Advantage Tigers

Bangladesh will have the psychological edge over the Pakistanis after their swashbuckling show in run up to the Test series, said coach Chandika Hathurusinghe ahead the first Test, beginning at Khulna today. The Tigers will go into the series aiming improve their underwhelming Test record after just seven wins in 14 years, seven of which came against fellow strugglers Zimbabwe and two others against an under-strength West Indies team.
‘It is good for us to play a strong opposition [like Pakistan] at this stage because we are also doing well,’ Hathurusinghe told reporters in the pre-match press conference at Khulna.
‘Pakistan are really strong with experienced players in their Test squad. They beat Australia recently, they are ranked No 4.
‘Our expectation is to win every series. We try to do our best and if we do that, I think we have the ability to beat any team,’ said Hathurusinghe.
The former Sri Lankan opener added that the confidence his charges gained from preceding 3-0 sweep in the one-day international series and the comprehensive win in the only Twenty20 International they will help them to give a better show in Tests.
‘It [Test] is a different format but still, when you do well you get confident,’ said Hathurusinghe. ’You trust your preparation. That’s the confident that we are taking to the game.
‘It doesn’t mean we are overconfident. We don’t take opposition for granted,’ he said.
Hathurusinghe, who had several reservations against selectors regarding their team selection in the World Cup, looked happy with the Test squad.
Hathurusinghe made his dissatisfaction public on more than one occasion and had to bear the brunt of Bangladesh Cricket Board official’s for his honest reaction.
However, Hathurusinghe looked hardly interested to raise any more controversy regarding the selection policy when he was asked about the 14-member Test squad for Khulna.
‘One thing I want to cultivate is to give a player a decent run,’ he said. ‘In that way the players have a lot of stability. They have to bide their time since the team is doing well.
‘These players were involved in the last Test series. Imrul Kayes scored a hundred in the last Test while Shuvagata [Hom] played a role in the series win. They deserved to be in the squad,’ he said defending the selection of out form Imrul and Hom.
Hathurusinghe added that three newcomers – Liton Das, Somuya Sarkar and Mohammad Shahid – are also talented and have been picked on the basis of their merits.
‘The three new guys, who got into the squad, got the chance on their merit. And few of them will be drafted in the team immediately.’

-With New Age input

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