With every passing day, Bangladesh’s World Cup ambitions seem to be coming together.
After a dismal Asia Cup, concerns were raised regarding the efficacy of team management’s pre-World Cup planning when Mahmudullah Riyad returned for the Tigers’ last assignment before the World Cup: the ODI series against New Zealand at home.
After the series against England in March of this year, Riyad was benched due to his inability to perform well at bat. Even Nazmul Hassan Papon, the head of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), has expressed concerns about his fielding.
Even though Riyad scored 77 runs off of 96 balls in the second ODI against India in December of last year, which was the final series the Tigers played before hosting England, the 37-year-old’s fitness problems meant that his occasional exploits at the bat were insufficient in comparison to his overall contributions. And as a result, he was eventually unable to get a spot in this year’s home and away series against Afghanistan and Ireland.
As a result, he was excluded from the Asia Cup, which was the largest World Cup preparation assignment.
After the England series, Afif Hossain was also benched. His performances in the Dhaka Premier League were significant enough to win him a spot back for the July Afghanistan series. He was not included in the next series against New Zealand, however, due to his actions during the Asia Cup.
The two guys that were eliminated earlier caught my attention since it seemed like they were vying for the same slot. Why is the team playing the veteran just before the World Cup if the management has acknowledged Riyad’s shortcomings in the past?
If the team’s philosophy was brave cricket and the management had often argued for supporting players, then why was Afif sacked after only two subpar Asia Cup matches?
Because the World Cup would be a lengthy competition, BCB said that the main players were rested for the New Zealand series. It was said in a press release by Chief Selector Minhajul Abedin that the series “provides us with an opportunity to take a look at some other players.” It may be inferred that it’s an effort to locate alternatives.
Even though the board’s objectives are unclear, Riyad and Soumya Sarkar have a significant chance.
It was Mushfiqur Rahim who first occupied the sixth position, assuming Riyad’s former function.
Media sources have indicated that there were conversations in board meetings over the mix of youth and experience in the side, and some board members have called for Riyad’s return, as Afif and Shamim Hossain have not been able to take advantage of the opportunity lately.
As a result, if Riyad lives up to the hype, he may very possibly represent his country in the World Cup. There has been a change in attitude, but the team management might have made the comeback of players like Mahmudullah and Soumya more credible by putting them to the test in the major tasks before the World Cup.
But the New Zealand series offers Riyad and Soumya the ideal springboard before the World Cup. The disorganized BCB process, which failed to meet their own standards when put to the test, revealed a well-known pattern: Bangladesh frequently asks for experience, not because veterans have performed well, but rather because BCB hasn’t been a good judge of the skill sets required, for both young and seasoned stars.