‘Can’t pick out-and- out pace attack on an unfriendly pitch’ | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 02, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:36 AM, February 02, 2021

‘Can’t pick out-and- out pace attack on an unfriendly pitch’

As Bangladesh return to Test cricket after almost a year with the first of two Tests against the West Indies from tomorrow, head coach Russell Domingo yesterday spoke about various topics before the series. The following are the excerpts of the press conference:

ON THE PRESSURE OF PLAYING TESTS AT HOME: The players understand the expectations and pressure and the coaches also understand. For sure, we want to do well in Test matches as it is the format [where] we really feel there's a big improvement required. We have got some good young pacers coming through the system. Our performances in Test cricket over the past few years haven't been that good and this is something we are really trying to rectify. It's the start of a process for us in Test cricket and the results are very important, we know that, but we also want to make sure that we play in a way that can take Bangladesh cricket forward in the next couple of years.

ON SHAKIB AL HASAN'S RETURN TO TESTS: Obviously, Shakib is an important player both in batting and bowling; he is a world-class all-rounder and very difficult to replace in any format. Preparation for him hasn't been easy after picking up a groin niggle in the last ODI. He has gone through the rehab and still is not quite hundred percent. He's got another day or so and we are pretty confident that he will be ready for the first Test. He is working really hard as he bowled in the nets and he hit a few balls… not feeling that much discomfort.

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ON THE PROBABLE BATTING ORDER: The batting order still needs some discussion. I have got an idea of who is going to bat at numbers three, four, five, and six but obviously, I need to have a final discussion with the selectors. The opening spot -- to go with Tamim to open the innings -- we have a few options like Saif Hasan who played the last Test. Shadman Islam was the man in the position before he broke his fingers. We have some options and we need to discuss with the selectors.

ON BALANCE BETWEEN PACE AND SPIN: It's a really tough one. We have some really exciting young fast bowlers coming through. But looking at the wicket in Chattogram and the way we have practised in the last few days, pace bowlers don't seem to be too much of a threat. You also can't be stupid and pick an out-and-out pace attack playing on wickets that don't offer them anything. Also, very difficult for the bowlers to make debuts on this type of pitch. I will have to discuss with the selectors to make sure how we keep the right balance between pace and spin.

ON MOMINUL'S CAPTAINCY: I am expecting the senior players to be of paramount importance to assisting Mominul to develop his captaincy. We have got some players who have been playing for over 10-12 years like Tamim [Iqbal], Mushfiqur [Rahim] and Shakib and their support to the captain is important in providing options, guidance when things are tough. It's still early days for him and he is trying to develop his style of captaincy. He is very focused and that for me is the main ingredient for a good leader and if he keeps focus and tries to improve the team, he's got a chance.

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