Soumya can bowl a bit and that may just encourage the team management to include Liton Das in the team as well as an eighth batsman. If Liton is included in the team, he will most likely don the wicket-keeping gloves instead of Mushfiqur.
If on the other hand Liton does not play and Bangladesh go on to field four bowlers excluding Shakib, then Taijul Islam or Subhashis Roy, each of whom took three wickets in the warm-up game, will find their way into the eleven. For now, Taskin Ahmed, Kamrul Islam Rabbi and Mehedi Hasan Miraz are the three specialist bowlers who are likely to form the bowling unit aside from Shakib.
Kamrul, Taskin and Shakib did not play in the warm-up fixture.