Bangladesh cricket team had their first practice session at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna yesterday afternoon. The Tigers who lost the first Test to the West Indies by 77 runs, despite taking a first innings lead, will now be aiming to draw the two-match series. The second Test begins tomorrow.
Captain Mushfiqur Rahim had earlier stated that it was the batting in the last two sessions of the first Test match that led the Tigers down. He was, however, content with the way the hosts played for majority of the game. The Bangladesh team management also pointed out that there were a number of positives from the first game. Shohag Gazi's impressive debut, Naeem Islam's maiden century and Rubel Hossain's effort were acclaimed.
Rubel, who has returned to international cricket after close to one year, was seen hitting the deck during the Tigers' training session yesterday. His performance in the second innings of the first Test suggested that the pacer had recovered well from his shoulder injury. Rubel though believes that there are still a few areas that he needs to work on.
"There are some areas that need attention, but those are not always required in Test matches; the throw from the deep, for instance. I am still working on it, but my throws from inside the circle are fine," said Rubel at a media conference organised at the stadium in Khulna. He further stated that he gained more confidence in his bowling as the match progressed.
"I believe I can improve my pace as I play."
The bowler also claimed that the wicket at Khulna resembled that of the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka. The player had played in Khulna during a match in the National Cricket League. "The wicket here is usually a batting wicket. When I played here it was during the rainy season, so it helped the bowlers back then," he added.
The upcoming Test match will play a crucial role in reflecting the Tigers' overall performance in this series. While there were a number of positive individual performances in the first game, a series whitewash would only add salt to the wounds of Bangladesh's already disappointing Test career.
The Test might also witness Shakib Al Hasan reach the 100-wicket mark and become only the second Bangladeshi, after Mohammad Rafique, to do so. The all-rounder has taken 98 wickets in 27 matches so far.
The Test match will also make Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium Bangladesh's seventh Test venue.
Apart from the five-day game, the stadium will also hold the first two one-day internationals of five. The matches will take place on November 30 and December 2.