Wednesday, May 22, 2024

“Shakib and Mushfiqur could open if necessary”

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com

Bangladesh team management is considering Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim as openers for the upcoming Asia Cup, said the national team’s director Khaled Mahmud on Monday.

The selectors have picked just two recognised openers-Anamul Haque and Parvez Emon- in the 17-man squad for the Asia Cup.

Regular opener Liton Das is out injured and domestic performer Munim Shahriar has been dropped after he failed to make his mark against West Indies and Zimbabwe.

Bangladesh will start their Asia Cup campaign against Afghanistan on August 30 and Mahmud said that the players for the opening slot will be decided keeping the opposition’s bowling attack in mind.

‘We have two specialist openers in [Anamul Haque] Bijoy and [Parvez Hossain] Emon. However, apart from these two, there are quite a few players who have got the experience to open the innings in domestic cricket. Keeping in mind Afghanistan’s bowling attack, we need to fix who will open the innings for us,’ Mahmud told reporters at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Monday.

‘It can be Mushfiqur Rahim. Or, you never know, even Shakib can open the innings. Mehidy Hasan, and Sheikh Mahedi can also open the innings. We have got a lot of options but we need to think about the team combination,’ he added.

Both Mushfiq and Shakib opened the innings for Bangladesh in T20Is just once in their career. Mushfiqur opened the innings against Afghanistan back in 2019 in Mirpur, scoring just five, while Shakib scored nine against West Indies during the ICC T20 World Cup last year when he opened the innings.

The opening slot has remained an area of concern for the team management, and since the retirement of Tamim Iqbal from the shortest format, the Tigers are desperately looking for a settled opening pair.

‘None of our openers is unable to perform and we need to keep that in mind and in some cases, we need to change the positions. We might change the combination considering the pitch and conditions. But at the moment, I am not willing to disclose the names,’ he said.

The 15th edition of the Asia Cup, which will be played in T20 format, is scheduled to take place in the UAE from August 27 to September 11.

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