Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah, after a chastening defeat in the first Test, said his team need to capitalise better at the start and make a big impact in the first innings if they are to put up a better challenge in the second Test against New Zealand, reports Cricbuzz.
Bangladesh trail by 1-0 in the three-match Test series after they were humbled by an innings and 52 runs in the opening match in Hamilton.
The visitors failed with both bat and ball, but they did find themselves in a position of promise in the first innings, before giving in. New Zealand then piled on the runs, posting 715/6, to enable them to win by an innings.
Mahmudullah reckoned that Bangladesh should not let slip their chances on the opening day of the Test itself.
"I think last time the wicket was greenish early on and it was difficult for the batsmen on the first day because there was some movement and swing. Here, I feel that batting will get better as the game progresses so the opening day is very important," Mahmudullah told reporters on Thursday ahead of the second Test.
"In Test cricket, the first innings is always very important because it helps you to have a good build up for the rest of the game. Whether you are batting or bowling, it (first innings) will dictate a lot as far as getting hold of the match is concerned. So in that context first innings is very important," he said.
Bangladesh have been weakened due to the injury to Shakib Al Hasan and Taskin Ahmed prior to the Tests, and they were further hurt by Mushfiqur Rahim not playing the first Test due to a wrist injury. The wicket-keeper batsman might now miss the second Test, too. Heaping more misery on the visitors, they are also sweating on the fitness of Tamim Iqbal, who slammed a fine ton in the first game, as he felt pain in the groin while fielding.
"You cannot say anything regarding injury because it is part of game," said Mahmudullah. "I am hopeful about Tamim. Even though he has a slight niggle, I believe he will be okay for tomorrow. I think he will be in good condition, he was comfortable with his batting and (should) play."
"We are probably not getting Mushfiqur in the next match but we are hopeful that he will be available for the last Test. He will have a proper net session and later we will know the exact condition of his pain is," he said.
Bangladesh can draw inspiration from the fact that pace bowler Mustafizur Rahman is all set to return for the Wellington Test, but Mahmudullah also saw a lot of positives from the bowling attack in the first Test.
"The pace bowling attack is pretty inexperienced and it will hard for them if I expect a lot from them straight away. Certainly they are good bowlers but we need to give them time as they groom they are going to be better for Bangladesh and they will perform better," said Mahmudullah.
"They have that ambition and that was pleasing for me. I think they were pretty aggressive and they bowled a lot of overs, they tried several things like bowling short balls and away from the batsmen or the length balls but they needed to be more consistent," he said.
"Mustafizur will come back but we are yet to decide who will have to make the way for him," he concluded.
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