Tigers wary of Irish strengthStaff Correspondent
Bangladesh will make a big mistake if they underestimate Ireland when they play the three-match Twenty20 international series later this month, said coach Richard Pybus and skipper Mushfiqur Rahim on Tuesday.
‘They [Ireland] are now the big boys,’ Pybus told reporters at a press conference at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. ‘They are very dangerous and the side is made predominantly from county players in England.’
‘They earned the rights to play county cricket. So they will be competitive and they will be well focused and we would respect that,’ said Pybus.
Bangladesh will leave home today for the series, which will follow another brief tour in Netherlands where they will play two Twenty20 Internationals against the hosts and Scotland respectively.
‘The goal is every time we play, we play with the focus for excellence. We need to make sure we control our game plan in terms of what we want to do and we will have complete respect for the Irelands,’ said Pybus.
Bangladesh will start their campaign with a practice match against Ireland XI on July 16 at Belfast before beginning their three-match series from July 18-21.
The two matches against the Netherlands and Scotland will be held on July 24 and 25 respectively.
Skipper Mushfiq said that they are well aware of their track record against the Irish team and believes they have to play their best to beat them.
The two teams faced each other only once in a T20 International, a game that Ireland won to eliminate Bangladesh from the group stage in the second edition of ICC World Twenty20 in 2009.
‘We know that our record against them is not good. Though we have improved in the last two years we know we have to play our best to beat them,’ said Mushfiq.
Pybus added that to be a good team in the shortest format of the game the Tigers need to play matches as much as possible.
‘Last year we played two T20 Internationals. Now to learn a format as a team you have to play a lot. Just like the domestic side playing competitions year after year,’ he said.
‘We need to play as much T20s as possible. Once that is sorted out, guys need to decide their spots. And then they will learn to play in combination and play according to the right game plan in different environment,’ he said.
‘We are on a process and we would be in the spot in coming days. We need to play a good amount of T20 games to be among the top T20 teams in the world,’ he added.
Mushfiq echoed the same view and said they are on their way of learning the format as they have been playing quite regularly.
‘I agree with the coach that the more you play the more you learn. We have not been playing quite regularly in this format until recently,’ he said.
Pybus welcomed the return of their star performer Sakib al Hasan in their squad.
Sakib missed the recent Zimbabwe tour as he was granted a leave to give his tired legs a break.
‘It’s always great to have some of your key players back into the side. [But] for me it’s about the team,’ said Pybus.
‘I am glad of him coming back and I am looking forward of Tamim coming back,’ said Pybus.
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