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We played much better against Pakistan, can still improve: Bangladesh coach

The Mushfiqur Rahim-led side stands a good chance to edge their much-fancied rivals, but Hathurusingha is cautious.

By: Press Trust of India | Mirpur |
Updated: June 20, 2015 7:30:05 pm
India Bangladesh, Bangladesh India, India vs Bangladesh, Bangladesh vs India, India vs Bangladesh, IndvBan, BanvInd, Cricket News, Cricket Not willing to compare themselves with Sri Lanka, Hathurusingha feels Bangladesh have a bunch of world class players in their side. (Source: AP)

High on confidence after winning the first ODI of the three-match series, Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha on Saturday said that India coming with a full-strength squad speaks volumes about the host nation’s rise in the cricketing world.

Bangladesh outplayed the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side by 79 runs to land an early punch and Hathurusingha feels the recent wins against Pakistan (3-0 series whitewash) and now India have certainly raised the confidence levels of the once minnows’ of the game.

“The best example is that India sending their strongest team it speaks for itself where we are at this stage. How far we have come from that series to now. Its always good to guage your success on how your peers are looking at you. So I think it’s a big gain for our boys, India coming with full strength,” Hathurusingha said in a pre-match conference ahead of the second ODI on Sunday.

“And of course we have come a long way and our team confidence is high. The way we are playing is a bit different,” the former Sri Lankan all-rounder added.

Not willing to compare themselves with Sri Lanka, who shed their minnows tag after winning the 1996 World Cup, Hathurusingha feels Bangladesh have a bunch of world class players in their side.

“It’s very hard to compare eras in the team because at that time the Sri Lanka team was a very experienced side before the World Cup in 1996. This is a young team. There is a long way to go for this Bangladesh team,” he said.

“But one thing I can tell is that there are a number of world class players in this team. Five years time we can talk about their calibre as world class players,” he added.

With debutant left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman (5-50) leading the bowling charge as India crashed to 228 all out in reply to Bangladesh’s 307 in the first game, Hathurusingha feels that Thursday’s performance justified the team’s pace strength.

“It appears like that doesn’t it? We always played to our strength. If we can exploit opposition weakness within our strength, that’s ideal,” Hathuru replied to a query on Bangladesh’s pace battery being their strength.

“That’s right yeah we were really happy that we have got young fast bowlers coming through. In the World Cup we actually played with three bowlers and we managed to keep them on the park. Lot of credit should go to the strength and conditioning coach, the fast bowling coach, and the physios to keep them on the park to develop these young fast bowlers through the academy system. I think we are on the right track,” he added when asked to elaborate on the country’s upcoming pace talent.

Still looking to improve on their current game, Hathurusingha insisted that he was not satisfied with Bangladesh’s showing in their last match.

“I am not happy at all with the last game. Although we won, that’s the scary part. We still can improve, not only batting, we can improve in our fielding and bowling execution as well. I think we played much better against Pakistan, some of the matches, so I think we are looking to improve in the next two games,” said Hathurusingha, who has completed a year as the national team’s cricket coach.

The Mushfiqur Rahim-led side stand a good chance to edge their much-fancied rivals, but Hathurusingha is cautious.

“I won’t say we are favourites, but we are confident about the series,” he said.

Hathurusingha also spoke highly of Mushfiqur the leader and the way the wicketkeeper-batsman has transformed the unit.

“Yeah I am very very happy how they executed the plans. The scary thing is we still can improve. Our fast bowlers and other coaches have been really working hard. He played a very important role. He is the person who everyone looks up to. He commands respect in the dressing room. And also leads from the front on the field as well. He played huge part in transforming the way we have been playing,” he said.

With their tails up, Hathurusingha insisted that the hosts will go with an aggressive mindset into the next match.

“I think time will tell. Its too far ahead to think. As long as we concentrate on our next game, and how we win that that is our concern. The result will take care of itself. What we are doing is we are playing aggressive cricket, we were aggressive on the field, if that helps us to win trophies or matches, that’s what we are trying,” he said.

The coach also showered rich praises on the young Mustafizur, who impressed on debut with a five-wicket haul.

“Definitely, for any bowler, when you come into international cricket, it’s new, because your ‘unknown factor’ is a big plus. Nowadays, even before that they can look at videos and be prepared, but for Mustafizur, its going to be a challenge going forward because people will get to know him and try to respect him a little more that is his talent. But again, he has to go and execute well,” he said.

The 46-year-old former cricketer also spoke about the young nation playing hard cricket.

“For me its all about playing good cricket. Always when a younger brother competes with an older brother, there is a bit of a thing, because they always look at Bangladesh as the younger nation playing cricket. Now we are competing with big teams. I cant talk about rivalries, the main thing is that the players are playing a hard game,” he said.

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