Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful is moving up the order to number three in a bid to regain his form and lead the team from the front as Bangladesh prepare to face a resilient Zimbabwe side in the opening match of the three- match GrameenPhone ODI series on Monday. Zimbabwe defeated an undercooked Bangladesh side in the opening match of the recently concluded tri-series and Bangladesh is desperate to avenge the defeat with a resounding win the first match of the ODI series.
Both Bangladesh skipper and coach admitted that they were confident in the first match of tri-series and failed to switch to ODI style from Test mode which led to their downfall. "We were really confident against Zimbabwe but the first game was a slip up. I think coming off Test cricket into one day cricket we were not ready. We were not ready for the tempo and momentum of one day cricket. It is a faster pace and we needed to score quicker but our guys were in the mood of letting balls go" said Siddons in the pre-match press briefing.
"But we picked ourselves pretty fast and I didn't think we'd get the bonus point but we got that and in the final it was amazing. Everyone thought we had it and we did not do too much wrong but Murali took it from us", he added.
Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful is hoping for a clean sweep and solid contributions from the top-order to achieve the feat. "We are all expecting it to be 3-0 if we play good cricket in all three departments. We will go into it match by match. The confidence is up after our performance against Sri Lanka in back to back matches".
"Here I would like to see a hundred in each match from one of the top order batsmen and hopefully I will make runs too if I get going" said Ashraful.
Zimbabwe skipper Prosper Utseya also vowed to win the series convincingly and threw challenge to his Bangladeshi counterpart. "We want to win every match convincingly. That's how we approach every game we play. I guess 200 can be a competitive score if you bowl and field well."
Bangladesh (12): Tamim Iqbal, Zunaed Siddique, Mohammad Ashraful (Captain), Roqibul Hassan, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (Wicketkeeper), Naeem Islam, Mahmud Ullah Riyad, Masrafe Bin Mortaza, Mahbubul Alam, Rubel Hossain, Nazmul Hossain
Zimbabwe (From): Prosper Utseya (Captain), Elton Chigumbura, Graeme Cremer, Keith Dabengwa, Hamilton Masakadza, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Christopher Mpofu, Tawanda Mupariwa, Forster Mutizwa, Raymond Price, Edward Rainsford, Vusimuzi Sibanda, Tatenda Taibu (Wicketkeeper), Malcolm Waller, Sean Williams
Match starts: 9:00am Bangladesh Standard Time (0300hrs GMT)
Match Referee: Alan Hurst (Australia)
Umpires: Zameer Haider (Pakistan) & Nadir Shah (Bangladesh)
TV Umpire: Enamul Hoque Moni (Bangladesh)
4th Umpire: Anisur Rahman (Bangladesh)