"It's an opportunity for youngsters": Bangladesh head coach Hathurusingha ahead of NZ Test | Cricket - Hindustan Times

"It's an opportunity for youngsters": Bangladesh head coach Hathurusingha ahead of NZ Test

Nov 27, 2023 06:53 PM IST

Bangladesh will play a two-Test series at home against New Zealand in a different format.

Dhaka [Bangladesh], November 27 (ANI): Ahead of the first Test against New Zealand, Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha believes this series will be an exciting opportunity for youngsters.

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Following a lacklustre ICC World Cup campaign, Bangladesh will play a two-Test series at home against New Zealand in a different format.

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The team will have a new look because several of its veteran players will be missing the series for different reasons. Star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan will miss the series due to a finger injury, Litton Das has been granted paternity leave, and Taskin Ahmed has a shoulder niggle to manage.

Apart from them, senior opener Tamim Iqbal also remains out of contention.

Speaking to the reporters ahead of the game, Hathurusingha stated that losing this amount of experience was a significant setback for Bangladesh.

"It's challenging to lose that much of experience from any team, especially for Bangladesh. Those guys have been part of the Bangladesh team in every format for more than 15 years. Some of them for ten years," Hathurusingha was quoted as saying by ICC.

He clarified that this just meant that Bangladesh's young cricket players now had more possibilities.

"It is however something to look forward to, to see what the youngsters can do. I think it's a time that we need to move on from some of the players that have played for a long time. They are not going to be there forever," Hathurusingha added.

"But this is happening because of many reasons. I think it's exciting and it's an opportunity for some of the youngsters to make their name and then have a long career," Hathurusingha said.

Hasan Murad, Hasan Mahmud, and Shahadat Hossain Dipu are the three players in Bangladesh's team who do not have Test caps.

Hathurusingha was also fully aware of the difficulty posed by his lack of red-ball cricket experience before the series. However, after returning from the World Cup, a few Bangladeshi players were able to play in their first-class National Cricket League's final round.

"The challenge is these guys haven't played enough cricket leading up to. So our planning has to be a little bit better than this going forward and making a bigger pool of players available for every position in bowling and batting.

"We used the NCL matches for the guys who played the World Cup as preparation. Most of the batters made use of that opportunity. Most of the other players have been playing NCL. This is almost like a new-look Bangladesh team for various reasons. Not by design. I think we are ready as we can be and I'm looking forward to this Test series," he added.

The coach banked on his spin attack to deliver for the Tigers in the series.

"There is experience in Taijul [Islam] and [Mehidy Hasan] Miraz. Taijul has 177 Test wickets. Definitely, he'll be a leader of the attack and Miraz is playing since 2016 if I remember correctly," Hathurusingha added. "Then there's young Murad and Naeem Hassan. I think playing on this condition and this heat, those guys, spinners mainly, will play a big role."

The first Test commences on Tuesday in Sylhet.

Bangladesh Test squad: Najmul Hossain Shanto (c), Shadman Islam, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mominul Haque, Shahadat Hossain Dipu, Mushfiqur Rahim, Nurul Hasan, Mahmudul Hasan, Taijul Islam, Naeem Hasan, Khaled Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Hasan Mahmud, Hasan Murad, Zakir Hasan. (ANI)

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