Tigers seek rhythm and consistency
Bangladesh will cap off the warm-up phase of their World Cup campaign with an encounter against defending champions England at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati today.
The Tigers won their first warm-up match comprehensively by seven wickets against Sri Lanka on Friday.
Skipper Shakib Al Hasan, who was forced out of the first match against Sri Lanka due to an ankle sprain in training, is likely to give the England match a miss as well.
Ahead of the England match, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) selector Habibul Bashar said he wants the Tigers to find their rhythm before the tournament begins, regardless of the result.
"It is important that the players test themselves against a quality opposition like England. Regardless of the result, we just want to tick all the boxes in the match, especially in the top-order. If the top three can find their rhythm, then they can take that rhythm into the main stage," Bashar told The Daily Star yesterday.
In the first warm-up game on Friday, Bangladesh bundled out the Lankans for 263 and chased the target in 42 overs, courtesy of their openers -- Liton Das and Tanzid Tamim -- who provided a 131-run stand.
Liton seemed to have come out of his slump with a 56-ball 61, while Tanzid missed out on a century after giving the Tigers a solid foundation having scored an 88-ball 84.
"We aren't really concerned about bowling at this moment. We want our top order batting to come good," Bashar added.
Bangladesh, who begin their World Cup campaign with an encounter against a familiar foe in Afghanistan on October 7, will play their second match against England in Dharamsala on October 10.
The warm-up match hence gives the Tigers an opportunity to assess the defending champions while gauging their strengths and weaknesses in Indian conditions.
The Tigers got off to a solid start in their preparation phase with the Sri Lanka win but renowned coach Nazmul Abedin Fahim asked for 'repetition' in terms of performances from Shakib's side.
"I want repetition from the performers. If the top order – Liton, Tanzid, and Shanto—get to bat, I want them to show consistency," he told The Daily Star yesterday. "Shanto is coming on the back of an injury and it would be good for him if he can keep up his rich form and take it to the main stage."
Mehedi Hasan Miraz is the other contender in the top-order for Bangladesh as the team's backup opener. The all-rounder already had some batting practice in the first warm-up game when he batted at number three against Sri Lanka in a match he captained in the absence of Shakib.
He scored an impressive 64-ball 67 laced with five fours and two sixes and took his side home.