Tigers regrouping on day off | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 05, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:39 AM, March 05, 2019

Tigers regrouping on day off

The disappointment of a comprehensive innings-and-52-run defeat in the first Test inside four days against hosts New Zealand was visible among the members of the Bangladesh team on their day off in Hamilton yesterday.

Most of the players opted to stay at the hotel while a few like Soumya Sarkar, Shadman Islam and Mohammad Mithun, opted for a touch of adventure in the form of a jet-boating excursion with team manager Khaled Mashud.

Bangladesh will travel to Wellington, the venue for the second of three Tests starting from March 8, today and will start preparations for another difficult examination tomorrow.

However, despite the defeat there were a few positives that the Tigers could take forward into the next Test -- Tamim Iqbal's hundred in the first innings that was followed by an expert 74 in the second innings, as well as Soumya Sarkar and skipper Mahmudullah Riyad's hundreds that kept New Zealand at bay for a large portion of the fourth day in Hamilton.

But despite the few individual heroics, there was a marked lack of a collective approach both from batsmen and bowlers, which the Bangladesh think tank would surely want to improve upon if they are to keep the series alive after the Wellington Test ends.

One of the biggest disappointments in Hamilton was the performance of seamers Abu Jayed, Khaled Ahmed and debutant Ebadot Hossain, who combined to concede 369 runs in 87 overs for just a solitary wicket. It is almost certain that left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman, who according to coach Steve Rhodes was rested in Hamilton because he was being saved for Wellington, will play the second Test.

At the same time, it will be even more challenging for Bangladesh to adapt to Wellington conditions because of the capital's strong wind and seaming pitches.

Once again, the home side will surely bank on the bouncer-barrage  strategy which they successfully implemented in Hamilton, led by left-arm seamer Neil Wagner alongside Trent Boult and Tim Southee.

There was one piece of good news for the visitors as the experienced Mushfiqur Rahim is recovering quickly from his wrist and finger injuries sustained during the ODI series and there is still a chance that the wicketkeeper-batsman will take part in the second Test.

However, it will still depend on Mushfiqur and how he recovers as he is set to start batting from tomorrow, two days before the Test starts.

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