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Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur thinks consistency key to Test progress

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Bangladesh are playing their first Test in more than a year.

Mushfiqur Rahim

Chittagong (Bangladesh), Oct 19 (IANS) Still a long way from being a force to reckon with in Test cricket, Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim feels consistency is the key for them to make progress in the toughest format.

Bangladesh will play their first Test in more than 14 and a half months - their longest break from the five-day game - when they take on England in the first of the two Tests in Chittagong on Thursday, reports bdnews24.com.

Such long breaks in fixtures have made it considerably harder for them to take strides in Tests. They currently languish on ninth among 10 Test-playing nations, above Zimbabwe and below the West Indies.

Bangladesh have improved significantly in limited-overs cricket, especially at home where they did not lose a bilateral One-Day series in two years until England snapped that streak last week.

But they have usually struggled to sustain the intensity over five days and the lack of experience in their pace attack also compromises their ability to take 20 wickets in a Test.

Head Coach Chandika Hathurusingha thinks beating England will be a "bonus" for Bangladesh with their present bowling attack.

The skipper, however, was more subtle in his view.

"The last two years we played One-Days very consistently... we want that in Tests too, to get better with each Test," Mushfiqur said here on Wednesday.

"If we are consistent over five days, we can reach a position where we can win. So I think that is what the coach meant that if that happens it will be a bonus."

"And even if it doesn't happen, if we can keep fighting over five days and play well to prove that we have the ability to compete physically and mentally," he added.

The 28-year-old is aware that the day-time heat may play against England and wants to use the conditions to the hosts' benefit.

"Maintaining concentration and consistency over five days will be challenging. I think it will be more difficult for them than it will be for us, as they are not habituated to this weather, though they have been here for around 15-20 days," he said.

"We'll try to maximise our advantage to the full, be it from the wicket or the weather conditions."

England Captain Alastair Cook will overtake Alec Stewart to become his country's most-capped Test player on Thursday. He will be making his 134th Test appearance.

Mushfiqur paid tribute to the 31-year-old England skipper saying, "He is a role model for any young player - the way he has played in the last 10 years."

--IANS

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