POST TIME: 1 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Mithun out to make him third-time lucky
The batsman is considered to take finisher role
Sports Reporter

Mithun out to make him third-time lucky

Mohammad Mithun (R) all smiles as his teamates come out of the practice session at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. BCB Photo

Mohammad Mithun kept his mind open to bat any place for the sake of the team despite being predominantly a top order batsman as he was determined to make his third call-up to the national team count.

The wicket-keeper batsman is considered to take a finisher role and bat at the No. 6 or 7 position to guide the lower order, which remains vulnerable at any condition. Moreover, his mastery to deal with the spin bowling was counted as additional quality for him in selecting into the team once again. Considering, largely spin-heavy attacks of Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, who Bangladesh are pitted with in the first round of the Asia Cup, captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and coach Steve Rhodes openly advocated for Mithun’s call up into the team.

Luck also played a big part in his reinstatement to the ODI squad due to the vacancy created by Sabbir Rahman's disciplinary issues.

The wicketkeeper-batsman, who has been scoring consistently in the domestic circuit, made his comeback to the one-day side earlier this year, four years after being dropped since the series against India, in the tri-nation ODI series final in Mirpur. Mithun replaced an under-performing Anamul Haque for the opening spot and scored ten runs but he was dropped from the team again for the next series.

Mithun's inclusion for the Asia Cup also is recognition for his fine run of form during the Bangladesh A team's recent tour of Ireland, which he began with a duck but ended with three solid half-centuries.

There was number of issues in his selection but question came to the fore—can he be third time lucky. Mithun, 28, showed no lack of confidence.

“I am keen to grab the chances with both hands this time around. I am now more matured and hopefully this time the story will be different,” he said.  "For a batsman role in the team determines how we will approach and it is the same for me. I have batted at different positions in my life so it does not seem to be problem applying in different conditions."

Mithun, who played the last of his three ODIs in January this year, is highly likely to start in the first XI in Asia Cup and he could be given a long run in a bid to cement his place as the national selectors were desperately looking for someone to replace Sabbir, who continues to struggle with off-field issues as well as on-field performances.

"He must seize this opportunity," chief selector Minhajul Abedin said. "It is true that he batted at the top but at the same time he can bat lower the order in the domestic arena. We considered him in the middle order at number six-seven position and he has scored a couple of fifties in the A team ODI series in Ireland."