Saif to get another chance as Tigers aim to beat Sri Lanka

The 22-year old batsman had a forgettable outing in the first Test where he got out for a duck and 1 respectively in the two innings.

However, Tigers' head coach Russel Domingo wants to give Saif another go in the next match.

“I definitely still want to give Saif a go. Opening the batting is hard in Tests. A lot of openers take a bit of time to find their feet. We want to provide him with another opportunity tomorrow (Thursday). It is always nice to have a right and left-hand opening combination. Saif will play tomorrow,” Russell Domingo, Bangladesh’s head coach said in the pre-match virtual press conference on Wednesday.

The wicket of the first Test was flat and fruitless for the bowlers. But right before the match, the talk was about getting the pace-friendly wicket. Bangladesh ended the game in a draw which was a happy result for the Tigers. They came to this series after losing a two-match series at the home against the Carribeans. But Domingo insisted they are going to the next game eying a win.

“We saw the wicket yesterday (Tuesday). It looks like a pretty good wicket. I haven’t seen it yet today. It is under a few hessian covers,” Domingo added. “There are a few questions to answer— how hard it is for those players, who have just played three days ago in this heat. They bowled 30-35 overs, so we have to make a final decision if the guys can do it again physically. We will decide (the playing XI) once we look at the guys today before we decide on the make-up of the side.”

Bangladesh fielded three pacers and two spinners in the first Test. Domingo hinted that they might go ahead with the same plan in the second Test as well. But it’s still not decided who will get a chance in the playing XI.

“I think they are our three leading fast bowlers at the moment. I have been very impressed with Shoriful (Islam), who showed some really good stuff in the nets. I would like to keep the same three going. But I have to consider their workload from the last Test that ended a few days ago. Taskin (Ahmed) bowled 37 overs, Ebadat (Hossain) bowled 30-odd and (Abu Jayed) Rahi bowled 20-odd. I want to make sure they are fresh and ready to give 100 per cent again. We have given them two days off. We just want to see how they feel in today’s light practice,” Doming told the media.

“We need to make sure that we have five or six fast bowlers that are ready to play Tests any time. The three that played the last Test, are probably leading the pack at the moment. But we have Mustafizur (Rahman), who is experienced. Shoriful has shown good work and Khaled (Ahmed) is back in the mix. So we are starting to get some depth and competition for places within the fast bowling department,” the Bangladesh coach further added.

According to him, a player needs to have a fair amount of chance so that he gets adequate time to prove his mettle at the Test-level. Bangladesh coach insisted he wants to be consistent in selecting the team.

This series is a part of the ongoing World Test Championship. Before this series, Bangladesh played five Tests of this event and failed to win or draw any of them. The first Test which ended in a draw came as a relief for the Tigers as they earned 30 points from it. Domingo said, he “is not merely happy with the draws.” He rather is looking forward to winning this series.

“It is disappointing when a drawn Test is seen as a massive success. I am not here for drawn Tests. We don’t want to lose Tests but we should have a mental shift. I have had six or seven Tests with the team now, I think I understand our team and culture. We have to play to win. At the moment I feel we are playing not to lose. It is a mental shift that we need to make. That mental shift will take a bit of time. Guys haven’t been successful in Tests. Until we change that mindset, we will always be okay with mediocrity. It is not something I want to be part of,” Domingo further added in the pre-match press conference.

Source: United News of Bangladesh