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Bangladesh interim head coach Courtney Walsh believes that they should not play with the fear of losing when they face Afghanistan in the upcoming three-match T20 series at Dehradun, India, scheduled to begin from June 3.
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Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) appointed Walsh as the interim head coach for the series against Afghanistan as they are yet to find a permanent replacement of Chandika Hathurusingha, who left unexpectedly last October.
Courtesy of a series of commendable performances, Afghanistan finds themselves higher to the Bangla Tigers in terms of ranking.
"I don't think we should be thinking that way," Walsh told reporters in the pre-tour official press conference on Sunday, May 27. "We have a series to play and we have to be positive and back ourselves. We have to be confident, and not think about losing," Walsh said.
Walsh asked his bowlers to have confidence while bowling in the middle. "I think it is a case of not being confident enough to execute," he said. "They have to back themselves, to execute the team plan. There should also be a thought process about what they want to do.
"Once you are in the middle, you have to get the job done. The person who is bowling has to be confident enough and one of the ways of doing it is to be consistent. Hitting the areas you want to hit - yorkers or length."
Walsh believes that their frontline bowler Rubel Hossain is well equipped as far as his bowling stock is concerned and asked everyone to support him after his poor showdown in the Nidahas Trophy final, which cost them the trophy. ''He had one bad over and it probably cost us the trophy, but these things do happen in cricket. Good thing is that he was trying what he wanted to do. The batsman was just probably better on the day. If it happens again though, Rubel is better equipped or has more options to think about what he wants to do,'' he said. Walsh added that though Mustafizur Rahman has a slight toe problem, the left-arm seam bowler would be ready before the Afghanistan series.
The legendary West Indian did not want to sound too confident and backed his boys to do the job. "Afghanistan has a good team and if we play to our strength and depth, we should come out on top. The moment you are thinking of losing, then you get doubts and you don't perform at your best. I am backing my team to do the job. We are not going to be complacent. We want to get up in the ranking before the World T20 in 2020. We will be up for it," he signed off.
Bangladesh will travel to Dehradun on May 29 for the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan. The three games will be played on June 3, 5 and 7 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium.
Though widely classified as minnows, both Afghanistan and Bangladesh definitely have what it takes to make a mark in the series. Afghanistan will boast the services of Rashid Khan who has been incredible in the IPL season, while Bangladesh do not have any such option they will look forward too. They might focus on a collective team effort that could see them through the series.
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