Lanka-Bangla T20 series waits for many answers
A lot of issues are arose for Bangladesh before starting the two matches T20 international series against Sri Lanka today.
First one is about the proxy captain, as Shakib Al Hasan is missing this series due to injury. BCB took much time in deciding about Shakib's replacements. Mahmudullah Riyad, who was the stand-in captain for Test side, will lead the Tigers in place of Shakib Al Hasan, though it was supposed to be vested on opener Tamim Iqbal's shoulder. Meanwhile, Nazmul Opu is replacing Shakib as spinner in the primary troop, which was confirmed just two days ago of the battle.
Next question comes about the inclusion of a lot of new cricketers; which is a 'crazy decision' to cricket analyst and commentator Roshan Abeysinghe. Who will be capped in the very first match? Dashing opener Tamim sees possibilities in Abu Jayed Rahi and Ariful Haque, which he confirmed in a press conference on Tuesday. In this regard he said, "We are always talking that we need someone at seven, who can finish the game for us, then, who can hit big shots, they are very capable, they are very well deserved, I think." Either of the two left arm spin all-rounders, Afif Hasan and Mehedi Hasan or both will be debuted in first match.
BCB uses 34 cricketers in three ODIs, two Test matches and two T20s, which also raised too many questions regarding team management's planning and solidity.
In the mid of the series, technical director Khaled Mahmud flared-up against media and pronounced the environment around Bangladesh team as "dirty", which became more important than cricket now. In this regard Tamim said, "I am not going to make any comment on what he (Khaled Mahmud) said, I like to say on 'media outburst' that criticism occurs everywhere more or less. But most important to me is, we must remain strong as a team. As management, as cricketers, we should remain affirm (to play our role). Media is a very important part of cricket, specially now a days. Media do their work and let us do our work. So, we should always concentrate on what we are doing."
By capturing both the ODI and Test trophies, Lankans are flying, who become more vivacious with the inclusion of Thesara Perera in T20 squad. Perera is a very consistent T20 performer, who plays all popular T20 leagues around the world including BPL. This Lankan all-rounder is very confident to do well in his known Dhaka ground, who said, "most of the games of my cricket career (I played) in Bangladesh. I can read weather, outfield and pitch of Bangladesh very well. BPL experiences make me more confident for these two T20i matches."
"My tasks include big hitting and break through for Sri Lanka," Thesera cleared his role in Lankan team. This effective shorter version all-rounder thinks that Shakib's absence will give Sri Lanka advantage. "Everybody knows, he (Shakib) is a talented player; his absence is an advantage for us," Perera expressed to media. He kept Sri Lanka upper hand for the T20s. He told journalists, "I am the Sri Lankan, so, I'll always consider Sri Lanka favourite."
Acting captain Mahmudullah Riyad is very hopeful to win T20 matches. "T20 is a different format," Mahmudullah complemented on Wednesday. "We need to remove the question tag on us for Twenty20 cricket," he added. "We want to give cricket world a message that we are developing T20 in the same pace as we do in Test and ODIs," he spoke. Mahmudullah conceded, "In order to play our way, we need to grab all the opportunities."
Bangladesh Played 69 T20 internationals before today (February 15, 2018), of which they won 21 only. Among seven head to head meetings, Sri Lanka defeated Bangladesh for five times.
Can new strategy of youth based squad against Hathurusingha's master plan minimize the result gap between Tigers and Lions?