“Obviously there will be more pace and bounce here. We have to accept that. But I believe bounce and pace mean the ball can come to the bat nicely for the batsmen. If a batsman is good playing side shots then it is possible to score big runs here,” he explained. Imrul scored 34 and 51 in the three-day warm-up game against Cricket South Africa XI. As both the openers Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar are currently dealing with minor injuries, it is important for Bangladesh that Imrul scores big in the top-order and give Bangladesh a good start. Imrul is confident ahead of the first Test, starting tomorrow in Potchefstroom, and admitted that the Bangladesh batsmen need to perform better while playing short balls.
Snaps of Bangladesh team practice session at Potchefstroom today ahead of first Test against South Africa. pic.twitter.com/vIN4MScoLv— Bangladesh Cricket (@BCBtigers) September 26, 2017
“I feel confident after scoring runs in the practice match. Actually whenever you score, you can get confidence from that. It does not matter whether I score at home or here. Runs always gives you confidence,” he said. “I think in Bangladesh the batsmen tend to play on the front foot more but here the ball will be back of a length more. We are practising as to how we can leave the ball or play on the backfoot. Cut and pull are important scoring shots here. We have to become strong in these areas,” the 30-year old added. South Africa are missing two of their most important players in the pace attack as both Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander have been ruled out from the first Test. But Imrul said South Africa have enough world-class pacers in their rank and that there is no chance of taking them lightly even though Steyn and Philander are not playing. “I don’t think the absence of Steyn and Philander will give us edge. The players who will replace them will obviously be quality players. Otherwise you don’t get chance in South Africa team. You can’t take lightly anyone in international cricket. They have Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada and both of them are world-class bowlers,” said Imrul.
Imrul Kayes speaks ahead of first Test. pic.twitter.com/OA86e22Ph4— Bangladesh Cricket (@BCBtigers) September 26, 2017
Bangladesh played good cricket in New Zealand earlier this year. Although they lost both the Tests, the Tigers batsmen produced some brilliant performances to challenge the Kiwis. Now Bangladesh’s next task is another gruelling away tour, against the Proteas on their soil. But Imrul is of the opinion that with proper execution of planning, the Tigers batsmen can produce some good results in the Tests. “Of course we can give challenge to the opposition. If we execute our plans properly in the middle then definitely we can challenge them. The way our batsmen are batting in the last couple of years in Test cricket, if we maintain that momentum and are able to bat well then we believe we can bring some positive results,” he said. The first Test starts Thursday at 2pm, Bangladesh standard time.
Rubel Hossain speaks after arriving in South Africa. pic.twitter.com/4iLg1tb54O— Bangladesh Cricket (@BCBtigers) September 25, 2017