Since Bangladesh has been eliminated from the Asia Cup despite the fact that they still have one game left to play against India on Friday, the focus will now move to making the most of their remaining assignments, particularly the series against New Zealand that will take place at home, in order to prepare for the World Cup that will take place in October.
Because of recent injuries, the Tigers have had trouble maintaining their equilibrium as of late; nonetheless, what aspects of the squad should the management focus on in order to discover players who are suitable for their World Cup strategy? Moving forward, there is likely to continue to be an emphasis placed on the requirement for a generalist.
The team’s skipper, Shakib Al Hasan, has indicated that he is of the opinion that quite a few players who have already secured their spots in the World Cup squad could be given some time off. Jalal Yunus, the chairman of cricket operations for the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), stated on Tuesday to members of the media who were present in Sri Lanka that the head coach had already made preparations regarding who will be rested.
During Jalal’s encounters with the media, the topic of whether or not to give the fast bowlers a break was brought up. As a result of the injury that Ebadot Hossain sustained, he will not be able to participate in the World Cup. As a result of this, the Tigers may decide to give their other four front-line pacers some time off before the major competition.
A member of the selection panel shared the following information yesterday: “We have not made a decision regarding who will be rested, but we do have backup options if the pacers are rested,” the quote comes from.
After a string of poor batting performances in the Asia Cup, the performance of the team’s hitters will be the primary area of concern. Even if the openers didn’t score many runs (with the exception of Mehedi Hasan Miraz, who was used as a temporary opener), the middle order already has the best available alternatives in Shakib Al Hasan, Tawhid Hridoy, and Mushfiqur Rahim.
This is a major advantage for the middle order. When it comes to the batting department, the other significant area that has been showing signs of needing development is the lower middle order. However, all-rounders also play a role in the equation when it comes to finding the right equilibrium for a squad.
Even if giving too many players rest before the forthcoming series against New Zealand at home could throw off the team’s equilibrium, veteran players Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah Riyad could make their way back into the lineup. Although Mahmudullah does not meet the definition of a genuine all-rounder, the Tigers’ bowling has often been balanced out thanks to his contributions.
Mahmudullah’s most recent appearance for the Tigers was against England at home. It has been reported by certain sources that Mahmudullah would be making a comeback, and as a result, the management of the squad can evaluate the various possibilities.
At this point of the Asia Cup, the seventh and eighth spots in the batting order are the primary sources of concern for the team. Because Miraz is opening the batting for the team, Shamim Hossain and Afif Hossain have not been able to build a name for themselves in the competition with their batting, and they do not present a reliable bowling option.
In the meanwhile, players such as Mosaddek Hossain, Mahedi Hasan, and Soumya Sarkar might also be alternatives with the ball in their possession. Because there is not a genuine pace bowling all-rounder on the team, and because Mohammad Saifuddin is currently recovering from an injury, it is unclear whether or not Soumya’s medium-pace bowling can earn him a spot on the squad for the showcase tournament that will be held in India.
In the event that Tamim Iqbal’s injury continues to be a cause for concern leading up to the World Cup, the opening position may require an alternative opening option. Shakib had mentioned earlier that he was interested in identifying one or two players for the upcoming series who would be a good fit for the team.
Therefore, in addition to seasoned players like Tamim or Mahmudullah establishing their footing before the World Cup, and assuming there are no further injury setbacks, just one or two other places will be on the table for the team management in advance of Bangladesh’s seventh World Cup campaign.