Najmul Hossain Shanto: It is a good feeling; I a
After Bangladesh defeated New Zealand by 150 runs on Saturday (December 2), to win their first-ever Test match at home, the interim captain Najmul Hossain Shanto said his team was confident they could defeat the Kiwis while they ended the previous edition of the ICC World Test Championship with just one victory.
After Bangladesh defeated New Zealand by 150 runs on Saturday (December 2), to win their first-ever Test match at home, the interim captain Najmul Hossain Shanto said his team was confident they could defeat the Kiwis.
They ended the previous edition of the ICC World Test Championship with just one victory; therefore, the victory also helped them start the third edition of the ICC World Test Championship on the right note.
“It is a good feeling. I am very happy to have won my first Test as captain. Everything went to plan. We played a good game,”Najmul said.
“I was quite clear about my statement that we could win this Test series. I didn’t say it as motivation. I meant that we can win this game. Everyone had the same belief. I got the confidence to say this when I heard from the players, that we were all on the same page. I considered our bowling attack and batting depth in these conditions before saying it.
“I said that we have to win these two Tests. We have to believe in it. We came here with this in mind. We didn’t think about the outcome. As long as we are in the present, we are going to be okay. What we need to do in that moment, we should understand that. I think the bowlers and fielders got stuck into their responsibilities quite well.”
The Bangladeshi team received harsh criticism recently for their disappointing performance at the 2023 World Cup. Although the victory over New Zealand will provide some relief, Najmul is careful not to overreact.
“Nothing has changed. There will be talk outside. Now that we won, they will say nice things. When we will lose, they will criticize us. It is beyond our control. We don’t even think about it. We think about the process and try to stick to it regularly. We won today but it wasn’t a perfect game. We have to talk about our mistakes and then take it forward.”
Najmul made history by becoming the first player from Bangladesh to score a century in his first Test match as captain. Regarding his strategy, he said that playing constructive cricket and adapting to the situation were the main priorities.
“It is important to understand that I was batting for my team. They set attacking fields so I had boundary options. It is not easy to defend for a long time on this wicket. When they had fielders in front of me, I attacked them. When they had an in-out field, I played defensive shots. I shifted back to my normal game plan to avoid risky shots. When they attacked again, I went for the runs. Plans change according to the situation. They attacked in the first innings so I batted according to my plan,”he said.
“I was quite clear about my approach. They set close-in fields so I played low-risk shots. Some may have thought those were high-risk shots. If I didn’t connect those shots, they would still go to the boundary over the fielder’s head. It was my game plan. It seemed like I batted very responsibly in the second innings. I had similar plans. When they pushed the fielders back, I didn’t think it was necessary to hit fours and sixes over the fielders. I batted in a low-risk manner. A batter has to bat according to the situation.
Taijul Islam took ten wickets in the match, including six in the second innings, and Najmul was quite generous in his praise of him. Taijul bowled long spells in the first innings (39 overs) and the second innings (31.1 overs).
“He is one of the best Test bowlers in recent years. His strength is to bowl in one spot for a long time. I tried to use him for long from one end with this belief. We didn’t plan anything different. He just wanted to bowl for a long time from one end,”he said.
Najmul insisted that they had just “done half the work” by winning the first Test and that they must maintain the improvement trajectory going into the next match. He also wished for Bangladesh to carry on the momentum from their win into the upcoming games.
“Certainly they are a good team and the importance of a Test match (win) is huge to me as well as to other players. They were the champions of the ICC Test Championship in the first cycle and when you beat a team like that it gives confidence. The belief that we can go far from where we stand in Test cricket grows through these victories. If we don’t forget these matches and going forward carry on doing what we have done right here we can go a long way in Test cricket.”
December 06, Wednesday – December 10, Sunday
2nd Test – Bangladesh vs New Zealand, Shere Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka, 09:00 AM
Bangladesh Test squad: Shadman Islam, Najmul Hossain Shanto (c), Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Nurul Hasan (wk), Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Shahadat Hossain, Hasan Mahmud, Shoriful Islam, Taijul Islam, Khaled Ahmed, Mominul Haque, Hasan Murad, Nayeem Hasan
New Zealand Test Squad: Tim Southee (c), Tom Blundell (wk), Devon Conway, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Kane Williamson, Will Young, Neil Wagner