Playing it like in Down Under

The Australian wickets, condition and big venues kept the Bangladesh cricket team occupied as they are preparing for next month’s ICC World Cup, scheduled in Down Under. It prompted the Tigers to change their usual training method and adopt something akin to the condition to give them a chance to do well in the gala event. Unlike routine training session, the Tigers on Monday trained in an extended playing surface at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, setting specific goals for bowlers and batsmen. A pair of batsman went into the middle with specific target in certain overs and was asked to protect their wicket at the same time. Sometimes they were told to score 20 runs in three overs while sometimes 40 in four overs. The boundary rope was taken wider to give them a chance of measuring their strength on whether they can clear the field or not. The fielding was set for powerplay giving the batsmen some liberty to hit the ball. It gave the batsmen ideal platform to take a single or double, though their attempt to hit sixes often went futile to an extended field. Their inability to clear the boundary rope only suggested management need to chalk some new plans when they are placed in bigger venues in Australia and New Zealand. Former one-day international skipper Mushfiqur Rahim, however, said that they were satisfied with the outcome from the match-like situation practice drills. ‘Overall the session was quite fruitful,’ Mushfiq told reporters at Mirpur on Tuesday. ‘Sometimes we required 20 runs from four overs without losing a wicket. ‘Sometimes we were asked to score 40 runs in four overs while at time we were asked to make 30 runs in power-play situation,’

he said ‘Though on most occasions batsmen won the battle, bowlers came back strongly after struggling initially with the idea,’ said Mushfiq. Mushfiq added that Tigers are working with their running between the wickets and putting emphasis on ones and twos as they believe that boundaries and over boundaries will be hard to come by in bigger Australian grounds. ‘Today [Tuesday] the boundary was extended to give us a feel like the Australian condition.’ ‘Till date we were doing nets and today we played some kind of a match,’ he said. ‘We have to take the advantage of the bigger venues as well as we are also working on how to go in the smaller venues in New Zealand,’ he said. The timing of the tournament also raised hopes in Mushfiq’s mind as it came out lately spinners playing a pivotal role in those conditions. ‘We can open our bowling with spin,’ said Mushfiq. As it is nearing the end of Australian season, we think that there would be some bounce but hardly there would be anything as seaming conditions,’ said Mushfiq. The wicketkeeper, who is also team’s one of the main batsman, added that he is focusing fully on his batting having recovered from a shoulder injury. ‘I am focusing on my batting as I am asked to take it slowly as far as keeping is concerned,’ said Mushfiq. ‘I will try to do some light keeping practice from tomorrow [Wednesday] but hopefully will be fully fit before the tournament,’ he said.

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