Bangladesh ace all-rounder Sakib al Hasan is confident of making a good show in the upcoming two-match Test series against visiting Pakistan that commences on Tuesday at Khulna. Sakib, who correctly forecasted his team as favourites before they made a clean sweep in one-day international series, is little sedate this time and said that they are not fixing certain target. The all-rounder however promised to play with their optimum abilities in five-day format, where they never defeated any top team apart from an under-strength West Indies side in 2009.
‘I don’t think we should keep a goal in mind in this Test match. I think this will be a good series if we can transfer the confidence from the ODI series.’
Sakib also thinks that like the shorter versions his team has the better opportunity to triumph over the opponents in the Test matches as well.
‘They have an experienced batting line-up while we have a number of batsmen in-form. I think we have a better bowling attack than theirs, plus I think our fielding is also good too.’
Sakib suggested that the transformation of the formats will not be a huge issue as his team-mates are professional.
‘I think it will be possible to change our mindset to Test cricket. There are a few changes in the team, we have some new players and they obviously have the belief within themselves.’
He thinks that the recent success of Tigers are nothing unusual as they are an ever improving side and it will just go on in this way, He even believes that anything other than that is rather unusual.
‘There will be improvement day by day. If it doesn’t, it will be unusual. We are making that improvement. Now we believe we can fight in our home turf.’
Sakib is very hopeful about the new players in the team and keeps faith on their abilities.
Bangladesh picked up three uncapped players in paceman Mohammad Shahid, opener Liton Das and batsman Soumya Sarkar and also retained some players who were selected because of the past performance despite recent poor form.
‘Soumya Sarkar has had a good start to his ODI career. If he plays, I am sure he will try to hold his form. ‘
‘Liton has done well in domestic cricket, and he deserves the call-up. He has the ability within him, for which the selectors kept him in the Test squad’.
Sakib also praised Shahid, the uncapped fast bowler and his team-mate at Legends of Rupganj in domestic circuit.
‘I played with Shahid in the same club in the Dhaka Premier League. He is a young talent.
‘He would have been inspired by how our pace bowlers have done in the last 2-3 months.’
Sakib believes that Bangladeshi bowlers have the ability to pick up 20 opponent wickets if the deck is helpful.
‘We have to bowl well. The big question is how the pitch will be prepared’,
‘If the bowlers can get help from the wicket, we will have a chance to pick 20 wickets’, he added.
Sakib himself is out of the longer version cricket for a long time but he believes he can easily adopt with it.
‘Except me, everyone has played in the longer version this season. I don’t think it will still be a problem.
‘I will definitely try to prepare myself in these two days, and then apply it in the Test match,’ said the all-rounder, who returned to place where he created history against Zimbabwe.
In the last Test match Bangladesh played in Khulna, Sakib scored a century and claimed 10 wickets to join legendary Imran Khan and Ian Botham in the record book.
Sakib put an emphasis on the first innings as he believes that taking an early advantage will be the key for final glory.
‘The first innings will be vital. I don’t want to bowl for a long time. If I do, they will get to bat longer. We will try to bowl them out quickly.’
-With New Age input