'We are ready to take the challenge' | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 20, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:25 AM, December 20, 2018

'We are ready to take the challenge'

The strategy of tackling short balls by going on the counterattack backfired for Bangladesh as they fell to an eight-wicket defeat against the West Indies in the first T20I in Sylhet.

Caribbean seamers Oshane Thomas and Sheldon Cottrell tested the Bangladeshi batsman with a short ball trap that led to the Tigers' downfall as the batsmen came out of their comfort zone and attempted to flex their muscles by going after short-pitched deliveries.

The intention to unsettle the visiting bowlers may have been right, but the application was wrong as such strategy requires much more than just a swing of the bat.

Soumya Sarkar was among the victims of that ploy as he attempted to pull a short ball from a Cottrell delivery that was coming onto his body, only to top-edge the ball and be dismissed.

However the elegant left-hander backed that strategy to tackle short balls, saying that it was a courageous strategy before adding that Tigers required perhaps more perfection.

"Not a concern," Soumya told media yesterday in reply to being asked over tackling the Windies' strategy.

"We went chasing after the short balls, which requires courage. We tried to go hard even against the short balls and if we got dismissed by backing down then there would be a question of whether we were scared. If we had played cleverly and worked on timing and placement, things would have been good for us," he added.

"It would have been different if it was a Test match but in T20s you have to play the shots or else scoring options decrease."

Today's second game will be on a different pitch and under conditions dissimilar to those from the first T20I in Sylhet as the pitch in Mirpur has always remained unpredictable while offering a lot to seamers in overcast and gloomy conditions.

The Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium however has not been a very happy hunting ground for the Tigers when it comes to the shortest format of the game. Bangladesh have lost 13 of 20 games here while winning only seven.

Among their 14 T20Is this year, the Tigers have played just one in Mirpur, posting a total of 193 in a five-wicket loss against Sri Lanka in January.

Regardless of the pitch and conditions it will be important for Bangladesh to bank on their strengths, which has been a collective approach with the bat rather than looking towards power cricket. The result of the latter strategy is evidenced by the outcome of the first T20I.

"We are ready to take the challenge and since we are behind after losing the first game we will look to come back strongly. Even in the previous series we managed to come back after losing the first game. It will be important to chalk out the mistakes such as losing early wickets. Then things will go in our favour," Soumya concluded.

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