When naming the World Cup roster yesterday, the Bangladesh team management aimed for a combination of youth and experience, with the omission of veteran Tamim Iqbal owing to injury worries being the biggest repercussion from the announcement.
The other significant event that occurred was the return of Mahmudullah Riyad. Concerns about Mahmudullah’s own fitness were raised, with a focus on the fact that he had been showing deteriorating physical talents on the field.
The 37-year-old player, who reached 5,000 runs in one-day internationals during yesterday’s third match against New Zealand, impressed the selectors enough in his comeback series to be picked for what would be his fourth appearance in cricket’s most important tournament.
During the time of the squad announcement, however, the main selector, Minhajul Abedin Nannu, was confronted with a number of inquiries over Tamim’s absence from the team. The members of the selection panel thought that they had considered Tamim’s accomplishments before making their decision to not include him; however, they concluded that the potential downsides of playing an injured player outweighed the potential upsides.
The team management decided to go with a younger player for the opening position in order to compensate for the absence of Tamim, who was 34 years old and had scored more than 8,000 runs in one-day international cricket.
Youngster Tanzid Hasan Tamim has already impressed enough with his strokeplay to earn a spot in the Asia Cup. He has scored 34 runs in five innings since he was given the opportunity to play in the tournament. Mohammad Naim was one of the openers that had a lot of playing time before the World Cup. However, even though he earned some starts at the Asia Cup, he was unable to capitalize on those opportunities by scoring huge knocks. In spite of his lack of prior expertise, Tanzid was ultimately chosen for the position.
“We have witnessed a variety of opening acts. Our HP unit contained Tanzid at one point. He had a successful showing in the Emerging Cup. [On the world scene], he is only being given a limited number of opportunities. The response that Minhajul gave to your question yesterday at the press conference was “We are hoping that he can show his worth with more opportunities in the World Cup.”
Shakib Al Hasan, who captains the team, and Mushfiqur Rahim are the other two veterans on the roster. Mahmudullah is the only other veteran. The fact that Najmul Hossain Shanto is currently enjoying a productive run with the bat helped to propel him into the position of Shakib’s deputy at the World Cup. In addition, Tawhid Hridoy will continue to play an important role as a batter for Bangladesh in the championship competition.
In spite of the tense environment that prevailed prior to the squad announcement, the fifteen-person squad did not contain a significant amount of unexpected personnel. A topic that was heavily discussed in the BCB think-tank in the days leading up to the squad selection was whether or not the Tigers should play with five pacers.
Mehedi Hasan Miraz may now likely be the backup opener and it cleared up a position for the team to bring in a fifth pacer because Tamim was not in the squad. The selection of batsman Tanzim Hasan Sakib over the more experienced bowler Khaled Ahmed was based on his performance in the Asia Cup match against India. As was to be anticipated, all of the other regulars of the speed attack, including Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Hasan Mahmud, and Shoriful Islam, were selected for the squad.
The spin options for Bangladesh in the World Cup would be provided by Miraz, Nasum Ahmed, and Mahedi Hasan, with Mahmudullah also shouldering a portion of the duty in this area. The lack of a legitimate number seven led Bangladesh to settle on Mahedi as their choice for the position. Mahedi impressed Bangladesh with his all-around performance in the Asia Cup match against India.
The Bangladesh cricket team is slated to leave for India this afternoon, and before they begin their World Cup campaign on October 7 against Afghanistan, the Tigers will play two warm-up matches in Guwahati against Sri Lanka on September 29 and England on October 02, both of which will take place on the respective dates.