Bangladesh refuses to think much about Mirpur pitch

Staff Reporter 2021-12-03, 9:48pm Cricket

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 DHAKA, Dec 3, 2021 (BSS)-The Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium
has been in focus as the host of the second Test, which Bangladesh need to
win to level the two-match series and avoid a series whitewash.

   Bangladesh earlier were swept in the three-match T20 series and lost the
first Test by eight wickets.

   At Mirpur, Bangladesh had the pleasure of beating the teams like England,
Australia and others, largely due to a rank turner that those teams found
tough to deal with. But team from subcontinent always thrives on rank turner
or spinning track.

   So a spinning track could pose greater problem for Bangladesh since
Pakistan have the spinners like Sajid Khan, Nauman Ali at their disposal.
Again what Pakistan pacer could do in the flat was documented in Chattogram
where their new balls bowlers Shaheen Shah Afridi and Hasan Ali took 14
wickets between then while medium pacer Fahim Ashraf took two. Pakistani
spinners only claimed four wickets in that match.

   Therefore, Bangladesh's aspiration to level the series looks at stake.
However Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque seemed to have no headache about the
pitch, as he said as a professional they should thrive on even in the paddy
field.

   ''Everyone from sub-continent plays spin very well, so it is better not to
give them a spin wicket. I think everyone else would do the same. I prefer a
flat wicket,'' Mominul said.

   "I also don't agree that professional cricketers should give wicket or
anything as an excuse. A pro cricketer has to play well in a paddy field. We
are certainly professionals,'' he added.

   Having said so, Mominul also expected the pitch to be different for
Pakistan as opposed to the one against Australia, which was a spinning track.

   "It will be the normal Mirpur wicket. We all know it is difficult to
predict. But I don't think it will be how we played against Australia,'' said
Mominul.

   Bangladesh have plenty to change in their first XI for the second Test
with Shakib a sure starter. Mominul said they would till wait for Taskin
Ahmed for the last moment since he has still some pain on his right hand.

   Opener Saif Hasan had already been ruled out due to his illness.
Bangladesh meanwhile added Naim Sheikh, considered as a T20 specialist in the
Test squad. Considering he had played few first class cricket, his inclusion
came as a surprise.

   But Mominul said they have included Naim Sheikh in the 20-member squad
considering they don't have enough options in their hand.

   "We don't have enough openers. Naim is someone who has been playing
international cricket regularly. He has played T20s recently, which is why he
missed a lot of first-class cricket. We wanted an opener who has been playing
international cricket. An opener from domestic cricket would have a tough
time adjusting in this situation. We also have to consider the New Zealand
tour,'' said Mominul.

   "It definitely matters (whether we are playing red or white ball cricket).
But we don't have a backup opener. We can prepare an opener who has already
played in one international format already, recently,'' he said

   "Opening combination could be lefty-righty,'' he concluded hinting that
uncapped Mahmudul Hasan might make the cut.