Only pride to play for | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 11, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 11, 2010

Tri-nation !dea Cup 2010

Only pride to play for

OUR ONE LAST CHANCE: Bangladesh cricket team's Australian coach Jamie Siddons makes a point to his charges on Sunday ahead of their final match of the tri-nation one-day series against India today. Photo: STAR

For a team like Bangladesh it's always important to prove themselves no matter whether the game holds any consequences or not.
India's win against Sri Lanka on Sunday means today's game against India is nothing but a dead-rubber for the Tigers.
Still, Shakib Al Hasan's men has every reason to be fully focused because an impressive performance in the final league match of the Idea Cup would be a real morale boost for them ahead of the two-match Test series against their big next-door neighbours which will start from January 17 at Chittagong.
Jamie Siddons' charges will definitely try to improve two things that they desperately missed in the last three games of the tri-nation tournament. Priority number one should be the improvement of bowling that got a lot of stick at the hands of two quality opponents. The inexperienced pace attack in the absence of Mashrafe Bin Mortaza looked not only ordinary but also lacked discipline. The experienced spin attack also struggled against India and Sri Lanka for obvious reasons.
Batting was quite consistent in the three games but there was a big score missing from the top order as most of the batsmen got starts but failed to convert into a big one. It was refreshing to watch the team given good starts by their two southpaw openersTamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes--and former Bangladesh skipper Mohammed Ashraful batted with some responsibility while captain Shakib Al Hasan also returned amongst the runs in the last game against Sri Lanka. Shakib is still looking for a big score from the top order but before that he wanted to win the toss so that they can field first as he had made a farce of the opportunity against India which brought him wide criticism.
"We want to win the toss and take fielding, let's see how the bowlers do,” said the young Bangladesh skipper during the practice session at Mirpur yesterday.
He joked when asked about his team's chances of playing in the final of the tournament on January 13. "Yes, if India win today and we beat them tomorrow," said the smiling Tigers skipper.
There is a possibility of bringing in a change in the bowling department and there was a talk about three pacers at the cost of one experienced left-arm spinner but the team sources said that Shafiul Islam, who made a poor international debut against Sri Lanka and was dropped in the very next game, may come back into the side in place of Rubel Hossain.
"The playing eleven hasn't been decided yet, but there might be a change in the pace bowling department," hinted Shakib.
Shakib once again expressed his satisfaction over his team's batting performance in the tournament.
"I am satisfied with the batting, hopefully we will keep it up. It will be great if someone scores big. We have scored fifties or seventies, but no one converted them into big ones. If any one does that, it will be good for him and the team," he hoped.
"We are doing well, improving with every game. I won't comment on the bowling, lets see how we bowl tomorrow, since they are a very good batting side, it will be tough if we can not make early breakthroughs," he added.
Though Bangladesh captain looked helpless after his team's heavy defeat against India in the first-leg much, he said that they would go into the match with a target of winning the last game.
"We will try to win, at least we want to make sure we don't do worse than we did in the previous match. We have the scope of improving in all departments," he promised.
The Bangladesh captain believes that things would not be any different if the pitch is different from the current ones because of the strength of the opponents.
"The pitches are all very good and solid, ideal for one day cricket. Not one for 400 though. If the matches were day matches or if there was no dew in the evening, the matches would've been a lot tighter."
"Everywhere in the world wickets are prepared in favour of batsmen. Spinners get some assistance during the day, if they can put the balls in the right places then they will get some assistance" he observed.
"All the three teams are very similar, although they edge us on all three departments. We cannot produce a pitch that will give us the advantage, whether we produce a batting-friendly or a spin-friendly wicket, that will work for their advantage more than ours," added Shakib.

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