Focus on fielding, short ballStaff Correspondent
Bangladesh are focusing on their fielding and preparing for the short ball ahead of the second Test match against Sri Lanka after their shortcomings were exposed in the series opener, all-rounder Sakib al Hasan said on Sunday.
Sakib’s comments came as the Tigers had their first practice session at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong, scheduled to host the second Test match starting on February 4.
Sri Lanka humiliated Bangladesh with an innings and 248-run victory in the first Test at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka to begin their series on the perfect note.
‘We need to improve in every department, especially the fielding,’ said Sakib.
‘Whoever scored big [for Sri Lanka] in that match had luck on their favour, as either their catch was dropped or a stumping was missed.’
‘Mahela received at least four to five lives. If we could have held on to those chances, certainly things would have been different.’
Experienced Sri Lankan batsman Mahela Jayawardene scored an undefeated double century and opener Kaushal Silva made his maiden Test century to make the Tigers pay for their sloppiness in the match.
Their efforts were furthered by Kithuruwan Vithanage, who came in at number eight to make 103 runs from 104 balls, helping the Sri Lankans post their largest ever total against the Tigers – 730-6 declared.
Earlier, the tourists received the perfect start from their pace bowlers, who exploited the moisture in the wicket on the first day to bundle the hosts out for 232 runs in 63.5 overs.
Bangladesh’s top-order batsmen looked out of sorts as the tourists tested them with short-pitched deliveries, exposing the hosts’ limitations against the short ball.
‘Perhaps we were not prepared for that,’ Sakib, who briefly rescued the team from despair with his 15th fifty in Test cricket, said in a candid assessment of the batting.
‘We did not think that they would plan to attack us with that kind of short ball.’
‘The batsman will work out and hopefully will be ready for it.’
Sakib also said that the team were keen to forget the below-par performance in the first Test and were looking forward to making a comeback, adding that the loss was not a reflection of the true strength of the Bangladesh side.
‘Any team can have a bad day,’ said Sakib.
‘That includes a team that has been performing well for the last two years.’
‘The important thing is to make a comeback. We have come back strongly from this kind of situation before.’
‘As we have that experience, I hope it won’t be a problem.’
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