Cricket

Bangladesh need more Tests to improve - coach

2017-02-08 14:20
Bangladesh Cricket Board (File)

Hyderabad - Coach Chandika Hathurusingha on Wednesday called for Bangladesh to be given more Test matches, saying the reluctance of other teams to find time in their schedules was holding back his team's progress in five-day cricket.

Speaking on the eve of his team's debut Test in India, Hathurusingha said Bangladesh would only be able to replicate their upturn in one-day cricket by exposure to high-pressure situations in the longest format.

His call received backing from Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who said the tourists were not lacking in skill but needed more matches to build up their confidence.

"Playing more five-day cricket is the only way we can improve," Hathurusingha told reporters on the eve of the one-off Test in Hyderabad.

Hathurusingha said Bangladesh's batsmen had proved their worth in limited-overs cricket but needed more challenges such as the Hyderabad Test to learn how "to concentrate for a long time and play under pressure".

Bangladesh, who are ranked ninth out of the 10 Test nations, have shown signs of improvement of late as illustrated by their first-ever Test victory over England in a home match in Dhaka in October.

But they went on to lose both Tests on January's tour of New Zealand despite getting themselves into strong positions, fuelling suspicions of a mental fragility and an inability to adapt to alien conditions.

Kohli said it was a question of developing a mindset that would allow Bangladesh to push home their advantage at key points in matches, and there should be more pressure on other teams to host them.

Apart from bottom-ranked Zimbabwe, the last team to play a three-match series against Bangladesh were Sri Lanka in 2007 while their one and only tour of Australia was in 2003.

Most of their international cricket has been limited to 50-over matches, a format in which they have excelled by winning home series against India, South Africa, Pakistan and New Zealand in the last five years.

"They have the skill, it's just that they don't play that many Test matches to gain confidence as a squad," Kohli told the pre-match press conference.

"I mean it's very basic, they have become a very good one-day side because of the fact that they play so many one-dayers and they know their combination.

"If you don't play Test cricket too often, you will not know the mindset."

Since Bangladesh were awarded full status in 2000, they have played only 97 Tests which works out at an average of around six a year.

India by contrast have played 12 Tests since July and will host Australia for a four-match series immediately after the Bangladesh contest.

Read more on:    bangladesh  |  cricket
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