DHAKA: Captain Mushfiqur Rahim urged Bangladesh to put aside their hurt over just failing to clinch a first ever Test victory over England and learn to cope in high-pressure situations when their battle resumes on Friday.
Bangladesh were widely praised for their gritty performance in the first Test in Chittagong, which they eventually lost on Monday by just 22 runs in what was by far the closest Test between the two sides in nine contests.
After running England so close, the eventual outcome could have had a devastating effect on the players but Rahim said the team was in good spirits after putting up such a close fight but now needed to learn how to seal the deal when match-winning opportunities open up.
“We are still hurting from the loss in Chittagong so it is best to move on from that game,” said Rahim.
“We know that had we given one percent more, the Test would have been in our favour. We would like to take the positive(s) from that game, and use them in Dhaka,” he added on the eve of the second Test in the capital.
“Our main challenge will be playing well consistently four to five days, so that if they create an opportunity we can grab that,” said the skipper who doubles up as the team’s wicketkeeper.
“Hopefully we won’t let that opportunity go this time. Our first target will be to create that situation.
“Our performance and the fight we put up in the first Test wasn’t unexpected. We will also try to cope with the pressure of expectation.”
Bangladesh had England on the ropes on several occasions during the first Test, particularly when they reduced the tourists to 52 for five in their second innings before Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow turned the match with a partnership of 127 for the sixth wicket.
The hosts played some impressive cricket during the match, with the teenage debutant Mehedi Hasan taking six for 80 in England’s first innings on a pitch that favoured Bangladesh’s spin heavy bowling line-up.
Bangladesh’s line-up will see at least one change, with 27-year-old Subashis Roy likely to be brought in after paceman Shafiul Islam was rested.
Bangladesh have also called up batsman Mosaddek Hossain as back-up to Sabbir Rahman, who was suffering from a stomach problem after his valiant innings of 64 in the second innings of the first Test.