Sports, Cricket

Hathurusingha backs Shanto, Taijul

Published : 05 Dec 2023 09:13 PM

Najmul Hossain Shanto and Taijul Islam, the two architects of Bangladesh's 150-run victory against New Zealand in the first Test, is believed to be the main weapons of the team again when the side would take on the visitors in the series-ending match tomorrow (Wednesday).

Shanto made 37 and 105 in two innings and in doing so, became the first Bangladeshi to hit a century as a captain on debut while Taijul claimed 10-184 in a match to play the vital role in helping the side achieve the victory.

The captaincy of Shanto was also top notch, according to head coach Chandika Hathurusingha who said "Shanto commanded respect, demanded standard."

"Captaincy and leadership are two things. Captaincy was excellent. He was tactically on the mark. He was step ahead of the game most of the time. Very impressive field placings as well. Sometimes unorthodox, but very effective," Hathurusingha said.

"Leadership was excellent. He led from the front with his performance. He was commanding respect, and demanding the standard. I think he has a long future ahead. The decision to appoint him as captain is with the board. They will make that decision when the right time comes."

He also praised the effort of Mominul Haque, who lost in the shadow of Shanto's batting performance.

"Our second innings batting was crucial to win the game. We had two 90-plus partnerships. Mominul in both of them. We could have scored a little more in the first innings but we decided to take a certain approach when the wicket is good. Things can go your way when you approach it like that. It can sometimes go against you. We played according to the conditions and our plan. I am happy with the performance in both innings.

The Sri Lanka born coach highly praised Taijul Islam who stayed strong always despite being in the shadow of Shakib Al Hasan.

"He (Taijul) is a mentally strong person. He goes under the radar because he plays behind a world-class player. Taijul always plays second fiddle to Shakib in most of the games. His record is phenomenal. He has nearly 200 wickets. He is very consistent. He showed great maturity in this Test match. Rangana Herath has done a lot of good tactical work with him. Similar to (Herath) in the way he set up some of the batters. I think he is going to serve Bangladesh cricket for a long time."