‘Still seeking the perfect T20 game’
Bangladesh are yet to come into their own as a settled unit in cricket's shortest format and one of the biggest barriers to achieving that is the absence of a power hitter.
The Tigers had to come up with different strategies to overcome this deficiency, at times taking unconventional approaches. Most recently, it was promoting a middle-order lynchpin like Mushfiqur Rahim to open the innings, which he did unsuccessfully in the Tigers' first league match against Afghanistan in the ongoing T20I tri-series on September 15.
With a well-drilled T20 batting method conspicuous by its absence in Bangladesh's play, head coach Russell Domingo seemed yesterday to move past funky remedies and opt for the more tried and tested method of keeping wickets in hand for a late charge in the last five overs of today's final against Afghanistan.
The former South African head coach is in search of the perfect game that the Tigers, according to the South African, are yet to have played in T20Is. In the four matches of the ongoing tournament, Bangladesh went to the last five overs with scores of scores of 117 for six, 97 for six, 90 for three and 101 for five and has then averaged 9.21 runs per over in the last five overs.
"We have not played the perfect game of cricket yet. We have been good and bad in some areas and we are trying to find the perfect game. We have not got to the last five or six overs with only two or three wickets down. We lost one or two too many wickets in the first 10 overs. We want to get to over number 15 maybe with two wickets down, which will allow us to try and exploit the last five overs. That's one area that we will try to focus on... try to keep a few wickets in hand for the back-end overs," Domingo told reporters at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
With overcast conditions and the rain forecast today, the coach did say that they are going to add a fourth seamer in the twelve-member team and take a decision on the final lineup before the game. Domingo has one eye on the World T20 in Australia next year and informed that playing with four seamers is an area that the team management would certainly consider.
"Winning now is important, but we also have to think of what is in the best interest of the team going forward. It is a fine line to balance it. It is always good to have a fast-bowling attack but I understand the culture, and the fact that the strength of the team lies in spin bowlers. I am trying to find the balance as a coach," he said.
Although young all-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin said on Sunday that it would be enough for Bangladesh to win against Afghanistan by giving their 70 per cent, Domingo disagreed and said that the Tigers would have to raise their intensity if they really want to beat Afghanistan, a side ranked three places higher than the hosts in T20Is.