Bangladesh coach and players

Hathurusingha excited to oversee Bangladesh’s change of guard

Bangladesh coach and players

After an underwhelming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup campaign, Bangladesh will change formats and take on New Zealand in a two-Test series at home.

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The side will bear a new look, given a number of senior players are skipping the series due to various reasons. Shakib Al Hasan misses out due to a finger injury, Litton Das has been granted a paternity leave, and Taskin Ahmed has a shoulder niggle to manage.

Apart from them, senior opener Tamim Iqbal also remains out of contention.

Speaking to the reporters ahead of the game, Hathurusingha stated that losing this amount of experience was a significant setback for Bangladesh.

“It's challenging to lose that much of experience from any team, especially for Bangladesh. Those guys have been part of the Bangladesh team in every format for more than 15 years. Some of them for ten years.”

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However, he added that this only meant that opportunities opened up for Bangladesh’s upcoming cricketing talent.

“It is however something to look forward to, to see what the youngsters can do,” Hathurusingha added that it was also a time for change. “I think it's a time that we need to move on from some of the players that have played for a long time. They are not going to be there forever.

“But this is happening because of many reasons. I think it's exciting and it's an opportunity for some of the youngsters to make their name and then have a long career.”

Bangladesh’s squad features three players uncapped at the Test level: Hasan Murad, Hasan Mahmud, and Shahadat Hossain Dipu.

At the same time, Hathurusingha was well aware of the challenge of having not played much red-ball cricket leading into the series. A number of Bangladesh’s players, however, managed to feature in the last round of their first-class National Cricket League, after arriving home from the World Cup.

“The challenge is these guys haven't played enough cricket leading up to. So our planning has to be a little bit better than this going forward and making a bigger pool of players available for every position in bowling and batting.

“We used the NCL matches for the guys who played the World Cup as preparation.

“Most of the batters made use of that opportunity. Most of the other players have been playing NCL. This is almost like a new-look Bangladesh team for various reasons. Not by design. I think we are ready as we can be and I'm looking forward to this Test series.”

The coach banked on his spin attack to deliver for the Tigers in the series.

“There is experience in Taijul [Islam] and [Mehidy Hasan] Miraz. Taijul has 177 Test wickets. Definitely, he'll be a leader of the attack and Miraz is playing since 2016 if I remember correctly,” Hathurusingha added. “Then there's young Murad and Naeem Hassan. I think playing on this condition and this heat, those guys, spinners mainly, will play a big role.”

The first Test commences on Tuesday, 28 November in Sylhet.

Bangladesh Test squad: Najmul Hossain Shanto (c), Shadman Islam, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mominul Haque, Shahadat Hossain Dipu, Mushfiqur Rahim, Nurul Hasan, Mahmudul Hasan, Taijul Islam, Naeem Hasan, Khaled Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Hasan Mahmud, Hasan Murad, Zakir Hasan.

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