A win is the only result that Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan hopes for in the solitary Test against Afghanistan starting from Thursday at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram.
Bangladesh faced Afghanistan in eight ODIs and four T20Is before but in Test cricket, they are taking on the Afghans for the first time.
Bangladesh had aimed to manage a place in semifinals of the World Cup, but they failed to do so and came back as eighth. Right after the unexpected World Cup assault, Bangladesh toured Sri Lanka for a three-match ODI series. However, they suffered a clean sweep in the island nation under the captaincy of Tamim Iqbal.
“In the recent past, we failed to live up to expectations. We failed as a national team. Even the age-level teams, Bangladesh A team, and the high-performance team also failed to do well. However, the under-19 team played a final in England recently, which was the only notable result. Now, if we win this match easily, it will help us to get our normal game back,” Shakib told the media in the pre-match press conference at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
“A win is the most important thing to hope for regardless of the margin and the way of winning. A win is always a win whether it is by one run or 100 runs, whether it is by one wicket or 10 wickets,” Shakib added.
Shakib insisted that he is not a man to put too much thinking on the numbers of pacers or spinners in the playing XI. He rather concentrates most in setting up a winnings combination.
“I don’t think much about this. When Australia and England play with four pacers and elect no spinner, we don’t criticise it. I don’t think it should get much attention. We want to think only how we can seal this game. If we can do this with three seamers, we will go for that, or if we need one seamer, we will bid for that,” Shakib further said to the media.
On home soil, Bangladesh rely on the spinners due to the inability of the pacers to display match-winning performances in the longer format of the game. However, the Bangladesh captain believes, the newly-appointed fast-bowling coach Charl Langeveldt will take care of this matter.
“Since I am not a pacer, it is really tough for me to understand what goes on in the minds of our pace bowlers. They are not used to bowling much in domestic cricket, maybe, it is one of the reasons (behind their failure in Tests at home). I am sure the new pace bowling coach will take of it,” Shakib also said.
There are expectations that the spinners in both sides will make the main difference in the match. But Shakib expressed another idea saying it is the batsmen who will make the difference.
“Our spin attack did well whenever they got a chance to prove themselves in the home soil. And the spin attack of Afghanistan is also good. Having said that, I am sure the main difference will be made by the batsmen of both sides,” Shakib told the media.
“I want to believe our batsmen. The way they have worked hard recently (was good enough), I don’t think, they should have done anything else,” Shakib further told the media.