Tamim criticises “unpredictable” Mirpur pitch

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Tamim-Iqbal22Tamim Iqbal says fast-paced pitches in domestic conditions and spinning tracks for international games might actually end up hurting Bangladesh’s progress

Tamim Iqbal has admitted that although the team would prefer favourable conditions in Bangladesh to boost their chances, there should be a mix of both fast-paced and spinning pitches to avoid facing unfamiliar conditions on foreign tours.

Iqbal scored 71 and 78 in the two innings of the first Test as Bangladesh defeated Australia by 20 runs to register their first ever Test victory over Australia.

But while there were a number of records that were broken in the process, the unpredictable wicket, which offered vicious turns, allowed spinners to pick up 34 off the 40 wickets but also saw ‘keepers give away 52 runs in byes.

“The wicket is unpredictable — anything can happen. My question is, how many times do we get to play in these wickets in domestic cricket? We only play on these wickets in international matches, because it gives us an advantage over the foreign side,” Tamim Iqbal said of the Dhaka surface.

“We are busy with grassy wickets in domestic cricket although we never play on those in international matches at home. This thinking has to change,” he added.

Bangladesh have been preparing grassy wickets in their domestic tournaments a bid to make players get used to the fast-paced pitches that are on offer abroad.

However, as has been the norm, when teams visit the subcontinent, dustbowls are dished out to push them on the backfoot.“We tour once or twice a year in places where we confront grassy wickets.I feel that if we want to play international matches on these (spinning) surfaces, we should do the same in domestic cricket. At least one or two grounds should have these wickets so that it creates a habit,” said Tamim Iqbal.

With Josh Hazlewood ruled out, Australia have recalled Steve O’Keefe to join the squad for the second Test. The visitors might opt to play three spinners hoping for a similar wicket that they were offered in the first Test.

However, they would also hope to turn the ploy against the hosts, as they had done in Pune, earlier this year against India.

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