Tigers ‘need one win’ to get momentum Riyad rues absence of Shakib from the team

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Sports desk: While the fans have toned down their expectation given the Bangladesh cricket team’s recent performance, the players remain motivated to prove them once again in a format in which they always find them in vulnerable position.

According to the players, they are now just need one win to find their groove and the momentum which eluded them right after the first three matches of the tri-nation ODI series at home in January.

The format is T20 and the opponents are top two teams of the world—India and Sri Lanka, both of which are brimming with confidence after their highly successful away tour in this format. While India beat team like South Africa in three-match T20 series by 2-1, Sri Lanka not only whitewashed Bangladesh in two-match T20 series but also clinched the tri-nation ODI tournament trophy and won the two-match Test series by 1-0.

So when Bangladesh would take on those two teams in the Nidahas Trophy Tri-nation T20 International series which will mark Sri Lanka’s 70th year of Independence, the expectation was low-key.

However ahead of leaving the country for Colombo yesterday, the vibe amongst the players was positive as they eye to shrug off the patchy form that haunted them since the away tour in South Africa.

“We have many things to prove, specially in this format because people tend to believe that we are not that much capable in T20 cricket,” said stand-in captain Mahmudullah Riyad.

“Anything can happen because it’s a short format of cricket. Our opponents are obviously very strong but if the players give their all out effort, we will stand on a good chance.”

“We remain motivated regardless of the result in the past two series. We couldn’t play to our potential but we have the confidence that we can turn the things around this time.”

Riyad’s confidence was resonated in the voice of the other players also, who keep belief on their ability.

“No doubt, it will be a challenging series given the strength of the other two opponents but we have the belief on our ability,” said fast bowler Taskin Ahmed who made a comeback in the national squad after being dropped in the last series.

“We went through a bad phase in the last series. We worked on our mistakes and tried to fix the issues. Hopefully we can execute it on the ground.” Taskin termed the Lankan pitch as true wicket, saying that the fast bowlers could enjoy their moment there but he again reminded him to execute the plan well.

“From what I have seen, the Sri Lankan wicket is true wicket where fast bowler and spinners get even advantage. If we can keep the ball consistently in right areas, there is high possibility to thrive in that condition.”

Taskin’s fellow fast bowlers Rubel also said so, “We are confident enough to do well despite doing bad in the last series. The fast bowlers could thrive in Sri Lankan condition and we need to be consistent.”

Wicket-keeper batsman Nurul Hasan also came back into the national squad after a quite long time. Even though there is slim chance for him to make the cut in the final XI, he said he would try to cement his place if he gets the opportunity.

However every player rued for the absence of Shakib Al Hasan, the regular skipper of the side in this format and unarguably the best player of the country, particularly in T20 format.

“A player like Shakib is gem for any team. He is irreplaceable but what we have now, we’ll fight with that resource. There’s no point of missing him because we know he can’t play here. So we have to forget his absence and concentrate on our business,” said Riyad.

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