Taskin Ahmed braces up for India challenge

Taskin Ahmed is eagerly awaiting the big day when he will bowl to the likes of Kohli, Rahane in the match. "It is a huge challenge and let me remind that we don’t look at them as individuals when he bowl to them in a match. Only when we get the wickets and think about it at the end of the day’s play we realise their stature and feel great," he says.

Taskin Ahmed and coach Chandika Hathurusingha during Bangladesh team's practice session.   -  K.V.S Giri

Bangladesh could not have asked for a better venue than Hyderabad to play its first-ever Test in India. For, it was in this City, it recorded its first-ever ODI win — against Kenya in the Coca Cola Cup tri-series in May 1998 at Lal Bahadur Stadium.

And, its preparations to take on the formidable Virat Kohli-led Indians in the one-off Test match (February 9 to 13) begin in right earnest when Bangladesh faces Abhinav Mukund-led India-A in a two-day practice game at the Gymkhana Ground from Sunday.

West Indian fast bowling legend Courtney Walsh walking across to share a few thoughts with his pacers including the 21-year-old Taskin Ahmed was perhaps a sign of the commitment of the Bangladesh think-tank to find the right balance in the pace attack.

Taskin, who is expected to be one of the big hopes in pace attack, was suspended for suspect action early last year only to pass the ICC stipulated test in Brisbane and cleared for a recall towards year-end, could not have looked for a better fast bowler than Walsh – known for his cleanest action and great sportsman spirit.

“Well, we are fortunate to have someone like a legend in our team. I felt great when he said nothing was wrong with my action. We (all the bowlers) are taking lot of tips to be better bowlers. You can always learn when you have someone like him around. The best part being that we all being different kind of fast bowlers, he is taking care of us in different ways individually too,” explains Taskin after a long grind in the nets. “It is a huge opportunity and we are all keen to make optimum use of his experience and class,” he added.

Taskin, who made a sensational ODI debut two years ago against India taking five for 28, is conscious of the fact that the sub-Continent pitches are generally flat offering some turn as the match progresses and they have to put in lot of hard work.

“Yes, we will miss injured Mustafizur Rahman (the star left-arm fast bowler for whom Hyderabad would have been a second home, being part of the victorious Sunrisers Hyderabad last season in the IPL)," the pacer said.

And, it is not that Taskin focused only on bowling in the nets at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium on Saturday, he wielded the willow too for a pretty long session as the team wants the lower-order too chip in with useful contributions.

Taskin is eagerly awaiting the big day when he will bowl to the likes of Kohli, Rahane in the match. “It is a huge challenge and let me remind that we don’t look at them as individuals when he bowl to them in a match. Only when we get the wickets and think about it at the end of the day’s play we realise their stature and feel great,” he says.

The Bangladesh pacer, who had a forgetful debut Test series in New Zealand recently with two wickets in two Tests, admits to that his side doesn’t have the experience to take on India which is arguably one of the best teams in contemporary cricket now.

“We are aware that sticking to basics like line, length and variations are the key for any bowler to succeed, especially in these conditions. We are working out strategies and hope they will be executed on the field in the Test match,” he concluded.

On the other hand, the India-A team led by Abhinav Mukund had a workout at Gymkhana minus the star players Jayant Yadav and Hardik Pandya who are expected to arrive late in the evening.

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