Bangladesh opening batsman Tamim Iqbal has claimed that the Afghanistan series will be a test for the Tigers to prove how much the side have progressed, both mentally and on the field, in 50-over cricket.
Bangladesh are set to return to their favourite format after nearly a year through the forthcoming three-match ODI series against Afghanistan. The Tigers last contested an ODI series against Zimbabwe in November last year, winning the three-match series 3-0.
“No side can remain positive after such a long gap. It is always good to have a break when a side are losing but it is never good to have a year gap, more so when the team are doing well. It is a challenge for us to prove how much we have developed mentally, and on the field,” Tamim told the media during a practice session in Mirpur's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Friday.
“It is a challenge for us to start from where we had left off in the last series,” he added.
Many are terming the Afghanistan series as a part of the Tigers' preparation for the upcoming bilateral home series against England, comprising two Tests and three ODIs.
Tamim however, begged to differ, saying, “I never thought this series is to prepare for the England series. We are playing an international one-day series, which is equally important like the England series. We as a team will treat Afghanistan the same way we have planned for England.
“Every win and defeat against Afghanistan will be part of the record books so we have no scope to take this series lightly.”
The maiden bilateral series between Bangladesh and Afghanistan gets underway at SBNS on Sunday with the first ODI. The second and the third ODI will be played at the same venue this Wednesday and next Saturday.
All the matches will be day-night affairs.