Bangladesh call up Soumya Sarkar and Imrul Kayes to Asia Cup squad
Bangladesh, in this Asia Cup, have more often than not flattered to deceive. While many expected them to put up a strong show, their batting has crumbled time and again.
Prime among the reasons as to why this has happened is because of the inability of the openers to bide time at the crease and provide stability. The team management was left further aggrieved when Tamim Iqbal, who heroically strode out to bat with a fractured wrist at No. 11 against Sri Lanka, was ruled out of the tournament with an injury.
That is 1/5th of the team's most contributing players taken away - big blow indeed.
Captain Mashrafe Mortaza, while acknowledging the loss, chose to look at the positive and noted that it was a wonderful opportunity for a few youngsters to stake claims to a permanent opening spot alongside Tamim. However, it's been chastening to see the other openers, Liton Das and Nazmul Hussain Shonto fail miserably.
While Shonto can be excused as he is new to the international arena, Liton Das has been a huge disappointment. Time and again he has shown that he possesses oodles of talent, but unless he blends that with consistency, he will struggle to find his feet as an international cricketer.
In the ongoing Asia Cup, he has been dismissed for single-digit scores in all of the innings he has played so far.
Taking stock of the poor opening partnerships they have been getting, Bangladesh think-tank has sent out an SOS to Soumya Sarkar and Imrul Kayes to join them immediately, in Dubai. Both were playing a tournament in Khulna, Bangladesh, for Bangladesh Red and Bangladesh Green respectively.
What's ironic is the fact that this is the very pair of openers replaced by Liton and Shonto due to their inconsistencies.
Sarkar, in particular, must look to grab this opportunity with both hands. He is an aggressive southpaw and can be an ideal foil to Tamim once he gets back into the fold.
Another option could be to promote Mominul Haque to open the batting. Though largely perceived as a Test specialist, Mominul has recently voiced publicly his desire to play all formats for Bangladesh.
To back up his pleads, he had an excellent outing against Ireland A, captaining Bangladesh A in the 50 overs format. HIs compact technique could well lend some much-needed solidity at the top of the order.