McKenzie tips Tigers to tackle Indian spin

Bangladesh batting coach Neil McKenzie (C) gives some tips to Mahmudullah (L) and Mushfiqur Rahim during a training session in Indore on Tuesday. — BCB photo

Bangladesh batting coach Neil McKenzie (C) gives some tips to Mahmudullah (L) and Mushfiqur Rahim during a training session in Indore on Tuesday. — BCB photo

With the two-match Test series against India looming near, Bangladeshi batsmen are paying extra attention on tackling Indian spinners to end their recent string of poor performance against quality spinners in the longest format.  

After losing the Twenty20 series 1-2, Bangladesh have now shifted their focus on the Test series, starting on Thursday in Indore, and are putting extra emphasis on tackling the hosts’ world class spin bowling attack.

India possess a very varied and lethal spin bowling department, consisting of off-spinner Ravishndran Ashwin, left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja and china-man spinner Kedar Jadhav.

India in the past have heavily depended on these spinners in home Tests and they have consistently delivered , taking wickets in every match and playing a pivotal role in India’s world record 11-Test series winning streak at home.

Bangladesh, on the other hand, have been proven to be vulnerable against quality spinners on more than one occasion, with the latest example of their inability against spin coming in the one-off Test series against Afghanistan in September.

Afghanistan, who were playing only their third match in the five-day format, won the match by a convincing 224-run margin after their skipper Rashid Khan claimed 11-104 in Chattogram.

In the match, Bangladesh batsmen looked woefully unequipped against the spin attack of the novice Test side at home conditions.

Now a little over two months later after the embarrassing loss they have to tackle the current number one Test team’s spin attack at their own backyard, and that too in the absence of key stalwarts like Sakib al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal.

Bangladesh were well aware of the enormity of the task at hand and under their batting coach Neil McKenzie, who recently agreed to work with Test team, were taking special preparation for the challenge.

‘We all know the strength of their bowling line-up. We are working on how to tackle their spinners because we feel it will be difficult for their spinners than their pace bowlers,’ batsman Mohammad Mithun told reporters after their practice session in Indore on Tuesday.

‘It is batting friendly for the first two days but afterwards their spinners come into play as they tries to attack their opponents keeping them in the fore front. We are working on some technical aspects keeping our focus on how to handle them,’ he added.

Mithun also felt that it was important to focus on all of their bowlers, rather than anyone in particular as any one of them could make the difference in the match.

‘The five bowlers they have we cannot take anyone lightly because everyone is world class. So it is not like we will work regarding any specific bowlers. If we want to do well we have to do well against all the five bowlers playing them with all the seriousness,’ he said.

Bangladesh are unlikely to benefit too much from the spin-friendly conditions themselves, with their most reliable spinner Sakib not featuring.

‘We cannot replace Sakib bhai in Test and certainly we are missing him. If he was there it would have helped us a lot. As he is not available there is no point thinking about it,’ said Mithun


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