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Not losing sleep planning for Afghan spin trio - Tamim Iqbal


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Tamim Iqbal said on Tuesday (February 22) that his side wasn't losing sleep over the planning to face the Afghan spin trio of Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rahman, and Mohammad Nabi in the three-match series, scheduled to start tomorrow at Chattogram. The Bangladesh ODI captain acknowledged the depth in quality that the visitors possessed in the spin department, which will have to be neutralised if his side wants to dominate the series that is part of ICC Super League.

"Particularly I am not keen to talk about any particular bowler, but undoubtedly they are a quality bowling attack and one of the best spin bowling attack around. But we have done well against them especially in ODI format," Tamim said.

"There is no reason why we can't do it again as we just have to apply ourselves. What I feel is that rather than thinking about the opposition we have to think how we want to approach and what will be our plans.

"We are talking about three bowlers but they have to bowl 50 overs and the other two bowlers are also good so there is no point thinking only about the trio because any opposition we play we have to face quality bowlers. To be honest there is no pressure [facing the trio] and what I feel is that you come up with this question here and they are in discussion. I am not denying they are quality spinners but that does not imply we are only focused on them," he said.

Tamim insisted getting back into the rhythm of an ODI was the most important challenge given Bangladesh are playing the 50-over format after a gap of seven months. "Certainly we are playing [ODIs] after a while, but everyone is excited because this is one of our favourite format," Tamim said. "We have to do well here because we have got couple of ODIs this year that was not there because of T20 World Cup.

"We have done well against them in ODIs and to get back into the rhythm is the main thing and everyone is playing and having a good mental space," he said.

The captain all but confirmed that Shakib Al Hasan would continue to occupy the No.3 spot but that a decision still had to be made about which of Mahmudul Hasan or Yasir Ali would take the No.5 slot. The inclusion of Hasan in the middle-order raised a few eyebrows considering the team management was grooming him as a Test opener. Tamim, though, had a differing opinion.

"We are having the same number three for last six ODIs but I agree that we are yet to fix the number five position. What I can say is that anyone who plays from Joy [Hasan] and Yasir will bat at five," Tamim said.

"When he [Hasan] was picked as an opener in Test you said he is a middle-order batsman and now you are saying he is an opener. I think Joy batted in the middle order in 50-over format at number three or four so he is capable to bat in the top three as well as in the middle-order," Tamim added.

Tamim also quashed suggestions that the arrival of Jamie Siddons as batting consultant would dilute head coach Russell Domingo's role in the team. Siddons, who was the head coach of Bangladesh team earlier and known to be one of the main architects behind developing Tamim, Shakib among others.

"With Russell and Jamie we are a team and I don't think we have to think or look at it differently," said Tamim. "Whoever is in the set-up is one and we want to move forward in this manner because if there is any difference [between Jamie and Russell] than it won't be good and to be honest whether it is player or members of coaching panel we know we are one team and we will stick whether we do good or bad," he said.

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