Riyad wants positivity and aggression
T20I skipper Mahmudullah Riyad wanted more positivity and aggression as Bangladesh take on West Indies in the first of the three-match T20I series in Dominica today with an eye on getting their preparations right for the T20 World Cup in Australia. With four months till the mega-event, the series could give much-needed direction.
"I think the preparation comes from here [points to his head]. In T20Is, you have very little time in the game so you need to be very aware of the conditions that will be provided. Game sense has to be applied. Our motto will be to be very positive and aggressive at the same time," he said during the press conference yesterday.
The Tigers did not even fare that well on a cruise that was supposed to relax them after quite a few players fell prey to seasickness. Some of the players even asked for a different mode of transport during a break in the island of Martinique midway through their journey. But that could not be arranged as managing visas and other documents proved difficult since the island is French territory.
While on safer landscape, Bangladesh's T20I fate still appear to be dwindling with top-order, especially the opening slot being one of the issues.
Bangladesh have used three different opening pairs following that World Cup debacle in the UAE, with Munim Shahriar getting his debut against Afghanistan at home while Mohammad Naim Sheikh, Saif Hassan and Nazmul Hossain Shanto have also been used in the opening slot.
Riyad said his job would be to ensure players could play with ease instead of feeling uneasy about their spots in the team.
"Munim is still new and [Anamul] Bijoy is just coming in. They will have to be given the right opportunity. At the same time, the team management and I must ensure that they can play with peace of mind and get opportunities the correct way," he said.
The Test series defeat also leaves baggage ahead of the shorter formats but the Tigers found themselves in a similar position during their last tour of Windies in 2018, when they won the ODI and T20I series after losing the Tests thanks to Mashrafe Bin Mortaza's ability to rally the side's morale.
"I think it's a different ball game now," Riyad said of the T20Is. "We're keeping the red ball things aside and trying to focus on our T20 games as we're preparing for the World Cup. So, it will be very good opportunity to play West Indies in their home soil and we're looking forward to it."
"Shakib is there, Liton [Das] too. Me, Afif [Hossain], [Nurul Hasan] Sohan and Mosaddek [Hossain] are there and Sheikh Mahedi too. I think we've got very good batting depth and our bowling attack is good with variety."
The Tigers have happy memories of beating West Indies twice in Dominica in the ODI series in 2009. The likes of Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah Riyad got runs during that tour over a decade ago and they might have to do the heavy lifting as Tigers look to get their T20 compass on track.