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Tigers aim series win as India seek comeback

Staff Correspondent
07 Dec 2022 00:02:33 | Update: 07 Dec 2022 00:02:33
Tigers aim series win as India seek comeback

Bangladesh national cricket team will be aiming at their second series win in One-Day Internationals over India as the Tigers will lock horns against their neighbours in the second ODI of the three-match series in Dhaka today.

Thanks to some Shakib Al Hasan magic during bowling and a miraculous effort from Mehidy Hasan Miraz in the chase, Bangladesh secured a thrilling one-wicket win in the first ODI.

A win in the series opener would be a massive psychological boost for the Tigers as they had set the trend of losing close ties against India but managed to break that streak courtesy of Miraz’s heroics.

And as expected, the celebrations were ecstatic following the victory but now they must focus on the next tie, which provides them with the opportunity of sealing back-to-back home ODI series wins against India.

“The guys were ecstatic. Very happy. Rightfully so. It was a fantastic win for us. But come today, it’s done. We had a good long chat. We have to take the positives and learnings from the last game. We have to try to improve in every department tomorrow because we know it will be a tough game,” Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo said on Tuesday.

The South African also lauded Miraz wholeheartedly as he said, “Miraz is a quiet hero in this team. He is consistent in all formats. Deals with the pressure really well. You can always rely on him. It was a special innings (in the first ODI), the way he held the game together. He was clear and calm in his thinking.”

While their bowling effort was commendable, Bangladesh would want their batting to improve significantly. On a sticky surface, almost all their batters, bar Miraz, looked uncomfortable as even Liton Das failed to get going for most of his innings.

And thus, Domingo pressed that they had to do better with the bat.

“There is confidence in this format. Our record in Bangladesh is very good. There’s a sense of excitement to play against India, one of the big teams in the world. We are testing ourselves against one of the best teams in the world. There’s also a sense that India will come back strong. We have to play better cricket than the 1st game, particularly with the bat. We can’t get away with it again,” the South African said in a press conference on Tuesday.

Although Bangladesh are unlikely to change their winning combination, there are questions about whether Taskin Ahmed, ruled out of the first ODI with back pain, would replace Hasan Mahmud, the only bowler who struggled on Sunday, in the starting XI.

Domingo was clear in his words as he said they would not risk Taskin with a busy schedule ahead.

“Taskin had an injection about three or four days ago. He has done a bit of gym yesterday and had a bit of a bowl today for five-six overs. I’m not sure we want to risk playing him yet.

“There is a lot of cricket to be played. There are a few Tests and also the opportunity to keep developing the other fast bowlers. So I don’t think we want to risk playing him yet, but he is on his way to recovery,” the Bangladesh head coach said.

Domingo was also full of praise for Liton’s debut as an ODI captain.

“I think Liton did a fantastic job in the first game. I thought his tactical ideas are good. He bounced ideas off some of the players. Every captain has a different style. Litton is a quiet guy. He doesn’t say much. He believes in performance. He is a very good thinker of the game. It is good to spread the leadership, and have different sorts of opinions. It will only serve Bangladesh cricket well,” he said.

While the Tigers are likely to follow a similar plan, which would see them try and bowl first, Domingo insisted that his preference would be for India to win it as they were not sure of what to do if the coin turned their way.

“I hope we lose the toss because we are never quite sure what to do. There’s value in batting first. The ball nipped around at night. I think in 17 out of the last 20 games here, teams who got 200 have won,” the Bangladesh head coach explained.

On the flip side of the match, India had an outing similar to Bangladesh as their batters bar KL Rahul failed, while the bowlers kept them in the match.

Ahead of their do-or-die clash, where a defeat would mean conceding the series, India were looking to
change things.

“We are very very confident about tomorrow’s game. This is not the first time we have lost the first game of a series. It’s quite normal so we know how to bounce back from these situations.

“Where we need improvements were analysed that and rectified in a meeting and will be creating much more impact in the coming game as well,” Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan said ahead of the second game.

The match will start at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka at 12 PM today.