Bangladesh ooze with confidence to make a good start to the five-match T20 series against Australia as they take on the visitors in the opening game on Tuesday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur.
Tigers T20 skipper Mahmudullah Riyad sounded confident on Monday and wanted to make some smart deciosns tactcally to surprise the Aussies. He said, “It's a great chance for us to show our aptitude and also boost our confidence. To beat one of the best teams, we have to play our top game. I think it goes with our T20 tactic that we have to be very clear and be mentally ready.
We have skilful batsman in our team, we now need to make the smart choices in particular conditions and also bowling options. We discussed these in the team meetings and if we can execute at the right time, we can expect a positive result."
“I feel that Sohan, Afif and Shamim has the ability to finish [matches]. They are in a good rhythm and I hope that they will do justice to their talent and skill in this series.”
Riyad also insisted that he might promote himself up the batting order because of injuries and absences in the team. “Maybe in T20s, I usually come to bat a number five or six. But in the last series I batted higher up the order. It's possible that I will have to bat further up the order in this series as well. I would hope to contribute for the team,” the skipper concluded.
Despite some injury concern, Bangladesh will get the service of ace allrounder Shakib Al Hasan who is just five wickets shy of completing 100 wickets in T20 International cricket as the only second bowler in the world after Sri Lanka great Lasith Malinga.
This will be an additional motivation for Shakib, who despite being the No.1 allrounder of the world got a rare opportunity to play against Australia. Moreover Shakib is back in form with his willow which is another positive thing for Bangladesh.
Australia are also looking for a winning start in the series. Matthew Wade will lead Australia in the absence of Aaron Finch.
The Tasmanian batsman led the side on the recent tour of New Zealand and against India last summer in games where Finch was injured. He will do so again in Bangladesh with Finch returning home from the West Indies last week.
He says he is looking forward to leading a side which challenged the World Champion West Indies in the T20 Series in St Lucia and then won the one-day Series in Barbados.