Thursday, October 19, 2017

Coach Hathurusingha wants Bangladesh to whitewash Australia in Tests

  • Sports Correspondent
    Published: 2017-08-02 20:08:49 BdST


Australia may still be undecided on touring Bangladesh, but the Tigers’ coach Chandika Hathurusingha has already set his sights on a clean sweep of the two-Test series.

His apprentices have surged in the ODI rankings with some memorable performances home and abroad, but they are yet to come of age in the illustrious form of the game.

Australia players are currently in a pay dispute with Cricket Australia but local media reports say they are on the verge of agreeing on a new pay deal.

The resolution is likely to be followed by the finalisation of the fixtures for their trip to Bangladesh. However, the matches are roughly slated to be held immediately before and after the Eid-ul-Azha.

Awarded Test status in 2000, Bangladesh still languish on ninth in the ICC Test ranking. However, there have been signs of improvement.

Bangladesh beat England convincingly in their backyard last year. Their New Zealand series and the following one-off Test in India did not go too well, but they made their 100th Test memorable with a victory in Sri Lanka.

The men in red and green trail the eighth-placed West Indies by six points. Hathurusingha wants the Tigers to pick up where they had left off last season.

“We have made some progress in Test cricket. Now we have the game plan of winning in the sub-continent. We want to win the two Tests against Australia. We are very competitive here,” said the Sri Lankan coach on Wednesday.

The Tigers are scheduled to fly to South Africa a month after the series against Australia. Hathurusingha spoke about the challenges they may face in their first overseas trip of the season.

“The challenge is to adapt to South African conditions, and then adjust the game-plan. The first two weeks in South Africa before the first Test is very crucial.

“South Africa is an unknown place so we have to see how good that we can be. They are the number one Test team in the world for obvious."

Hathurusingha is also focused on assembling a strong team with the next World Cup in mind. The process involves roping in new faces into the training camp to train and prepare them for the job.

"We are looking at the bigger picture so we have involved 20-odd players. Our main focus is up to 2019 World Cup, at least for me," Hathurusingha said. "All these guys have to get used to playing and training in high intensity.

"By training with the national players, they can see what the challenges ahead are to break into the team.

“It is about expanding our pool if we need, or someone puts his hand up and says 'pick me, I am good enough'. We don't want anyone to take their place for granted."