Bangladesh focus on spin, but play down Rashid threat

Bangladesh focus on spin, but play down Rashid threat

Agency News

Mirpur, Aug 30 : Bangladesh are paying extra attention to preparing to play spin ahead of their first-ever Test against Afghanistan.

Bangladesh will host Afghanistan in a one-off Test starting on September 5. The teams have built up a keen rivalry in limited-over cricket in recent times, and six wins to each suggest they are evenly matched.

In red-ball cricket, the more experienced Bangladesh go in with an advantage over the newest Test side. Yet, they are leaving no stone unturned in their preparations. Wary of Afghanistan's spin attack, and given that their home surfaces tend to encourage the slow bowlers, they are keen that their batsmen aren't left exposed, an ICC report on Friday said.

"We are planning a bit differently for the match against Afghanistan as they have a very good spin attack," opener Shadman Islam told mediapersons here after training on Thursday. "We always work extra for facing Pacers, so we thought of putting in some extra work to play spin this time."

"Most of their players, like Rashid Khan or Mohammad Nabi, all bowl with variations. For that reason we are working on playing spin more as we usually work on playing pace," he said.

Rashid, the 20-year-old leg-spinner who will be leading Afghanistan in Tests for the first time, has had a fair amount of success against Bangladesh. In nine limited-over games, he averages 15.05 with the ball against them. The hosts, however, are determined not to be intimidated by him. While he may be the No.1 bowler on the MRF Tyres ICC T20I Rankings, Bangladesh know that the red ball brings its own challenges.

"We do not have any extra plans regarding Rashid Khan," said Shadman, who made his Test debut against the West Indies in Dhaka late last year. "To bowl in shorter formats and in Tests are two different things. So we are not worried about him as
we plan to play in the usual way we play against spinners."

"We play against some quality spinners in our country, so I do not think that Rashid Khan can put us under extra pressure. Also the format is very different, it cannot be matched with T20s,” he added Afghanistan will play a tour game from September 1 before the Test at Chattogram.

That will be followed by a T20I tri-series with Zimbabwe joining them.(UNI)