POST TIME: 9 December, 2018 09:17:41 AM
‘Shakib, Tamim return to bolster Tigers morale’
Bangladesh in quandary with inform top order
Sports Reporter, Dhaka

‘Shakib, Tamim return to bolster Tigers morale’

Bangladesh’s No I all rounder Shakib Al Hasan (R ) talks with another senior mate Mahmudullah Riyad during a practice session at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka yesterday. BCB Photo

The return of Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal came as a big relief for Bangladesh as they aim to be consistent in ODI cricket, considering the 2019 World Cup in England at mind.

Shakib returned to competitive cricket with the two-match Test series as he was recovering from a finger injury that he sustained during the Asia Cup and forced him to quit from the mid-way of the tournament.

Tamim, who missed the Asia Cup after the opening game against Sri Lanka due to sustaining wrist injury, had to alter his plan of returning to international cricket after sustaining side strain as it forced him to be ruled out against the Windies in the Test series.

Tamim scored a century in the lone practice game against the West Indies to help the host win the game by 51 runs in D/L method and have some confidence under their belt.

 ‘’Naturally the return of Shakib and Tamim is an advantage for us. It is a relief for Tamim as he played well in the practice game. But at the same time it takes time to perform coming from injury,’’ Mashrafe said yesterday.

 ‘’Shakib perhaps adapted more as he played two Test matches. But it is a relief for us as both of them are available,’’ he added.  “Obviously Shakib and Tamim being in the team is a big advantage.”

 But Tamim’s return left Bangladesh in a sweet problem of deciding their top order as all of the batsmen have been in superb form. With Tamim returning to the squad Bangladesh have four openers in the lineup. Tamim and Soumya Sarkar were amongst the runs in the practice match and the latter have made good use of the opportunities he was handed in recent times. Imrul Kayes showed perseverance in his Asia Cup knock against Afghanistan before blinding performance in the Zimbabwe ODI series while Liton Das has the flair and talent for the biggest stage as was evidenced by his ton against India in the Asia Cup final.

 “Normally at home there are 14 players in the side. The fact is that we formed a 16-member squad so that no one loses confidence and we can monitor the players (who are in-form).

“We put priority on those who performed recently. Having an in-form top-order is a sweet problem to have,” Mashrafe admitted.

The main thing for Mashrafe was that with the World Cup to come, having four openers meant if they are all in form then one or more of them could bat lower down the order.

“It might be the case that one or more of them (could bat lower down the order). Nothing is for certain. A few of the openers have batted lower down in the order. Imrul batted at six and played an extraordinary innings. Soumya played at seven in the final. With the World Cup in mind we could do something like that,” Mashrafe opined.