The pursuit of Test approach continues
The Bangladesh national team players are enjoying their Eid vacations, many of them away from the hubbub of city life, enjoying their time away with friends and families. The excursion into their childhood surroundings would have given them the much-needed peace and quiet away from cricket's adrenaline rush but the vacations are at an end and a tough home assignment awaits in Sri Lanka.
Thus, challenges simmer under the vacation bubble and the need to improve after a difficult Test tour of South Africa are already on the agenda with the team management thinking of the cricketers' mental sharpness after returning from a break while also looking to improve the issue of the Team's Test approach after it gave away in the two Tests against the Proteas.
The Lankans are due in the country on May 8th and with that in mind, the Bangladesh team management have chalked out their scheduling for the upcoming two-match Test series. Bangladesh's overseas coaching staff are all expected to return by May 7 and the team will depart for Chattogram on May 8 (Sunday) evening. The team will gear up for the first Test with their training camp scheduled to begin from May 9.
Team director Khaled Mahmud was pretty aware of the challenges facing Bangladesh while up against an opponent like Sri Lanka at home.
"Sri Lanka are always a tough opponent, especially in the subcontinent. They play spin well and they are well-adjusted to the heat here so it will not take them time to acclamatise," Mahmud said about the upcoming series.
The team management have not yet unfolded the reasons for the batting debacle in South Africa but from what they have been able to ascertain, the approach became problematic due to challenges of a mental nature.
"We had a bad phase in South Africa and the truth is that we were outplayed. The important thing right now is that we have to perform well to get out of that phase. This series presents us with the challenge of playing good cricket. The only positive for us was the first innings in South Africa in the first Test in South Africa.
I don't know whether the main problem stems from psychological issues but the main thing is that we have to be positive. Being positive doesn't mean we have to play aggressive strokeplay, what I mean is to have a positive mindset.
"There were signs that we can show the required approach but we only showed that approach a few times. I don't know whether the main problem stems from psychological issues but the main thing is that we have to be positive. Being positive doesn't mean we have to play aggressive strokeplay, what I mean is to have a positive mindset. We have had a plan for a long time but have not been able to establish it yet which is to play 150 overs. We haven't found that approach and been able to establish it."
Despite what skipper Mominul Haque said about their approach being pretty similar in South Africa to Mount Maunganui in New Zealand, Mahmud recognises that the team cannot be in two minds approach-wise. Bangladesh went in favour of batting depth in recent Tests but that theory cannot go on.
"We can't play like this as a Test team for a long time. We say that we aren't a settled team in Tests and that's the truth because for that you have to play five bowlers.
"If the batters, at least the experienced ones in the side, can take the responsibility, we can play five bowlers," Mahmud said about the inclusion of five bowlers.
Mehedi Miraz was ruled out of the first Test but the team director opined that they have to stick to their positive mindset. "We have played fast bowlers recently. If you do not play Khaled [Ahmed] or Shoriful [Islam] then we will be going backwards. We have to get out of the culture of not banking on our pacers in home Tests," he concluded.