Law hails ‘Team Bangladesh’Atif Azam
Bangladesh coach Stuart Law hailed the team performance of Tigers after they had defeated India in the Asia Cup match on Friday and hoped that they would continue to keep up the performance in their crucial match against Sri Lanka on Tuesday.
Three top-order batsmen – Tamim Iqbal, Jahirul Islam and Nasir Hossain – scored half-centuries while Sakib al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim played two cameos as Bangladesh overhauled India’s mammoth 289-5 with four balls to spare.
The win with which the Tigers had debased the hundredth international century of Sachin Tendulkar saw Bangladesh successfully complete their second highest runs-chase in their one-day cricket history.
The win, Bangladesh’s first against any of the Big Three in the Asia Cup, also opened the door for them to reach the final for the first time in the tournament, something which was unthinkable even a decade ago.
What pleased coach Law most is that the win did not come through any individual effort with man-of-the-match Sakib al Hasan being assisted by his team-mates in every possible ways.
‘He [Sakib] batted well. Came in and scored his runs quickly. But he wasn’t really the only one to win the game. He put the impetus in the innings that we needed,’ Law told reporters at the GP-BCB Academy ground on Sunday.
‘Mushfiq came in and made 46 from 25 balls. He was not out and finished the game. Nasir Hossain you cannot underestimate him and his contribution. A young man and he was the last man out. It wasn’t all down to one man but it was a team performance,’ said Law.
‘Tamim Iqbal fired at the top as well coming into the series with immense pressure from off-field situation. He proved everybody wrong and he deserved to be here,’ said Law.
Law asked his charges to continue lending their hands to take some pressure off Sakib, who has been shouldering the burden of carrying the team for a long time.
‘Sakib carried Bangladesh for a very long time. He has been the mainstay. A great bowler and a world class all-rounder. But he needs help. He can’t do it every time,’ said Law.
‘He continues to perform but it’s nice to see that everyone is picking the hands up and helping him out. In the team we stuck together and got the job done which was great,’ he said.
Law pointed out that Sri Lanka are a bit exhausted after their hectic international commitment but warned his boys not to be complacent despite their bowling attack is not as menacing as it used to be with the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan and Chamida Vaas.
‘They are mentally and physically tired. They haven’t been home for a long time. They have been on the road for 12 months. Look I have been at that position myself. You do want to go home and get surrounded by your home comforts. Living in a hotel you can get away from the world but still that’s not home,’ said Law.
‘It is inexperienced in a way but they are still good enough to play cricket. You don’t underestimate them as they have got couple of world class bowlers,’ said Law.
‘They have got Lasith Malinga, he is not bad, probably the best bowler in one-day cricket and the most feared anywhere in the world,’ he said.
‘Sri Lanka are a powerful unit and we got to be at the top of our game. We must respect them very highly but not worry about them too much,’ he added.
Meanwhile, batsman Jahirul Islam said that if the bowlers can give them some early breakthroughs then they have a fair chance to restrict the opponents to a reachable total as they are totally dependent on the top order in the absence of Angelo Matthews and Tishara Perera.
‘They are depending on the top order and if our bowlers can pick up a couple of wickets at the start then we can restrict them to a small total as their two vital players Angelo Matthews and Perera are injured,’ said Jahirul, who made 53 against India.
Jahirul is still remorseful for not being able to make his innings big despite the stage was set for him.
‘I am not satisfied [with my performance],’ said Jahirul, who celebrated his maiden fifty with ‘sijda’, something which is typical of a sub-continent batsman after a century.
On a day when Sachin Tendulkar celebrated his unprecedented 100 international centuries, the unusual celebration of just a fifty by a Bangladeshi has left many visiting journalists highly surprised.
‘I had got a start in both the innings but could not make it big. Everyday five or six batsmen will not play well, so whoever gets the start must play a big innings,’ said Jahirul.
‘We see that in the big teams so we should try that, whoever scores a fifty he should try to convert it into a 100 or 120. Only then it would be easy for us and consistently we can do well,’ he said.
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