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How Bangladesh can be a strong contender for Asia Cup

Saif Hasnat
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
03 Sep 2018, 23:04 IST

1st Momentum ODI: South Africa v Bangladesh
1st Momentum ODI: South Africa v Bangladesh

In less than two weeks time, the Asian cricket fraternity will be busy to see who are the most eligible team to win the crown of regional cricket. This is the very first time in history five Test-playing nations will fight for the Asia Cup. Afghanistan is here now as a full member of ICC along with Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and of course the defending champions India.

Another associate ICC-member of Asian region will also join in the tournament who will be picked from the qualifying round that is in progress in Malaysia. In this most awaiting cricketing festival, Bangladesh can be a strong contestant.

We have had a deep look to the squad that Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has announced last week and found some steps that Mashrafe Mortaza and his team need to follow to become a real claimant for the Asia Cup.

#1 Openers should step up

It is always easy for a team to run to win the game if their openers do their parts as expected. Things are the same for Bangladesh too. Tamim Iqbal playing the role of the best opener of Bangladesh for a decade now. But, they are still due to have a reliable partner for him.

The batsmen like Anamul Haque, Soumya Sarkar and Mohammad Mithun are tested to play the role but all of them were failed. Now, Bangladesh is hoping a new move by Liton Das who is already proved himself to perform at the highest level of the game.

Tamim, the premium opener of Bangladesh has scored two centuries in his last three 50-over contests. He played the pivotal role for Tigers to win ODI series during their tour of West Indies in July 2018.

In the early days of his cricketing life, Tamim was a clean striker of the bat. But now, he is a new version of himself who loves to control the game-changing his mind as required regarding the match situation.

On the other hand, Liton likes to hit the ball as he did against West Indies during the last T20I of the series in Florida, where he scored a super 61 by 32 balls. If the openers do what they need to, Bangladesh will really be able to write a new chapter of their history.

#2 Lower order batsmen should click finally

Bangladesh always have some good names at their top of the order and in the middle too. But, the anxiety is here at the lower of the order. Bangladesh never had a batsman at number 7 who can fulfil the requirement of the team.

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Once, Nasir Hossain created some hope at number 7, but, he failed for his unmindfulness in the game. There was a time when Bangladesh started addressing him as ‘finisher’. But, the story is a forgotten past now. Sabbir Rahman also lost his place the team for the off-field wrongdoings.

BCB selectors called Mohammad Mithun to play at the position of number 7 along with a back-up in Ariful Haque. Mithun is traditionally a top-order batsman. But he has called for a lower-order position.

Though for a short time of period, Mithun has to play an important role there. Possible success of Bangladesh is heavily depending on the performance of lower order batsman.

#3 Young guns need to fire with fantastic-five

In the last 12 months, Bangladesh played 33 international matches across the format and won only 9 of them. This performance is not a real reflection of what the present team of Bangladesh can do. Young players of Tigers have to take the responsibility for this result. They were totally unable to give proper company to the fantastic-five of the team.

Mashrafe Mortaza, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah Riyad are the players, who are considered as the five main pillars of Bangladesh team. Over the years, the success or failure of Bangladesh depends on them.

So, if Bangladesh really want to open a new chapter of history in Asia Cup, they need the help of young cricketers which include Liton Das, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Mohammad Mithun, Nazmul Islam Apu and Mosaddek Hossain Saikat. If they execute their skills in the middle, Bangladesh will have the occasion to roar more.

Liton Das is all set to open the innings for Bangladesh in Asia Cup with Tamim Iqbal while Nazmul Islam Shanto is being considered as a long-term solution for the fragile middle order. Bangladesh management hopeful to find a new rhythm for lower order in Mohammad Mithun and Mosaddek Hossain Saikat along with Ariful Haque and Nazmul Islam Apu already started to prove himself as a new spin sensation for the Tigers.

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