Tigers gear up with extended session
Tamim Iqbal was left hopping as Taskin Ahmed, handed the ball in the first match-scenario simulation during yesterday's training, produced an entertaining spell. He beat outside edge of Tamim's bat twice with searing line and length before the ODI skipper got his bat on one. Taskin then rapped Tamim's pads with the fourth delivery as the fielders went in appeal, although in vain. A maiden over was how the match-scenario simulations began at Mirpur's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
As evening approached, it appeared that the session, under Chandika Hathurusingha's guidance, was coming to an end but that notion was soon quashed as the team kept running the match-scenario simulations well past the evening with the floodlights on, finally coming to an end at 7:45pm.
It was not easy to recall the last time the national team had endured such a lengthy session. Mushfiqur Rahim was the first to the individual net session at 11:00am before Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah Riyad followed suit to the indoor nets and went through the regular grind which ended close to 1:00pm. Following a break, all the players turned up along with the coaching panel to begin simulating match scenarios.
Tamim might have struggled a little during that first over when the session began at 2:00pm but Liton Das, the other opener, showed the fine touch that he displayed in the practice match on Thursday. Mustafizur did not trouble much with the new ball in the next over and Tamim then flicked Taskin for six over square-leg with impeccable timing during the pacer's next over as the contest between bat and ball kept developing in a six-over session with Mehedi Hasan Miraz also bowling two overs.
The first session was to begin preparations for stability at the top in ODIs, without losing wickets and Tamim and Liton held up their end of the bargain.
The second scenario saw Towhid Hridoy and Najmul Hossain Shanto step in to handle the new ball. Mahmudullah-Mehedi, Mahmudullah-Mushfiqur and Afif Hossain-Mushfiqur were some of the batting combinations during the simulations, which also consisted of death-over simulations.
Liton talked to Hathurusingha in-between sessions regarding some technical aspects and the Sri Lankan appeared comfortable around the players.
Selector Habibul Bashar talked to members of the media while the sessions were going on. Asked whether the coach trying too many things with a settled side could unsettle them, he felt that would likely not be the case due to Hathurusingha's past experience.
"I don't think so since coaches are all professional. Chandika knows about Bangladesh. If someone else came, he would have to begin anew. He knows the culture and the environment. So in that regard, he will take less time to embed his ideas than someone else. I personally feel that it's about the players and how they perform. A coach will definitely have new ideas but he won't say that the players have to apply them from today," Bashar said.
The selector also believed that the Tigers would not need to try out too many things but instead maintain the processes. The processes are being maintained but Hathurusingha is turning things up a notch in his second stint with the Tigers.
Many of the players, such as Yasir Rabbi and Mahmudul Hasan Joy, have left to play in the BCL and according to sources, a 15th member will likely not be added to the ODI squad.