Mushfiq sees 'biggest chance to beat Australia'


Khan Mutasim Billah Life

Tigers Test captain, Mushfiqur Rahim has talked about the upcoming series against Australia on Monday when he has considered this battle against the Aussies to be a great one to beat the world champions. Mushfiqur pointed out the difference between the current team and the one that played in Fatullah more than nine years ago.

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“No other chance is as big as this one to beat Australia,” Rahim said. “We will surely try to give our best in the middle and will try to put our 100 percent effort in both Tests.”

Bangladesh have been in quite an extraordinary form in one-day cricket since the later part of 2014, winning four bilateral ODI home series one by one against Zimbabwe, Pakistan, India and South Africa. Hence, even in the longer formats, they won 3-0 against Zimbabwe and was defeated by Pakistan in one Test in May this year while superbly drawn the other by cancelling out a huge first innings deficit of 296 runs; the others against India and South Africa of late were all rain-affected drawn games.

The upcoming two match Test series against the mighty Aussies is Bangladesh’s last assignment of international cricket in 2015, and Mushfiqur looks to finish the year with yet another milestone after having already achieved several milestones earlier this year.

“I think the win against Australia would be a great way to end the year. In 2006 they had one of their greatest teams of all time. On the other hand, we were just struggling and far behind from even thinking about beating them, and some even questioned whether we can play for three days,” the great batsman in the little.figure further added.

“If that team can come close to beating them [in the first Test in Fatullah], why can’t our current team finish the game beating them? Infact a win is highly likely possible largely if we can play the full days. I expect we will play as like as our One day International side. Our cricket has come to such a stage that expectations are a bit more these days and what we need to do is to live up to the expectations.”

One of the causes for the increasing expectations has been Bangladesh’s ODI side captain Mashrafe Mortaza’s great captaincy, and specially his planing of the pace attack. Since taking over as limited-overs captain last year, the Narail Express has regularly employed Rubel Hossain and Taskin Ahmed in a three-man pace attack. Young Mustafizur Rahman’s broad early success has forced the team management to play four pace bowlers at times, but the same thing can’t be said about the unexperienced Test pacers.

Bangladesh’s Captain Mushfiqur is hoping that the added choices in the ODI bowling attack can adapt well to the longer version games as well. Taskin and Rubel are one of the two members of the Bangladesh A team that will play three one-dayers and a couple of three-day games in India from this week. Shafiul Islam and Al-Amin Hossain are also included in the Bangladesh A side.

“We have got so many options in pace bowling, which is a very great news for Bangladesh cricket. So most of the matches which were played in this year were dominated by our pace bowlers. If we can mix both the pace and the spin properly and if our batsmen also can continue to do well, definitely we can hope for a good series against the Aussies.”

“We expect that the Bangladesh A team does well. On the other hand, among us who are playing in the NCL (National Cricket League), will also try their best to deliver some good performances although we will be able to play just a single game. I hope everyone makes the best use of it. We are mentally prepared from now”

The captain was also aware of the threat of Australia, who find themselves short of experience following the retirements of Michael Clarke, Chris Rogers, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin and Ryan Harris.

Mushfiqur, however, said that his team would focus on their consistency and strenghts rather than thinking about their oppositions. “The Australians are easily not going to lose because of having a comparatively young side. The top-rated players from South Africa and India came here but lost. We played good cricket and were consistent, which enabled us throughout to dominate.”

He also marked their opossition captain – Steven Smith – as Australia’s ‘main’ man. He termed Steven Smith as the best batsman in the world at that moment.

“It was expected that they would rest Johnson (Mitchell) and Hazlewood (Josh). They selected two new cricketers but we will be looking to learn about them as soon as possible,” he added. “They may be a young team, but we can’t forget that after all this is Australia. In this kind of conditions, Smith is their main lethal cricketer. And another man, Maxwell is also making a comeback after playing in the UAE last year. We will try to keep these two under pressure and get them out quickly.”

The Bangladesh captain also said that the danger made by Nathan Lyon would be tackled the same way Bangladesh tackled one of the best legspinner in the world in the form of Imran Tahir, also the current number one ranked ODI bowler, who had been just in off form in the ODI series against the Tigers in July.