It’s a shift in trend as far Bangladesh’s thought process is concerned. Never have they in the past been so conscious about the need to stay grounded after a win as huge as the one they gained over hosts Sri Lanka. Following their highest successful run-chase in T20Is, Tamim Iqbal, who was one of the architects in that win, touched upon the fact that this win was one they were in dire need of, having won only one of their last 14 T20Is. Breaking into a jig was probably restricted to the ‘Naagin dance’ that Mushfiqur Rahim pulled off after the winning runs, but the whole unit sat down immediately to highlight the need of not losing their head over it.
There were a lot of positives to take heart from in their previous game. The move to promote Liton Das as the opener worked wonders in negating Akila Dananjaya’s effectiveness in the powerplay overs, and it is expected that he will be entrusted with the same role against an in-form Washington Sundar too. Tamim played a fine hand, as did Soumya Sarkar. Although Mahmudullah departed with 21 needing to be scored, Rahim ensured that he stayed till the end to guide his side across the line. However, as much as chasing 214 is a landmark moment, it is important to reflect on how they were conceded in the first place. The skipper, though, backed his bowlers to come good on the big day against India, and felt it were his bowlers who gave them their first bit of confidence on the tour through their disciplined performance in the series opener.
“It would be hard on the bowlers if I make some comments here. They had bowled well in the opening game and we had derived some confidence from there. They weren’t too good in the next game. On a wicket like this where batting has come easy, damage control is the most important thing,” Mahmudullah said on Tuesday (March 13). While the skipper felt that stopping the flow of runs will be a big ask in conditions that have favoured batting, one of his strike bowlers, Taskin Ahmed’s indifferent form hasn’t helped them sustain momentum at crucial stages of the game.
Although Bangladesh failed to train owing to persistent drizzle in Colombo for the past two days, the skipper thought that being ‘mentally prepared’ was more crucial to their plans of countering India’s sharp display of varying pace. He also felt that his bowlers can take a cue from the same. When Bangladesh played India last, there was a passage of play where India went without boundaries for 14 balls. Although Nazmul Islam was underbowled in that game, the skipper believed that his spinners too are capable of stemming the flow of runs as India’s.