Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com
Despite their mixed fortunes in the ongoing T20 World Cup, Bangladesh’s technical consultant, Sridharan Sriram, believes the Tigers have the potential to become a very good T20 side in the future.
The Tigers entered the tournament with their only win in the main draw of the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup against the West Indies.
They added another with a nine-run win against the Netherlands before being brought crashing back to earth by South Africa in a 104-run defeat.
Zimbabwe are next up in Brisbane today, fresh from their stunning one-run upset over Pakistan.
Shakib Al Hasan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Liton Das, and Afif Hossain will again carry the team’s batting order against Zimbabwe, while pace spearhead Mustafizur Rahman is set to lead the bowling charge.
Former Indian all-rounder Sriram said a second win would give them a huge confidence boost ahead of big games against India and Pakistan next week.
‘We are building a side and the confidence of the boys, they know where they stand in world cricket and where they want to go,’ said Sriram during a pre-match press conference on Saturday.
‘I think we’ve set that base, from a team point of view, we want to build this side for the future and we have got a set of boys, we’ve got the skill sets.
‘If we can add a few more skill sets, I think we can build a very good T20 side for the future.’
Sriram, who took the reins ahead of the Asia Cup in August when Russell Domingo was axed after a string of poor results, said Bangladesh were not thinking too far ahead and their opening pair also looked settled.
He also informed that Bangladesh’s morale was very good despite getting hammered by South Africa, where the Tigers registered their worst-ever defeat in T20Is.
‘I told you this before, we want to take one game at a time. We’re not thinking too far ahead. Our next challenge is Zimbabwe,’ he said.
It was hard to extract positives out of Bangladesh’s horror show against South Africa in Sydney, but the intent and execution of the opening pair, Soumya Sarkar and Najmul Hossain Shanto, stood out despite the fact that they only lasted two overs.
Bangladesh scored 26 runs until Soumya fell for 15.
In the previous game against the Dutch, the opening pair combined to a 43-run stand to become Bangladesh’s highest first-wicket stand in the past 24 outings played over the past year.
And it’s also not a surprising fact for those who follow Bangladesh cricket that the 26-run stand against the Proteas happens to be the fifth-highest opening partnership in the past year.
Sriram reckoned Shanto and Soumya could make a bigger impact.
‘You’re still on the opening pair, eh? Good for you. I think it’s good. We got 47 first game, we were 26-0 in two overs against South Africa. The opening pair looks settled,’ he said.
‘I think it’s giving them more game time, more experience, and the more they play together, the more they play against different opposition in different conditions, they will learn it’s about kicking on, and they will learn that.
‘The ones that get a start, they’re able to go on and make that impact that we talk about. I think it’s a learning process for both Shanto and Soumya, and I think they’ll do it,’ he added.