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21 May 2021
Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo said that his side starts as the favourite to win the ODI series against Sri Lanka scheduled to start tomorrow in Dhaka. Addressing a pre-series press conference held virtually, Domingo said although the sides are evenly matched on paper before the start, the hosts will be undeniable favourites having familiarity with the home conditions.
"I think these are two evenly matched sides. I suppose with the home advantage being quite a big factor in international cricket, we always start as favourites, but we cannot underestimate Sri Lanka. They have some seriously good players who will be keen to prove a point,” Domingo said.
He also underlined the need of getting the basics right for his side before trying out few things. Bangladesh have not had a great time in the five-over format and Domingo said that now is the perfect time to experiment new combination or tactics.
"We want to get the basics right as a team. If we can do that, then we can experiment one or two things. We haven't done that in the last couple of games. We did play well against the West Indies at home. With the team low on confidence, there's no need to do anything fancy and complicate things,” Domingo added.
Although Domingo said both sides are evenly matched he said that the battle between the two batting orders will be the one to watch out for in the series. He highlighted the lack of experience in the Sri Lankan batting order with the tourists coming after having dropped the senior pros such as Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal. At the same time, he echoed his support and backing to the Bangladesh batting order which he said has more experience at the international level to come good.
"There's no Chandimal and Mathews. We have a more experienced batting line-up. But we also know that they have some quality players in Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis, who will be trying to play an aggressive brand of cricket with a young team. Our top order got good batting time (in practice matches) and preparation this week. I am looking forward to how the two batting line-ups match-up in the next week. We have a bunch of experienced players in Mushfiqur (Rahim), (Mahmudullah) Riyad, Tamim (Iqbal) and Shakib (Al Hasan). But it is always important to give opportunities to younger players,” Domingo added.
Domingo also underlined the need to groom younger players while the old guards in Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah are still around.
“Those senior players won't be around forever. We have to make sure that we develop some other players who can step into their boots. Hopefully, a guy like Afif (Hossain) can come into the series this time and make an impact,” Domingo reckoned.
Bangladesh will be looking to bounce back in the ODI format after facing back to back series defeats against New Zealand and West Indies.