Whatever be the state of Bangladesh Cricket there is no reason why Team Tigers should not be considered out right favorite for winning the ensuing ODI series against West Indies starting at SBNCS Dhaka from 20 January 2021.
Bangladesh ranks higher in ICC ODI ranking. Bangladesh would have started favorite even the full-strength West Indies team was sent for the tour. Now that at least a dozen front line first choice players opted out from the tour in the excuse of Corona spread or otherwise that assertion is made it stronger. Admittedly Bangladesh did not play any international match in any format over the past 10 months should not be an excuse for Bangladesh not performing per its own standard. The team will play without its iconic captain Mashrafe Bin Murtaza ignored for the series. BCB selectors choose the occasion as platform for launching mission 2023 World Cup giving opportunities for budding youngsters. The manners in which Mashrafe has been excluded may be debatable but he will definitely not play 2023 World Cup.
Off course players in West Indies team are no novices. Many of them toured England and New Zealand with national team and almost all featured in CPL and domestic cricket in the Caribbean. West Indies cricketers fancy shorter version cricket these days. Their Icon Clive Llyod has sent an exemplary letter of encouragement for the young charges of West Indies, the team which he transformed into all-time best in all formats in his time through exemplary leadership.
BCB has just announced 18 members squad for the three matches ODI series.
Bangladesh Squad: Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riad, Liton K Das, Soumya Sarkar, Nazmul Hasan Shanto, Mohammad Mithun, Afiff Hossain Dhrubo, Mehedi Hasan Miraj, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Mahdi Hasan, Hasan Mahmud and Shoriful Islam
Bangladesh Cricket Post Mashrafe.
We find no surprise in the selection excepting that whether Mashrafe should have been given opportunity to formally retire playing the series or at least a match in front of adoring fan followers. He is an extraordinary player. Never will any other cricketer will play international cricket with his physical condition anywhere in the world. But everything that makes a start must end someday somewhere. No one remains indispensable for anything all the time. Mashrafe could have announced his retirement after third match in ICC World Cup 2019.
BCB selectors naming 3 young bowlers Shoriful Islam, Hasan Mahmud and Mahdi Hasan have taken calculated risk and gamble. These three together with Mustafiz, Saifuddin, Mehedi Miraj, and Taskin definitely have potential for leading Bangladesh bowling attack over the next decade if carefully preserved and matured. Nothing more benefits youngsters more than rubbing shoulders with seasoned professionals in the dressing room. For that matter they will miss enigmatic Mashrafe unfortunately. Hope in future Mashrafe will be associated in appropriate capacity in Bangladesh Cricket. Bangladesh would need quality wicket taking pace bowlers for busy missions at home and abroad in 2021.
Batting Would Be Key To Success.
Batting appears in a bit of bother for Bangladesh as top batsmen excepting Mushfique, Mahmudullah and Liton struggled in whatever little cricket Bangladesh played during the New Normal days. Tamim did not deliver per his flamboyant best, Shakib after long layoff looked rusty. Liton was consistent. Mushfique and Mahmudullah played few good innings. Soumya was not very consistent. Nazmul Shanto looked good. Would have liked if Mosaddeq Hossain was included. However, against West Indies seniors have to show the way. Why a leg spinner could not be included in the squad? Look at any international team these days. All teams have at least one quality leg spinner in the team.
Having said all, find no excuse why Bangladesh should not win ODI series or even achieve white wash. But at the same must warn team tigers that West Indies would be hungry for success. Given any opportunity the Caribbean Team may turn the table. Nothing should be taken for granted. Tamim should prove that he deserves to remain as captain through marshaling his resources capably.
BDST: 1240 HRS, JAN 17, 2021