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'Unpredictable' pitch a hindrance: Tamim

Bangladesh opener calls for greater consistency between international and domestic pitches in Bangladesh

The Dhaka pitch from the first Test has come in for heavy criticism, though not from the touring Australians but unexpectedly by the home side's key batsman, Tamim Iqbal. 

Tamim, who top scored in Bangladesh's second innings with 78 to go with his first-innings knock of 71, said the "unpredictable" nature of the wicket hindered Bangladesh as much as it helped them in their first Test battle with Australia.

Spinners took 34 of the 40 wickets to fall in the match, with the fiery first morning spell from Pat Cummins the only meaningful contribution by a quick in the Test, and two run-outs completing the methods of dismissal. 

Dramatic session sets up nail-biting finish

But Tamim said the tactic of making spinning minefields was somewhat counter-intuitive - despite the result - given the Bangladeshis play all their domestic cricket on grassy decks.

“The wicket is unpredictable - anything can happen," Tamim said of the Dhaka surface. "My question is, how many times do we get to play in these wickets in domestic cricket? 

"We only play on these wickets in international matches, because it gives us an advantage over the foreign side. 

"We are busy with grassy wickets in domestic cricket although we never play on those in international matches at home. This thinking has to change."

Nathan Lyon picked up six wickets in Bangladesh's second innings as they slumped from 5-186 to 221 all out, and in their first innings Lyon and Ashton Agar had three each as the home side collapsed from 4-188 to 260 all out.

Bangladesh have previously won Tests abroad in the West Indies, Zimbabwe and, earlier this year, Sri Lanka. The push for the team to become more competitive abroad has resulted in the focus on grassy wickets in their domestic competition, but Tamim said it could be to the detriment of developing a strong home record.

"We tour once or twice a year in places where we confront grassy wickets," Tamim said. 

"I feel that if we want to play international matches on these (spinning) surfaces, we should do the same in domestic cricket. 

"At least one or two grounds should have these wickets so that it creates a habit."

Lyon takes four but Bangladesh build big lead

The Australians arrived in Dhaka expecting spinning wickets, having prepared with intentionally under-prepared pitches in Darwin ahead of the series. 

And on Wednesday they replaced injured fast bowler Josh Hazlewood with left-arm spinner Stephen O'Keefe who parachutes into the squad for next week's second Test in Chittagong. 

O'Keefe took 12 wickets in Australia's win in Pune against India earlier this year, and his selection raises the possibility the visitors could mirror Bangladesh's selection policy and opt for three front-line spinners.


Australia in Bangladesh 2017

Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Hilton Cartwright, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Steve O'Keefe, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade.

Bangladesh squad: Mushfiqur Rahim (c), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Shakib Al Hasan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Liton Das, Taskin Ahmed, Shafiul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Taijul Islam, Mominul Haque.


27-31 August First Test, Dhaka, Bangladesh won by 20 runs


4-8 September Second Test, Chittagong