The Bangladeshi squad left for Lahore yesterday in an attempt to bounce back from their loss to Sri Lanka after a poor day at the bat in their Asia Cup opener on Thursday.
Now, the Tigers might play Afghanistan on Sunday in a game that they really have to win.
In their first Asia Cup match in Pallekele, the Tigers found it difficult to contend with the two-paced pitch, therefore it proved to be a good toss to lose for the Lankans.
“The wicket is usually terrific here, but that wasn’t the case today. Nevertheless, we must play our part properly since some things are beyond our control. After the game, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, who scored the majority of the team’s 164 runs, told reporters, “We expected sporting wicket in this kind of big tournament.”
At the Gaddafi Stadium, where the Tigers last played an ODI in the 2008 Asia Cup, the toss may not really matter tomorrow. During their most recent visit to Pakistan, the Tigers lost both the single Test in Rawalpindi in 2020 and the T20I series in Lahore.
In the second ODI of 2022, Pakistan successfully chased down Australia’s 348 for eight with six wickets remaining. The average score for the past three games played at the venue in Lahore is above 300.
According to Shanto, they “could have batted better” against Sri Lanka since the Bangladeshi bowlers were active and took five wickets off the Lankans while defending a modest score.
Although winning the toss does not necessarily mean that Afghanistan would be ahead in Lahore, the onus will be on the batting team. The 64 ODIs were divided fairly evenly, with sides winning 32 games by batting first and 30 by bowling first.
The Tigers at Kandy failed miserably to reach the target of 250–260, as Shanto had said. Therefore, it would be more crucial to bat more strategically than to aim for merely 300 or more runs.
Bangladesh will not only need to prevail, but also hope that other outcomes from the group stage go in their favor. Their rivals, Afghanistan, had completed their training camp in Pakistan, thus they were better used to the environment.
It wouldn’t be easy to take on the likes of Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman of Afghanistan, given how mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana and pacer Matheesha Pathirana dominated terms against Bangladesh in the first game. In the most recent ODI series that Bangladesh played at home, pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi took eight wickets, while Mujeeb and Rashid each took five and four wickets in the series victory of 2-1.
“Our two games are going to be difficult. At yesterday’s news conference, Afghanistan head coach Jonathan Trott said, “But first, let’s focus on the Bangladesh game. We know they’ll be desperate to win, obviously, and it’s our job to match their intensity and also the desire to win.” We all understand that we will be under pressure if we don’t arrive with that attitude, matching them, or a better mentality and greater talents.
The Tigers will be under additional strain since they need to win their last group match in order to qualify for the tournament. The fact that Liton Das’ comeback is being contemplated in the event that Bangladesh advances to the Super Four despite the batter’s automatic exclusion suggests that the loss may have let the cat out of the bag.