Dhaka Tribune Correspondent Minhaz Uddin Khan reports from Colombo
Bangladesh stand-in T20I captain Mahmudullah said his side will have their feet on the ground when they lock horn with former world champion India in the Nidahas T20I tri-nation series at R Premadasa Cricket Stadium in Colombo Wednesday.
The Tigers are going into their second game of the league phase against India boosted with the historic win against host Sri Lanka Saturday. Bangladesh had started the series losing to India but bounced back hard, winning against the Lankans after chasing down 215 runs.
With the win, Bangladesh are said to have got back the confidence that was shaken by the recent series of defeats, both at home and abroad. With two matches in hand, including the one against India Wednesday, Bangladesh have a clear shot at the final, scheduled for Sunday.
“Playing in the final was always our goal. We have our feet firmly in the ground. We have had a lot of question marks regarding our T20I cricket, so we are starting off from here. We want to play a Bangladesh brand of cricket,” said Mahmudullah to the media in Colombo Tuesday.
Bangladesh in the two games played saw either one of their departments fail. In the first game of the series, against India, the side failed to put up a combined batting effort to lose the match by six wickets. Against Sri Lanka last weekend, the Tigers bowlers were cornered as Sri Lanka posted 214, but the Bangladesh batsmen came in to the rescue in due course of time.
“A comment on the bowlers now will make things very hard for them. They did well in the first match but couldn’t apply the necessary skills in the second game. We have to consider the batting-friendly wickets which all the bowlers have been facing in this tournament. It has a lot to do about damage limitation,” Mahmudullah explained.
Following tension over communal dispute in Sri Lanka, rain has come as the next big challenge. Colombo has been experiencing regular showers for the past few days. Although only one game got affected by the weather, India v Sri Lanka Monday, with one over in each innings curtailed, the practice sessions have been severely disturbed.
Bangladesh had a three-day break following their win against the Lankans. Sunday, the players were rested but when they went out to Sinhalese Sports Club for optional net session, the plan was disrupted owing to unprepared wickets due to rain. Tuesday morning, the side went to R Premadasa for pre-match preparation for the India game but had a delayed start because of inclement weather.
“(Given the weather condition) we have to be tuned in mentally, a very important aspect in this format. And as far as playing India is concerned I think their pacers and spinners will be key. You must have seen when (Nazmul Islam) Apu and (Mehedi Hasan) Miraz were bowling in the last game (for Bangladesh against Sri Lanka), there was a span of 20-odd balls when they stopped the boundaries. I still feel we have to step up our efforts, which I feel our bowlers can do,” said Mahmudullah.