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T20 World Cup: Shakib'a absence a big blow to team balance, says coach Domingo

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Abu Dhabi, Nov 1 (IANS) Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo has said that losing all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan due to a left hamstring injury for the rest of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is a big loss in terms of team balance. He added that the team will miss his leadership and calmness in pressure situations apart from his all-around utility. Bangladesh have lost all three matches in Group 1 of the Super 12 stage and face South Africa on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi.

“Shakib is obviously a big loss for the balance of the side. But also, in terms of his leadership and the calmness that he brings around the environment in pressure situations, that aspect will be lost. But it does provide an opportunity for someone new to maybe make his first World Cup appearance tomorrow, and we’ve got to see that as a positive for whoever that young player is going to be tomorrow,” Domingo said in the pre-match press conference on Monday.

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Domingo insisted that his team is determined to do well in their last two matches of Super 12. “We’ve had some good discussions after the last game against the West Indies. We’ve had two pretty narrow losses, I suppose, one to Sri Lanka and one to the West Indies. And obviously, morale has been low after those particular losses knowing that our chances in the World Cup are probably over. But we’ll be ready to play for tomorrow. Mentally the guys will be up for it and know it’s an important phase of the competition. Still, two games to go. And guys are really determined to put in a good performance in the next two games.”

“I think Bangladesh have only won one game in the second phase of the T20 World Cup ever. So, there’s an opportunity to improve on that record. To try and win two games will be a big stepping stone for us. There’s a lot to play for in the next two games. Our focus is entirely on tomorrow before we get to the last game against Australia. We first need to try to open our count tomorrow. So our performance tomorrow is really important.”

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Talking about South Africa, who are on a roll with back-to-back wins in the tournament, Domingo felt that their ability to play against spin is something Bangladesh will look to exploit. “They’re playing well at the moment. Having worked with South Africa for a long time myself, we know that there’s always a question mark regarding the way they play spin. Hopefully, the conditions will help us a little bit tomorrow.”

“So, there are certain areas that we’ll look to exploit and look to focus on when we play against them. Will I tell you about that now or not is I don’t think the right thing to do. But we’ve had some good discussions and some good meetings this morning to go over some of our plans for tomorrow.”

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–IANS

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