Exim Bank Ltd.
Dhaka, Wednesday 19 Dec, 2018
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Bangladesh on right track in Tests: Shakib

Sports Desk Daily-Bangladesh.com
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Innings defeats aren't something new for Bangladesh's Test side, having been at the receiving end of such an outcome 38 times in the five-day format. Three of those came against West Indies, including their heaviest loss by an innings and 310 runs in Dhaka in 2002 as well as their defeat by an innings and 219 runs in July this year in North Sound which resulted in their emphatic 2-0 series loss at the hands of the Caribbean team.

Smarting from that series loss in July was skipper Shakib Al Hasan, who made sure to reflect upon Bangladesh players' poor showing in the Caribbean. Making amends for the big losses in West Indies, Bangladesh hit back strongly in their home series, capitalising on spin-friendly wickets to complete a 2-0 sweep of the Test series.

"It is not like replying them but there is an advantage of playing at home and away series. We could take the advantage of playing at home. After losing that way we had something to prove at least in our own backyard," Shakib said after the game, adding that his "demanding" approach towards his team members was reciprocated by strong onfield performances.

"To be honest I was very demanding because I wanted to achieve something badly. I am happy that team management and players also believed we could do it. I don't think anyone expected the way we performed in West Indies [in Test] though we did well in the shorter formats, we wanted to do something like this so that people could understand that they have taken home advantage and we took it at our own backyard."

The cherry on the cake for Bangladesh came in the second Test in Dhaka where they enforced the follow on before inflicting an innings defeat on the Windies, the first time they have done so in their Test history. Terming it as a big achievement, Shakib, who was also the skipper of the side that defeated the Windies in 2009, said their latest series win is a testament that Bangladesh are on the right track as far as their credentials as a Test team in concerned. "We have played more than 100 Test but for the first time we did something like this," said Shakib. "It's not a fact we did not play against small teams but we failed to earn anything similar so I feel this is a big achievement. We did not whitewash any team who were higher in rank at home so this series has given us a lot.

"I think that [Bangladesh's 2-0 Test series win in West Indies] was the start and this is the testament that we are on the right track. That series [in 2009] was a turning point in our cricket as we started to believe that we can win. But this one is naturally special."

Shakib also thanked head coach Steve Rhodes for urging him to play the first Test despite not being in the best frame of minds since his return to the team after a finger injury.

"I was not keen to play initially but our coach told me to play because he felt that I would gain match fitness through playing matches. Perhaps I am the only player to gain match fitness through playing matches," said Shakib.

Daily Bangladesh/Sohug

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