Bangladesh’s two-match Test series against New Zealand starts on Thursday in Wellington and the Mushfiqur Rahim-led boys are keen on proving their worth on foreign soil, especially following the 0-6 thrashing in the limited-over’s leg of the tour.
According to Test skipper Mushfiqur Rahim, the bulk of the responsibility has to be taken by the batsmen to be successful on the expected green tracks.
“Our target would be to bring the home consistency to away Tests,” Mushfiqur in the pre-match press conference. “It is time that we prove ourselves in overseas conditions. The batsmen have to take the biggest challenge. Some of them like Tamim, Shakib and Mahmudullah have done well in Tests here in the past.
“But now we need a collective effort from the batsmen, which we failed to do in the ODIs and T20s. We are capable, so this is our opportunity to do it. Our main challenge will be for the batsmen to set up the Test match for the bowlers. We have to put up a good enough total for the bowlers to defend.”
Meanwhile, Mushfiqur also feels his seam attack, which consists of the likes of Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain and Kamrul Islam Rabbi will also play a key role. The skipper said that he had advised his young pacers to aim for the top of off stump instead of being too focused on the available pace and bounce.
“Bowlers do get excited by extra bounce but the best ball here, like any other pitch, is one that targets the top of off stump,” Mushfiqur said. “We have tried to pass on this message to our bowlers and also told them that even a top batsman needs one ball to get out. The bowlers have to work hard here because New Zealand know how to handle these conditions.
“When you know as a group that you can take 20 wickets, it gives a bit of satisfaction. But we are playing in a different condition and we haven’t played an away Test in a very long time. The pace bowlers have to take over the attacking role that the spinners have in home Tests. I believe that our pace bowlers have the ability to take 20 wickets if they bowl at their best.”
Mushfiqur also said there should not be any unrealistic expectations from the Mustafizur and young offspinner Mehedi Hasan, who took 19 wickets in his debut Test series against England in October and was named the ICC’s Emerging Player of the Year.
“I would request all to keep realistic expectations about Mustafizur or Mehedi Hasan,” he said. “These conditions are new for them, so sometimes even someone like Mehedi gets confused. But I feel he is a smart operator, which enabled him to come to the senior team so quickly. Here, he will learn how to switch his roles with the fast bowlers becoming the attacking options,” Rahim concluded.