'We do have the bowlers' | The Daily Star
12:15 AM, July 21, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:15 AM, July 21, 2015

'We do have the bowlers'

Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha doesn't like to beat around the bush. He seems to have a straightforward policy when it comes to planning Bangladesh's tactics and uses a similar strategy in press conferences.

And so, when he was asked as to what he thought would be the major obstacle for the hosts in the Test series, there weren't any ifs, buts or maybes; he cut straight to the point.

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"The biggest challenge will be their bowlers; they have got a really world class bowling attack in Test cricket. How our batters handle their fast bowlers will have a big impact on the outcome," said Hathurusingha in Chittagong yesterday.

Since 2013, South Africa have been the only team that have kept their bowling average below 30. In their last 18 matches, their bowling average has been 27.03.

Despite the threat, Hathurusingha is confident that his batsmen can overcome the challenge.

"Our top order is world class as well. If you compare our batting with any team, I will back my batters. We have got a really good bunch of players. There's Tamim [Iqbal], Imrul [Kayes] at the top and mini [Mominul Haque] coming into the team gives us a lot of stability," reckoned the coach.

History however suggests that Bangladesh's bowlers have had a torrid time against South Africa's batsmen.

On two occasions did South Africa's batsmen post 400-plus partnerships in Chittagong. The first was in 2003 when Boeta Dippenaar and Jacques Rudolph shared an unbeaten 429-run stand for the third wicket in Chittagong. The second instance was in 2008 when Neil McKenzie and Graeme Smith shared a 415-run stand for the opening wicket, a stand that remains a world record.

Hathurusingha though rates Bangladesh's current bowling attack very highly.

"We have a very good bowling attack that can take 20 wickets. Jubair [Hossain] is someone who will have a bigger impact in Bangladesh cricket going forward. He is a wicket-taker and we will use him as an attacking weapon against any team.

"Not only Jubair, Shakib [Al Hasan] as well. We have forgotten about him. He has been the highest wicket-taker. We have also got Mustafizur [Rahman] and Rubel [Hossain] and [Mohammad] Shahid is a work horse. I am much more confident than before with this bowling attack when it comes to taking 20 wickets," said Hathurusingha.

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