Bangladesh wary of Rashid threat

Bangladesh’s senior players believed that they needed to ensure that they didn’t let leading T20 bowler Rashid Khan get into their heads ahead of the Afghanistan series. Bangladesh will travel to Dehradun on Tuesday (May 29) for the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan where the three games will be played on June 3, 5 and 7 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium.

Rashid is expected to be one of the biggest threats for Bangladesh, and considering his recent performances in the Indian Premier League, it hardly was surprising. Currently the top-ranked bowler in the ICC Twenty20 ranking, the legspinner played a vital role in his franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad storming into the final where they lost to Chennai Super Kings in Mumbai.

From the opening day of the preparation camp from May 13 to May 26, Bangladesh spent most of their time exchanging views on the spin threat of their opposition that is expected to be led by Rashid. The arrival of Mujeeb ur Rahman in the IPL and his exploits for Kings XI Punjab also was something that did not go unnoticed by the visitors.

“For any batsman, the most difficult part is his quick arm action and there is a vast improvement in his accuracy. Perhaps six months back he was not that accurate,” Tamim said ahead of the series, trying to point out the reason behind Rashid’s recent success. “He is quite successful and managed to trouble all the leading batsmen of the world. But that does not mean he is unplayable. If we can express ourselves, there is no reason why we won’t be able to negotiate him well,” he said.

Tamim said that he is not concentrating on Rashid alone as their opponent as they have a few other good players in their team. He said emphasizing on one individual only boasted of a negative mentality. “I am not such a person who will put all his focus on any single individual as they have few other good players in their team and some excellent bowlers. Just focusing on one player will only suggest of carrying a negative mentality,” said Tamim. “He is the best T20 bowler, but we have overcome such kind of challenges earlier and earned success. I am hopeful it will be the same this time as well.

“It is not only Rashid… if you think too much about any one thing in particular then sometimes you fail to deliver despite knowing how to do it because you are overthinking. Perhaps he is bowling at the peak of his career, but rather than thinking too much about him, if we start thinking about our own strength it will be better,” he added.

Vice-captain Mahmudullah said that made plans of how to tackle the legspinner in the preparation camp; he also asked teammates to concentrate more on playing to their strength rather than focussing on what the opposition will do.

“When we train or after coming out of the batting session in the nets when we are sitting together we talk about how to play him because he is the best T20 bowler and we must show him that respect,” said Mahmudullah. “I think we must understand our strength and how we play our cricket. We must know about the strength of our opposition and play accordingly. We must take calculative risks and everyone needs to play according to their strength.

”He is a good bowler but we cannot think that he is totally unplayable. We will watch his deliveries and if it is in our zone certainly we will go for the scoring shots because they have a good bowling attack and we need to be aware about it. If our batsmen can play to their potential we can expect a positive result,” he added.

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