Thursday, November 23, 2017

Beating Australia in Tests will bury regrets felt by Bangladesh cricketers, says Mushfiqur

  • Sports Correspondent,
    Published: 2017-08-07 17:53:27 BdST


Mushfiqur Rahim’s Test career stretches well beyond a decade and in the 54 Tests that he played, he has faced all teams except Australia.

Australia’s Test tour later this month is therefore quite significant for the Bangladesh Test skipper, who is looking forward to delivering a triumph over Steve Smith and his men.

The rough schedule for the tour was prepared earlier, but a nine-month long pay dispute between Cricket Australia and players cast uncertainty over their two-Test series.

Australia confirmed the tour after settling the issue last week, raising the bar of excitement for Bangladeshi players.

“It is definitely very exciting that we’ll play against Australia. I have played against all the teams except Australia. This is a big opportunity, not just for me, but for the whole team,” Mushfiqur said on Monday.

“Among our current players, Mashrafe [Bin Mortaza] is the only who played [against Australia] a long time ago. Everyone is aware of the challenge they pose. But we are confident that we’ll be able to make matters difficult for Australia, like we did for England.”

Victory against the Aussies can bury their regrets for not being able to play against the team for such a long period, Mushfiqur said.

“If we finish the series well, our regrets for not being able to play against them for this long will disappear. This time, we hope to go all out because we are not sure when we can play with Australia next,” he said.

“I’ve learned a lot in the 12 years of my Test career. I’ll try to use all that to produce a result in our favour.”

Coach Chandika Hathurusingha has already made his target against Australia clear – a clean sweep of the series.

“They (Australia) are one of the top teams. They play well in their backyard and in the subcontinent. I think everyone wants to do well facing a professional team like them … it’s the same for me.” Mushfiqur said.

“But I see every match like this, no matter if it’s Zimbabwe or Australia,” said the wicketkeeper-batsman.

“Like I was saying, we will be playing at home after a long time, this is a big opportunity. No just for me, Bangladeshi crowds are very excited about being hosts to this series. They have been waiting patiently. If we can give it our best, I think the result will be a good one for us.”

The body language of the players in the camp at Chittagong’s Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium seemed to reflect determination and confidence.

Bangladesh fans hope to see that confidence remain when Australia arrive on Aug 18.

The first Test will begin on Aug 27 in Dhaka.