09 Dec 2023, 18:44

There is lot to improve in batting, says Shanto

DHAKA, Dec 9, 2023 (BSS)-Bangladesh captain Najmul Hossain Shanto believes

they have to work hard to rectify their batting in a bid to make them a Test

According to him, the batting played a key role in their four-wicket defeat
to New Zealand in the second and final Test, a thing that denied them a
historical first ever Test series victory over the Black Caps.

Bangladesh won the first Test by 150 runs but despite bowlers' earnest
effort, they fell agonizingly short in the decider today at Sher-e-Bangla
National Cricket Stadium.

"Firstly I am proud of the effort the players put in. We have played
excellent cricket in the first Test and in the second match, the body
language was good," Shanto who was appointed captain for this series, in
absence of injured Shakib said after the two-match series was drawn.

"We had given them 137-run target and the bowlers bowled admirably to make
this small total a bigger one. I am very happy with their effort.

There is room for an improvement in batting. We've to work hard because we
are lacking in this sector. I won't say that we didn't improve. There are
many new players in the team but they don't seem to be nervous or tensed. We
played as a team and this is a good sign," he added.

While Bangladesh won the first match in a good wicket in Sylhet, there was a
lot of criticism for the wicket of Mirpur. Like other foreign captains who
played in Mirpur, New Zealand skipper Tim Southee also rated this pitch as
the 'worst I have seen in my career."

But Shanto was unfazed by the reaction of the others, saying that if they
could have scored 230/240, no one would blame Mirpur pitch.

"I won't say that Sylhet wicket helped bowlers a lot. Bowlers bowled well and
batters had to dig in to keep scoreboard moving. If we talk about Mirpur
wicket, I would say, the batters couldn't bat well. It's the wicket of
230/240 runs but we got out less than that and that's why wicket seemed to be
bad. There was challenge to deal with the new ball. Even when we play in
overseas condition, new ball poses challenge. So there's nothing different.
This situation wouldn't have created if we bat better to some extent."

New Zealand's Glenn Phillips particularly was the wrecker-in-chief for
Bangladesh. After being bowled out for 172, Bangladesh were on course of
taking a lead, reducing New Zealand to 55-5 but Phillips' 72 ball-87 helped
the visitors take 8 runs lead instead.

Phillips also played a crucial 40 not out as New Zealand recovered from 69-6
to beat Bangladesh, chasing a 137-run target.

Shanto's plan was to attack relentlessly with spin which didn't work and it
raised a question whether he could try the lone pacer Shoriful Islam to do
something out of the box.

"I think spinners were bowling well but Phillips batted really well. We have
to accept it. There was opportunity to do well but I don't think our bowlers
bowled badly. We have to give Phillips his credit," Shanto said.