Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha believes skill is not a concern for his side as they prepare to return to the 50-over cricket after around a year through the first one-day international against Afghanistan in Mirpur's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Sunday.
For Chandika, it is all about the mentality of his players in the middle. The former Sri Lanka cricketer informed that his side will treat Afghanistan the same they have planned for England. Below are the excerpts from his pre-match press conference held on Saturday at the home of cricket.
Will the main focus be getting over the first match?
Not the main focus. The main focus is to win three ODIs against another national team. As you said, not playing for a long time is a bit of an achilles heel for us. That is what we are trying to get over, that uncertainty. The first match is very vital for us. The first hour is vital for us. It is important that we start well, so the focus is all about winning the first game.
Will this series serve as good preparation before England's arrival?
We take this as a really important series, not as practice or anything like that. Afghanistan are a strong team. They have upset many good teams on the world stage. We take them very seriously, we prepare for them as we would prepare for any other team.
The ranking is the outcome of what we do day by day. We are not thinking of the ranking. We are thinking of a six-match series; three with Afghanistan, three with England. So that is how we are going to approach it. Like I said, it is important to break it down into one match at a time then break it down into the first hour of the first match.
Will this series give any message to England?
I would like to think so, but no. We just have to get into a winning mood, we want to win every match.
Will you elaborate on Al Amin Hossain's exclusion?
Just because Al-Amin is not here does not mean he is finished. If we were playing a different team it would have been a different scenario. We are giving the captain the best form of attack, different variety. He has done well in the past, and when Shafiul [Islam] is fit, he is as good as anyone as well. We are giving Shafiul two games to see what he can do.
What is your take on Taskin Ahmed’s return to the national team?
Definitely, the quality of Taskin’s skill will benefit any team in world cricket. He is one of our best bowlers, so he is coming and we are very relieved to have this ban off from him.
Taijul Islam has been included while Arafat Sunny, who is not in the side, recently got his bowling action cleared. What are your plans with the duo?
Taijul didn’t play in the past because of Sunny doing well and now he has got the opportunity, not that he is less good than anyone else. Whenever he has played he has done the job for us. So I am hoping that Taijul does the job for us as good as Arafat or better. Arafat is different to Taskin; he has had to change his action a lot more than Taskin. We want him to play first-class cricket and get used to his new action and we will assess his performance in domestic cricket. At the same time, if someone takes the opportunity with both hands – someone like Taijul – then he will have to bide his time.