Bangladesh unfazed by lack of Test prep
Photo Source: AP
Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim says he's not concerned by his side's long lay-off from Test cricket as they prepare to play for the first time in well over a year against England in Chittagong.
The Tigers were last in action in the longest form of the game at the beginning of August last year, whereas their opponents have played 16 Tests in the intervening gap.
Mushfiqur, who skippers the side in Tests only, said when asked if the long break would be a factor: "If we start thinking about these things then we are going on the back foot. Now is the time to play and we are focusing on that.
"The most important thing is being mentally tough. We have practised different things in the last couple of days in that regard and I hope we will be able to translate that on the field."
Where Bangladesh have an advantage, according to Mushfiqur, is on home soil and in soaring temperatures that are unfamiliar to England.
He said: "Weather will obviously have a big effect. Maintaining concentration and consistency over five days will be challenging. I think it will be more difficult for them than us, as they are not habituated to this weather."
While their batting line-up of Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur and Shakib Al Hasan is fairly settled - all six played against South Africa last year - their lower order will be completely different from the one that took to the field against the Proteas.
The hosts have packed their 14-man squad with spinners, with only two seamers, suggesting a pitch that will offer plenty of turn at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
Mushfiqur has confirmed he is available to keep wicket after recovering from a finger injury, although it remains to be seen whether he or Nurul Hasan will be behind the stumps on Thursday.