Bangladesh looks to stay aggressive in test against Ireland

Bangladesh is eager to continue playing an attacking brand of cricket against inexperienced Ireland when their their one-off test match starts Tuesday

Published - April 03, 2023 09:10 pm IST - MIRPUR, Bangladesh

Bangladesh is eager to continue playing an attacking brand of cricket against inexperienced Ireland when their their one-off test match starts Tuesday.

Being aggressive paid off as Bangladesh dominated the Irish in winning both the one-day series 2-0 and the Twenty20 series 2-1.

Even after losing the T20 finale, Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan hinted at keeping the same approach, no matter the format.

Allrounder Mehidy Hasan echoed his captain’s sentiment, making it clear the plan will stay the same.

“Every team has been trying to play an attacking brand of cricket in modern day. Teams are trying to attack even in the test format so obviously we’ll try to do the same,” Mehidy said. “There will be small technical changes since it is the longer format but the mindset will be aggressive. At the end of the day, scoring runs matters, no matter what the format is. If you can score 350-400 runs in 100 overs, it will be good for you and your team.”

Bangladesh has struggled in recent tests, losing eight and drawing one since a landmark victory in New Zealand in early 2022. It also hasn’t won a home test since beating Zimbabwe in 2020.

Ireland has lost all three matches it has played since earning test status in 2017.

It has only four survivors from the last test in 2019 and included nine uncapped players in its squad. Three of those have never played first-class cricket.

“It is not many times in recent history that there’s going to be a lot of test debuts,” Ireland captain Andrew Balbrinie said. “It only happens to the new nations. It would have happened to Bangladesh in the early 2000s.”

The Bangladesh squad totals 473 caps in its ranks. Despite the experience gap, Mehidy knows the hosts will have to play their best cricket.

“We cannot take Ireland lightly,” he said. "We respect them. We will give our best.

“The confidence within this team keeps us in a good position. Since we haven’t won here for a while, it will be a good feeling if we can win.”

For Ireland it’s about playing without fear and enjoying the moment.

“It was a memorable occasion in 2019 for a lot of Irish cricket people,” Balbrinie said. “This is memorable as well. This is a big cricketing nation, playing against a top team.

“A lot of good teams have come here and got unstuck. The message is to go out and play, not hold too many fears. There’s not a lot to lose in a one-off test. So we want to enjoy it.”

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