Shakib Al Hasan optimistic of improvement
Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan said that the Tigers would need more time to adjust to the unfamiliar conditions in the British Isles after a below-par showing in the called off tri-series opener against hosts Ireland in Malahide on Friday.
Ireland had put Bangladesh in to bat on a lush green pitch that was hard to differentiate from the outfield. Bangladesh were down two wickets in by the fourth over and had been reduced to 70 for four before opener Tamim Iqbal — who scored a sublime 88-ball 64 — and Mahmudullah Riyad stitched the innings back together and guided the visitors to 157 for 4 before the skies opened up.
The left-hander was full of praise for the duo as he spoke to reporters after the match on Saturday.
"Tamim played beautifully," Shakib began. "He applied himself really well and so did Mahmadullah [43 not out]. That partnership changed the momentum and we started controlling the game."
"It [the conditions] is different to what we are used to early on and it was not easy, but as the ball got older and softer the ball was coming nicely onto the bat. It was a good experience, and we are now looking forward to the next game, against New Zealand."
Tigers will next face New Zealand in Dublin on Sunday in what should be a tougher test, but Shakib pointed out with 10 Kiwis still partaking in the Indian Premier League they would be short on experience.
"They have a new team, as they are still in the IPL, so they will be missing some experience, but they are still the second-ranked team [New Zealand are fourth] and they will come hard at us," he added.
"We played them a few months back, it wasn't a good memory as we didn't do too well in New Zealand but these are different conditions, a different scenario and we are hoping to do well."