Sriram zones in on specific areas
There was a sense of seriousness and clarity during the first day of Bangladesh's three-day training camp under the keen supervision of new technical consultant Sridharan Sriram at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
Since this was Sriram's first opportunity to work closely with the players, the match-scenario training session at the centre wicket in Mirpur was more akin to an eleventh-hour observation before the squad could be finalised for the ICC T20 World Cup next month and the preceding tri-nation series in New Zealand.
Although rain played foul throughout the day, Sriram and team director Khaled Mahmud Sujon were busy preparing the players according to different match-scenarios.
"We tried to challenge both batters and bowlers. We explained what we wanted from the batters in the first six overs, how they should bat and how the bowlers should bowl. It takes thirty minutes to complete six overs but we are taking 45 minutes. The coach [Sriram] spoke with each and every bowler about what we want and whether we are being able to execute it. Our main problem in the bowling department is that we are making mistakes despite doing things alright in the training," Mahmud told the media yesterday.
"We also worked on what to do in the death overs and what the field settings should be. Today we asked the batsmen to score 50 runs from six overs and allowed them to lose two wickets. Meanwhile, the bowlers' target was to concede less than 45 runs in the first six overs."
There was also fresh discussion about the future of former T20 captain Mahmudullah Riyad after the cricketer was seen batting in the both the Powerplay overs and slog overs during the match-scenarios.
With the cut-off date for announcing the World Cup squad set for September 15, Mahmud informed that the management was yet to make the final call on Mahmudullah's future.
"It is too early to say since Riyad is in the camp. Riyad has always been an important part of the team in white-ball cricket. We are yet to take a decision. We will finalise whether Riyad will be in the team or if we need him or not before forming the squad. All I can say is that Riyad is important for us, but it's good to have the discussion about whether he will be in the team or not. You can't say that Riyad is not an automatic choice and we need to keep everything in mind and work.
"At the end of the day, we will do whatever is needed for Bangladesh cricket. Riyad is as important as Yasir Ali in the team. In fact, everyone in the team is equally important. Riyad has the interest and dedication to continue playing, but we did not get what we expected from him. He may have made small contributions such as the run-a-ball 27 and a few 20-odd knocks, but Riyad is a match-winner and we need to keep that in mind," Sujon said.
Soumya Sarkar, who alongside Parvez Hossain Emon is a contender for the opening slot in the World Cup side, was also under the microscope yesterday.
The team management will also be relieved to see stylish batter Liton Das looking comfortable with the bat in the middle although he is still recovering from a hamstring injury.