Mushfiqur hopes conditions give Bangladesh spinners the edge

Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim is urging his spinners to use the expected damp conditions to their advantage and wreak havoc when their second Test with England begins on Friday.

The two sides produced a tantalising first Test in Chittagong, with the hosts coming within only 23 runs of a famous victory before Ben Stokes struck twice in three balls to put England ahead.

There is an air optimism surrounding Bangladesh despite such a cruel defeat and, while heavy rain just a day before the second Test in Dhaka could affect their preparations, Mushfiqur is quietly confident it could work in favour of their in-form spinners.

"The rain might have some impact on our plans," he said. "The wicket is mostly prepared, but if the sun was out today, it would have dried up further.

"If there's a bit of moisture, the ball would be gripping on the surface for the spinners. Shakib Al Hasan, Taijul Islam and Mehedi Hasan combined to take 18 of the 20 wickets to fall, and they will be expected to have a similar effect in this game as well.

"Their spinners don't have to attack because of their pace bowlers. For us, the spinners are the main weapon; they have to attack and take the wickets.

"I think in that sense, our spinners are ahead of them. They are natural at bowling with the new and old ball, defensive or aggressively. But I would still say that our spinners have room for improvement."

Bangladesh exceeded the expectations of many commentators with how close they ran England in the first test, but Mushfiqur is adamant they should be producing such performances on a consistent basis.

"Our challenge will be to play consistently, especially against a good side like England," he added.

"We wouldn't have become the number one team in the world by beating England in Chittagong so our target remains to do well over four to five days in a Test, and afterwards if we get into a winning position, we will push on.

"We have many more performers in our side these days, so everyone has expectations from the players.

"Our performance and the fight we put up in the first Test wasn't unexpected. We will also try to cope with the pressure of expectation."

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