SYLHET, Bangladesh (AP) — Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha is keen to rotate as many players as he can in the three-match ODI series against Ireland as he wants to create a bigger player pool for the World Cup later this year.
At the same time, he doesn’t want that rotation policy to affect his team’s chances of wining the series, which begins on Saturday.
“We are trying to expand our pool of players before the World Cup. In case something happens close to the World Cup, we want to have enough players that we have seen and can trust to do a role,” Hathurusingha said. “We are rushed to do that as we have only 15 matches before the World Cup. We are trying to give opportunities to players we think can do the role.”
Bangladesh is high on confidence following its first T20 series win against England last week. However, it lost the ODI series 2-1.
Bangladesh has won seven out of 10 matches against Ireland, which is touring Bangladesh for the first time since 2008. Ireland’s last victory in this format against Bangladesh came in 2010 at Belfast.
“We respect Ireland just like England but we don’t fear any team,” Hathurusingha said. “We are not going to treat Ireland any less than how we prepared for England. When we play our best cricket, we are good enough to beat most teams. It is our mantra.”
Ireland started the Bangladesh tour on a positive note, beating a BCB XI by 78 runs in the warm-up game. But the tourists know that the biggest challenge will be to overcome the Bangladeshi spinners.
Bangladesh also has in-form fast bowlers in Taskin Ahmed, Hasan Mahmud and Mustafizur Rahman, who all bowled well in the series against England.
“Probably expect it to spin a bit, as you naturally do here in Bangladesh. But I think the most important thing is just being sort of adaptable to whatever is thrown at you condition-wise,” Ireland allrounder Harry Tector said. “Could spin and it could not spin. Could be a tough wicket, it could be a good wicket. We just have to wait and see.”
Tector has experience of playing in Bangladesh as he took part in the 2016 Under-19 World Cup that the country hosted and was part of the Ireland Emerging team in 2021.“Thankfully I’ve played here twice before, so I have a fair idea of what to expect,” he said. “But I guess coming over to this part of the world, your game generally is most tested against spin.”