Bangladesh squad for the tour of India: Hits and misses
Bangladesh cricket is in a state of turmoil and such a situation has the potential to egg the team on in either direction.
With Shakib Al Hasan banned for two years by the International Cricket Council for failing to report corrupt approaches from a bookie, Mahmudullah and Mominul Haque have been named the T20I and Test skippers respectively.
The team has won three of its last five T20Is. Interestingly, Bangladesh have never won a T20I against India and have lost each of their 8 games played against the Men in Blue. The Tigers will look to change the record books on this tour, which consists of 3 T20Is and 2 Tests.
Let's have a look at the hits and misses of Bangladesh's T20I and Test squads for their tour of India:
The absence of Shakib Al Hasan is undoubtedly a great loss for the team but that can also work in their favour. The team will now have an additional motivation apart from representing their country. These feelings were also resonated by Bangladesh's newly appointed T20I skipper Mahmudullah.
"If we talk about inspiration, our national jersey is enough for that... This is going to be tough but nothing is impossible. We have to play really good as a team. We have to assure that we take all the chances and execute every opportunity. Then we can win. Our duty is to play at our best for the country. We will try to do that. And I think everyone will take Shakib's absence as motivation,'' Mahmudullah said.
Exploiting India's day-night Test unfamiliarity
The last match on the Bangladesh tour to be played at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata will be a day-night Test. This is the first time that both teams are playing with the pink ball under lights and hence there will be an air of unfamiliarity around the game which can benefit Bangladesh with them having head coach Russell Domingo in their camp who has some experience of the format.
"During my time with South Africa, we played a pink ball match in Adelaide. We had a warm-up game before that with a pink ball, we had a few sessions. It's a little bit less time this time for India. I've got some experience with the pink ball. Hopefully, we can share that information (with the players)," coach Russell Domingo said.
While India only have opener Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma who have proper T20I experience and are followed by Rishabh Pant, Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer who are without lot of international nous, Bangladesh have the likes of Soumya Sarkar, Mahmudullah, Liton Das and Mushfiqur Rahim who have been playing T20I cricket for a fair while and hence will be at an advantage.
"This is the best opportunity for Bangladesh to beat India in their home soil since they have depth in their batting line-up. However, in their bowling department pressure will be more on Mustafizur (Rahman) to deliver since the fast-bowling line-up looks in-experience compared to their spin bowler in the team," former Indian batsman VVS Laxman reckons.
Absence of Shakib Al Hasan
Shakib Al Hasan, who is among the premier all-rounders in all the three formats, will certainly be missed by Bangladesh. He is a versatile player who can bat at the top and in the middle. While he started batting high up in the order in the ODI World Cup with a lot of success, he is also a very wily spinner and dries out the runs. Shakib is irreplaceable not only in Bangladesh but possibly in any international team and hence will leave a big void in the side.
Bangladesh did not have an ideal 2019 ODI World Cup and ended at the eight spot among 10 teams with three wins and five losses from their nine league games. The team then toured Sri Lanka for a 3-match ODI series where they were beaten all ends up by 3-0. The margins of defeat were also big with them getting beaten by 91 runs, 7 wickets and 122 runs in the three matches respectively.
Their next match was when Afghanistan visited Bangladesh for a one-off Test which the hosts lost by 224 runs. Bangladesh then hosted a T20I tri-series and fell short of expectations in that as well with them losing one match against Afghanistan and winning the other one while the final was rained off.
Unavailability of key players
Apart from Shakib, all-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin had to be left out of the squad due to a back injury while Tamim Iqbal opted to remain with his wife, with the couple expecting their second child. Abu Hider Rony will replace Saifuddin while Mohammad Mithun will fill in for Tamim. The absence of these players will be felt as they leave big shoes to fill for their replacements.
Bangladesh T20I squad- Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Naim, Mahmudullah (c), Afif Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, Animul Islam, Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Arafat Sunny, Al-Amin Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Shaiful Islam, Abu Haider Rony, Mohammad Mithun, Taijul Islam
Bangladesh Test squad- Shadman Islam, Imrul Kayes, Saif Hasan, Mominul Haque (c), Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Mohammad Mithun, Mossadek Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraj, Taijul Islam, Naeem Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Al Amin Hossain, Ebadot Hossain
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