And if Bangladesh bowl first, Donald wants the hosts’ fast bowlers to look at what England’s fast bowlers did in Pakistan. Led by James Anderson, the England seamers took 26 wickets at a combined average of 24.07 to help them sweep the Test series 3-0 in Pakistan. In Mirpur, fast bowling is usually in the backburner due to the nature of the pitch, but Donald believes that short bursts of aggressive bowling – like how India’s quicks operated in Chattogram – is the way to go.
“I have always used the reference of the England fast bowlers’ mindset in Pakistan,” Donald said on the eve of the second Test. “How they get themselves involved in the contest. Despite three spinners, you have a free ride to be a bit more expansive as a quick. You can bowl short and full for longer. You can put everything on the table for four overs.
“If you saw how [Mohammed] Siraj or Umesh [Yadav] bowled [in Chattogram], they either went very short and attacking. They had people in catching positions. The ball was slightly reversing. You know what you will get with a spinner, so we want to see us being a little more attacking. It is not easy to duck on these pitches, so if you have a bit of pace, you can be a little more expansive and aggressive.”
“The second innings batting is a blueprint for us,” Donald said. “The young man has surprised many. It is the first time I have seen Zakir. I love his attitude, boldness and attacking mindset. He has come to play. He showed that he can take on the very best bowlers. He has been a terrific breath of fresh air. He backs himself.”
Donald also said that Bangladesh cannot afford to let India off the hook like the first Test. India were 48 for 3 in the first innings in Chattogram, but clawed out of a tricky situation to post a 400+ score that set them up for eventual victory.
“You got one chance to cash in. You win the toss, hopefully bat first, make 350 or 380. I am guessing what the value of that first innings score might be. Pitch looks fairly dry so you have to cash in in the first innings. It is your only chance to set the Test match up in the first innings. If we bowl, we have also shown that in the first innings when we had India 48 for 3. We dropped couple of tough chances but we cannot drop at this level. Then you get put to the sword.”
“They are the prized wickets. It is like when [Sachin] Tendulkar walks to the crease, you know the value of getting it right is absolutely paramount,” he said. “When the great Kohli steps up, you miss a chance against him, you suffer. They don’t give many chances after that. I thought we were very good against Kohli and KL.
“It is like bowling to Lara. All of a sudden, the temperature goes up. I know that Virat is hungry to leave this Test series with a hundred but I thought we bowled well to him so far, and hopefully that continues from tomorrow onwards.”
“How many Tests has he played? Five, six or seven. He is still learning. He is going to make mistakes and I like people making mistakes,” he said. “It was like me being left alone, tearaway, all over the show, skin and bone alone. That’s Khaled. My positive reinforcement with him is that his unpredictability. It is his strength. He can bowl a jaffa but bowl the next one down the leg-side.
“The fact that Khaled has a proper engine on him. He is a big strong boy who wants to learn. Ask questions every single day. That I cannot fault. That I want to see from this group. I am here to take the shackle off the shoulders, be free and enjoy. Be aggressive. If Khaled gets Kohli down the leg-side, that’s a jaffa in my book. I am not worried about Khaled. He wants to learn and be successful.”
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84
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