Asia Cup 2018: 3 areas in which Bangladesh should work on ahead of the tie against Sri Lanka
The stage is ready for the top Asian cricket-playing nations to lock horns in the 2018 Asia Cup that is set to be kicked off from 15 September in UAE. On the opening day of the tournament, Bangladesh will take on Sri Lanka at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Bangladesh played Asia Cup finals twice, and that remains as their best memory from the tournament.
On the other hand, the island nation of Sri Lanka won the tournament five times, and that is the most by any team next to defending champions, India, who won it a record six times.
Sri Lanka are far ahead of Bangladesh as they won 36 matches out of 44 against Bangladesh. Three out of those defeats of the Tigers came throughout the last two years. However, ahead of another clash versus Sri Lanka, Bangladesh should look at some areas to start their Asia Cup campaign on a positive note.
#3 Top order should show a concrete premise to perform
The main batsmen of Bangladesh have failed during their last three defeats against Sri Lanka. The Tigers failed to win an ODI series against Sri Lanka while touring the island last year.
In the series decider, Sri Lanka posted 280 runs on the board after being sent to bat first. In spite of scoring 324 in the series opener, Bangladesh lost the series decider by 70 runs while chasing 281.
The loss came as a result of the breakdown of Bangladesh top order. Tamim Iqbal got dismissed scoring only four runs while Sabbir Rahman did the same without adding anything on the board. Unlike this pair, Soumya Sarkar scored 38 runs, but that effort was not enough for the tourists to avoid the loss.
The fragility of Bangladesh top order remained the same when both teams locked horns in the tri-series earlier this year. The Tigers lost a couple of matches against them, duplicating the same mistakes at the top of the order. On the first occasion, the Bangladesh top order put only 13 runs on the board before adding only 15 on the second chance in the final.
Bangladesh should master these things ahead of the all-important battle against the Islanders on the first day of the 2018 Asia Cup.
#2 Bangladesh should be aware of Lankan seamers
Alongside the failures of the top order against Sri Lanka, the Bangladeshi batsmen struggled to play their pace-attack as well. Bangladesh lost 18 out of their 30 wickets to the Sri Lankan pace-attack during their last three losses against them. In the series decider last year, Bangladesh lost 6 out of 10 wickets to the pacers.
They reproduced the same errors in the tri-series. The Tigers lost 7 out of 10 wickets to the Lankan seamers in the group stage before losing 5 out of 10 in the final of the same contest. Bangladesh should not dream that they can overcome the Lankan pace attack easily in the Asia Cup.
#1 Bangladesh should remember the name of the Lankan coach
Chandika Hathurusingha knows almost everything about Bangladesh. He was the coach of the Tigers for more than two years. So, Bangladesh should remember his name before heading into the Asia Cup opener.
Steve Rhodes, the newly-appointed head coach of Bangladesh, did not get enough time to understand all the players who are in his team for the battle of the crown at the Asia Cup. So, there is a chance for him to follow the previous game-plans. But, he should not do it against Sri Lanka.
The department of spin bowling remains as the biggest strength of the Bangladesh team. But, Bangladesh should not rely only on their spin attack, or on their previous game-plans while heading into the Asia Cup opener against Sri Lanka.