COLOMBO: While being delighted over the depth in the squad, Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha said winning over India by six runs to end their Asia Cup campaign on a high was huge for his team ahead of next month’s Men’s ODI World Cup.
After captain Shakib Al Hasan and Towhid Hridoy hit fifties before the lower-order batters stepped up by making 87 runs collectively in carrying Bangladesh to 265/8, Tanzim Hasan Sakib took 2/32 on debut while Mustafizur Rahman took three wickets before the four-man spin attack relied on turn and bounce from the pitch to bowl out India for 259.
"This win against India is huge for us going into a tournament like the World Cup. It gives us a lot of confidence, especially considering what happened in this tournament. We had a really good run up to the Asia Cup, but, to be honest, we struggled to put forth a collective effort."
"As I said before, I'm not making excuses, but we played in different conditions like Kandy and Lahore, then returned to play on this wicket. At crucial times, we faced injuries and fitness issues."
"The pleasant thing for me is seeing the depth of our other players and giving a chance to three guys to showcase their talent. We're thinking of the World Cup selection, and it provides us a great depth for selecting the 15 players," Hathurusingha was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz in the press conference.
He was also impressed by pacer Tanzim Hasan Sakib’s impressive ODI debut, where he took out Rohit Sharma and Tilak Varma cheaply, apart from making 14 not out in a lower-order fightback, thus making a strong case for World Cup selection.
"I don't think Tanzim Sakib harmed his chances. He truly stood out for World Cup selection. Up until now, we were considering sticking to our four fast bowlers, especially with Ebadot unavailable. But Tanzim showed us his capabilities. I'm confident in relying on or selecting him for the World Cup squad. I don't think he can jeopardize his chances," he added.
Asked if Bangladesh were close to finalising their 15-member World Cup squad, Hathurusingha chose not to drop much hints. "No, I haven't got many answers from this win. I did get some, fortunately, and we have another series coming up (against New Zealand at home)."
"As I mentioned, our main concern was not getting a good start in most games. It's not easy playing in these conditions, as most teams struggle when the ball turns more. But some of the boys stepped up with commendable performances."
"The contribution from the tail-enders gave us a real fighting chance. We were around 190 for seven at one point, so this change in performance, with runs from the tail-enders, allowed us to stay in the game longer," he concluded.