Focus on Tigers' aggressive brand of cricket in Ireland T20Is
Tigers’ brand of cricket in the England T20Is did impress a lot of people. The Ireland ODIs weren’t any different as well. Bangladesh will look to continue the process in the T20I series starting from Monday.
Before the England T20Is earlier this month, Chandika Hathurusingha talked about beginning a new era and the Tigers' journey toward the 2024 T20 World Cup. That journey began quite well as the Tigers whitewashed the world champions and there was suddenly a positive vibe around the T20 side.
Bangladesh now face the Ireland challenge in the shortest format of the game, and Hathurusingha, like everyone else, expects the same result in the Ireland series as well. It will also be important for the Tigers' head coach to follow the process that has begun in his new regime.
"We want the same result ideally. That's what we talk about as well. We are going to do the same processes that are in place for us. If we do our process right, we are a very good team and that's all we can ask from the players. And we're trying to improve those processes everyday," Hathurusingha said in the pre-match press conference.
But the Tigers' head coach doesn't believe the series will be easy by any means and the team will not take Ireland lightly despite clinching the ODI series quite comfortably.
"No cricket match is easy. If we think that way, that's going to bite us. We learned that very early in our careers. That's why we love this game. We treat every opposition as the same, but we never fear them. That's the mantra we had," he said.
Tigers' brand of cricket in the England T20Is did impress a lot of people. The Ireland ODIs weren't any different as well. Bangladesh will look to continue the process in the T20I series starting from Monday.
"We want to play aggressive cricket. It's aggressive in every sense of the word. Our team selection, field placing, our body language, our fielding, and batting. Tactically, we're going to be aggressive. We want to play the best way we can. I think is when we play like that with aggressive and with freedom, this team has always done well."
Ireland too are confident of playing a positive brand of cricket. And their coach, Henrich Malan, mentioned 'the shorter the format, the more every team is in the game'. The Irish have good memories of beating England and West Indies in the T20 World Cup last year with them.
"The shorter the format, the more every team is in the game, isn't it? I guess that's the exciting part about T20 cricket and, you know, we've shown over a period of time that we can play some good T20 cricket. So hopefully, we can adapt quickly to these conditions and, you know, I think the boys have now got a better understanding of what we could expect. And hopefully, we can go out there and put on a good show," Malan said.
"Being tested in these conditions. It's a nice opportunity for some experience and some young players to figure some stuff out of how we want to play T20 cricket and see that consistently," he added.
The pitches in Chattogram have provided relief to the batters and aided strokeplay. The first T20I between Bangladesh and Ireland will also see some runs on the board for sure. The wicket seems flat, as both Hathurasingha and Malan mentioned in their press conference.
"Looks like it's flat because there's not enough grass for our liking. I think you can't do anything, I think it's no grass on the middle pitches because they have a lot of cricket. Hopefully, it will be a true wicket, but I don't think there is much pace on it at the moment," Hathurusingha said.
"I guess when you think of T20 surfaces, you think about runs, don't you? That's what people want to see. So, the wicket looks a lot flatter than the Sylhet one, obviously. It's rock-hard. And I guess it's gonna be a tough challenge for the bowlers," Malan echoed Hathurasingha's words.
There will be a number of spinners in both playing XIs. Bangladesh may or may not dare to hand legspinner Rishad Hossain his debut after bowling only five overs in domestic cricket this season, but they have the likes of Shakib Al Hasan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, and Nasum Ahmed to go with.
The match begins at 2 pm BST.