After losing the ODI series, Bangladesh geared up for the three-match T20 International series against England as they are keen to make their first bilateral series against the Three Lions in this format a memorable one.
The series opening match begins today at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium. The match which starts at 3 PM, will be aired live on T Sports Channel, reports BSS.
Bangladesh though had already played 144 matches in this format since 2006, they had faced off England just once, that too in 2021 T20 World Cup, which the Tigers lost by 8 wickets.
England started the tour well with a 2-1 win in three-match ODI series, handing the hosts their first ever series defeat in this format since 2016. They were in fact the last visitor to win a series here.
A series victory in T20 format could quell Bangladesh’s pain of losing the ODI series but team’s head coach Chandika Hathurusingha made it clear their main focus would be to build a strong team for the 2024 T20 World Cup in West Indies and USA.
“I have only seen the T20 team today. It is just the start for a journey to the 2024 World Cup. A lot of water will go under the bridge between now and then. This is again an observation to see what we have. Then what areas the players can improve, and play to our strength,” Hathurusingha said in Chattogram today.
“I don’t think it is difficult. It is an opportunity for us to prepare for the World Cup. We need to think about the conditions of where it will take place. This one is in West Indies and the USA, so we have a little more information. We have toured West Indies than the other teams. So preparing for that in the mind, try to get the right combinations. There’s opportunities for a lot of players,” he added.
Hathurusingha indeed wants to follow the process of England who despite being the current world champions in T20 format are going through major changes to build a team for the next World Cup.
“They are world champions in ODIs and T20s. They have a very settled 50-over team. They are experimenting with the T20 team. I don’t think the team that won the 2022 World Cup will play in 2024 World Cup. That’s why they are trying new players. They are systematically building the team towards that. We can keep an eye on that as well,” he added.
Hathurusingha who started his second stint at coach in Bangladesh was overall satisfied with the side’s performance in the ODI series, despite losing it.
“It is a good start. I was impressed with certain areas. The fast bowlers did well in not so helpful conditions. Their discipline and understanding of the game, especially Taskin and Ebadot stood out. I was happy with the fielding effort. I think we out-fielded England. I have observed a few things that we can get better at in batting,” he opined.
Bangladesh lost the first two matches at their fortress in Mirpur but avoided a whitewash by winning the third and final ODI in Chattogram. The same pitch will be used in the first ODI, giving Bangladesh a hope to win the opening T20 match.
“We are playing on the same pitch where we played the one-day so it is hard to change in two days. It is similar,” Hathurusingha said.
Bangladesh won only 49 matches and lost 92 in 144 T20s while three other matches ended in a no result.
However, the Tigers might field more than one debutants in the first match while Rony Talukdar who played his only T20 game back in 2015 could make a return to the side.
Bangladesh: Shakib Al Hasan (Captain), Liton Kumer Das, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Afif Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Hasan Mahmud, Nasum Ahmed, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Shamim Hossain, Rony Talukdar, Towhid Hridoy, Rejaur Rahman Raja, Tanvir Islam.
England: Jos Buttler (c & wk), Phil Salt (wk), Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, Dawid Malan, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Ben Duckett, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Rehan Ahmed, Reece Topley, Chris Woakes.