Confident Tigers gear up for ODIs

A confident-looking Bangladesh national cricket team is all set to kick off their preparations for the upcoming ICC World Cup through the five-match one-day internationals against Zimbabwe. Tigers swept Zimbabwe in the just concluded three-match Test series 3-0 to raise their self-confidence and are now looking to carry the momentum into the ODI series starting from November 21 in Chittagong. Experienced pace bowler Mashrafee bin Murtaza will be taking the leadership role from Mushfiqur Rahim during the shorter-format games and will share the responsibility with ace-all rounder Sakib al Hasan, who has been appointed as vice-captain.

Though forthcoming ODI series is nothing more than a regular battle between the two familiar foes but looking at the broader picture it is expected to be a dress rehearsal for the next World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Coach Chandika Hathurusinghe and his coaching staff will be taking the ODI series as an opportunity to find the right kind of combination of the Tigers for the world’s greatest cricket extravaganza. With the team’s fortune taking a positive change after a disastrous year when they lost all of their ODIs so far, the Tigers would be keen to carry it once they change their white dress with coloured jersey. Chief selector Faruk Ahmed acknowledged the importance of this transformation regarded by the cricket pundits as the immediate task in hand for the Bangladesh team. ‘Definitely this series will be important as far as the World Cup is concerned,’ Faruk told New Age on Monday over phone while watching the Dhaka Premier League match at Fatullah.

‘After the series we will not have the chance to play against any international opposition apart from few practice matches. ‘So this series will be important to see the progress of the new-look Bangladesh ODI side.’ Faruk emphasised on the word of new-look considering the fact that it has a new leader in Mashrafee and brought a crucial break for deposed Mushfiqur Rahim, who has an important role to play as team’s batting protagonist and wicketkeeper. ‘Mashrafee is a proven captain and everyone knows his ability as a team-man,’ said Faruk. ‘However, some of the players are yet to know his style of captaincy and taking that into account it [ ODI series] will allow him to create his influence on the new players. ‘Apart from that he needs to work hard so that the team does not lose this momentum. ‘Maintaining the focus both on the immediate series as well keep an eye on long term goal will be an area where we expect him to make a proper balance. ‘We cannot lose this series in order to see where we stand for the World Cup. ‘Mushfiq will hopefully shine even better in this series as he is now relived of certain pressure and can concentrate totally on his own game,’ he said Skipper Mashrafee and other players of ODI series have already joined Tigers at Chittagong. The Tigers took a rest on Monday to get over the physical tiredness and the mental fatigue consumed during the Test series. They will start their preparation for one-dayer’s at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium during the afternoon today [Tuesday].

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