Hit it & hit it hard

Monday, August 20, 2007

With the mantra 'hit hard as much as you can', Tigers started their training for the upcoming ICC Twenty20 World Championship at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.

A bad habit of playing excessive shots can appear as a blessing in disguise for the Bangladesh batsmen in the latest version of the game and captain Mohammad Ashraful was also buoyant about this negative tendency, backing themselves for making a second round berth in the competition starting from September 11 in South Africa.

"Most of our batsmen are stroke-makers. In one-day or Test cricket sometimes we suffered for playing too many shots. But this is a game of 120 balls where you have to launch attack from the very first ball. We have good attacking batsmen in the squad including some newcomers and that's why I am very much hopeful," said the young skipper adding that they have to at least win one match for the second round berth. Bangladesh has been pitted in Group A along with hosts South Africa and West Indies.

Although this competition is still regarded by many as fun the Bangladeshi players seem happy with the meet as it gives them a chance to redeem their disgraceful performance in the recently concluded Sri Lanka tour.

"The new format will not overtake ODIs. The spectators might enjoy this version but ODI is unique. For our point of view we have a chance to do well in this type of cricket as you cannot win or even make any impression in a Test match by playing one good session as you have to play good cricket for a long period of time but in a Twenty20 match you do not have to keep up the tempo for long," he explained.

The Bangladesh captain was also excited about his bowlers. " The economy rate of our main bowlers in ODI is below five runs per over. So in the Twenty20 this might be an advantage for us," he added.

Bangladesh have not had enough experience of playing Twenty20 matches as they have so far played only one international game besides some domestic matches last season and that is the reason numerous practice matches have been scheduled.

"We played one international besides seven domestic matches and that's why this version of the game is not familiar to us. This is the reason we felt that it's better to play some matches in preparation rather going through the usual practice session," he informed.

The national team will play two Twenty20 matches today at the same venue against the Australia-bound Bangladesh Academy team and meet in a 40-0ver-a-side match the following day before being involved in a number of twenty20 matches against the other local selections.