The Tigers had a disastrous start to the year, losing the tri-nation ODI series final, two-match Test and T20I series, all at home to Sri Lanka. The poor show on the field also affected the peace in the dressing room, which is left without a head coach since November last year.
Former Bangladesh captain Akram believes the T20I tri-series involving India and host Sri Lanka will not be easy. With that said, Akram thinks a good performance there can enable Bangladesh to turn around from the recent lows.
“It is true that we have not been able to perform to our capability. We had started well but ended poorly. It is important for Bangladesh to win some matches and get the confidence and strength back. Sri Lanka are very difficult at their home and India are a very strong contender,” said Akram to the media Wednesday.
BCB director Akram said Bangladesh are lagging behind in the shortest format of the game, compared to the way the side have developed in Tests and ODIs.
“It will take time for us to grow in this format and the players have to play an important role here. We have defeated Sri Lanka with almost the same Bangladesh team. Performance is like a wave but I hope we recover from where we stand now,” said Akram.
Bangladesh will have a full strength Sri Lanka to face in the double league competition where the top two teams would contest the final on March 18 in Colombo’s R Premadasa Stadium. On the other hand, India having rested six key members of the team including the likes of Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya, among others should be an easy opposition to look at.
Akram said India missing their leading cricketers might ease some pressure off Bangladesh but informed that the Indians can still be very tough to beat, given their bench strength.
“India have a very strong bench. All of their players try to put 100% whenever they get the opportunity to play. Honestly, they will not be an easy team to play against. Yes, not having the big names might release some tension and I hope Bangladesh will be able to capitalise on that,” said Akram.
Meanwhile, there is no latest update on Bangladesh T20I captain Shakib al Hasan’s injury. The ace all-rounder, who was named captain of the Tigers squad for the Nidahas series had travelled to Thailand Monday night for medical checkup. Shakib’s availability will depend on the medical reports.
“We are yet to get his (Shakib) report. He was supposed to return (yesterday). But he will be travelling with the team to Sri Lanka. At this point I think he will miss the first couple of matches,” said Akram.