Chance to move on from spin reliance

Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo is looking to move on from the team’s over-reliance of spin at home and planning to transform the Tigers into a more consistent Test side even in testing conditions away from home.

The South African continued the culture of revealing the team formation ahead of the game much like he did before the Pakistan Tests. Domingo informed that Bangladesh will go with two seamers against Zimbabwe in the lone Test starting from today at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

Bangladesh did get some success with the tailormade pitches at home against England and Australia back in 2016 and 2017 respectively, and most recently the two-match Test series win against the West Indies last year, the second of which was played with no seamer.

However, the over-dependency on spin had an adverse impact as the Bangladesh seamers often seemed unprepared in seaming conditions. The 45-year-old also urged for better pitches where pacers, batsmen and even spinners get the chance to showcase their skills and stressed on the need to have a clear idea of the bowlers’ skill development.

There were times when Bangladesh seemed confused about their approach even at home, which was evident in the last home Test when Afghanistan thrashed the Tigers by 224 runs in September last year.

“For Bangladesh to improve in Test cricket, we can’t play on raging turners all the time. Because then you will only pick one seamer and then you go to India, South Africa or Australia, you start wondering who are your three seamers or four seamers because they haven’t played any cricket. It’s a fine balance. We know that the strength of the team is to play on spinning wickets and particularly against teams like Australia, New Zealand or South Africa, you want your wickets to spin but we have also got to teach ourselves and learn how to play on good wickets so that the seamers are in the game and batsmen can bat to score big runs.

“If they play on tough wickets, half the batsmen will get big hundreds. It also puts the bowlers into a false sense of security because the wicket is spinning. They think they are good bowlers because the wicket is spinning and the seamers think they are bad because the wicket is not seaming,” Domingo told reporters yesterday.

The South African also added that winning games will be of paramount importance for him against Zimbabwe, although he has been critical of the lack of preparations that has hampered the Tigers performance in the recent times.

“Winning is of paramount importance. We do need to develop a Test culture. The way we go about our preparations and schedule Test matches. I am going into this Test as a coach more confident because we’ve been together for four to five days. I’ve never had Tests where we have flown into a place, practise a day and then play a Test match. The next schedule in Pakistan, we fly in, play a one-dayer, then practise and then play a Test match, so no serious Test team has scheduling like that and we’ve got to try and change that. It’s a cultural thing and we need to put a lot more attention on Test matches,” he said.

Things have not gone well for the Tigers in the longest format of the game as Bangladesh have lost their last six Tests, they five of those by innings margins. The upcoming lone Test against Zimbabwe will be crucial for Mominul Haque and his troops to not just snap the losing streak but also a to adopt a new attitude in the longest format.

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