Bangladesh news February 13, 2014

Small gaps for Bangladesh to plug before World T20


The ongoing two-match Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka is a chance for the Bangladesh selectors to have a final look at some players they will discuss in the next two days before they pick the 15-member squad for the World Twenty20 squad.

While more than half the side select themselves, there are at least seven players in the 30-man provisional squad who are in contention for the last four places in the side.

Abdur Razzak's place will be under some scrutiny after he was overlooked for the T20s against Sri Lanka. The selection panel, however, will be keen to go into a major tournament with a vastly experienced left-arm spinner, particularly with Razzak's end-over skills coming into the equation. Arafat Sunny's domestic form and economical spell in the first T20 would give him an outside chance, but he will get another look in the second and final game against Sri Lanka.

Shafiul Islam could also be discussed, as he has recovered from his latest injury and bowled well in the National Cricket League recently. He may also play in the upcoming ODIs against Sri Lanka. He will be competing with Al-Amin Hossain, who has bowled decently without much success in his limited international exposure, but has domestic form, particularly in the shape of a five-wicket over in a T20, in his favour.

"We have been working on the World T20 team for the last four to six months," Faruque Ahmed, the chief selector, told ESPNcricinfo after the first T20 against Sri Lanka. "One match would not make much difference in our opinion, but we wanted to give them a feel of international cricket. Arafat Sunny bowled well today, but I think he bowled short in one over. We have a few players in our mind. Shafiul is one of them, but we have to keep an eye on everyone."

The second T20 on Friday could see Sabbir Rahman play in the middle order. The young batsman has been talked about for the last three years, ever since a last-ditch innings against Afghanistan in the Asian Games final. He has scored heavily in the shorter formats, particularly in the recent Twenty20 competitions. Mithun Ali might make way for Sabbir in the second game.

"We didn't pick three debutants in the first Twenty20 in order to keep a balance in the side because we already had five players coming into the team," Faruque said. "We picked Mithun ahead of Sabbir because the former can play shots from the word go, but Sabbir needs a bit of time at No 3 or 4 before he starts to flourish. Sabbir has a strike-rate of 130."

Farhad Reza's domestic form will keep him ahead of Ziaur Rahman, who was considered T20 material in the last World Cup but has fallen out of favour after losing form.

The selection of the World T20 team will be an early test of Faruque, who was appointed chief selector in December. He had shown plenty of gumption before the 2007 World Cup, picking a raw Mushfiqur Rahim ahead of Khaled Mashud, the country's No 1 wicketkeeper at the time. It paid off, as Mushfiqur batted well and has since flourished in international cricket. Faruque would not perhaps be required to take such bold steps yet because he has a settled squad, with a core group of players who have played together for the last five years.

But even among the settled players in this team, there are one or two who need to spruce up their game quickly. Sohag Gazi's bowling form has not been up to the mark while the likes of Mashrafe Mortaza and Rubel Hossain have to weed out errors in their bowling. Mominul Haque, despite his Test form, also has to adjust quickly to the format.

"Mominul is a very talented player, and he has proved in Test cricket. It is important that we make the best use of him in all formats," Faruque said. "T20 is a format where you have to score better than a run a ball. He is a stroke-maker, no doubt. From a selection point of view, he is definitely in the forefront of our thoughts in all formats."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nasim on February 15, 2014, 5:26 GMT

    My 15-member squad for the world T20I-

    Tamim, Shamsur, Anamul, Shakib, Mushfiq (c/wk), Mominul, Nasir, Mahmudullah, Sabbir, Razzak, Arafat, Zia, Al-Amin, Rubel, Mashrafe.

    And so far best 11- 1. Tamim 2. Shamsur 3. Anamul 4. Shakib (sla) 5. Mushfiq (c/wk) 6. Nasir (ob) 7. Sabbir (lb) 8. Zia (fm) 9. Al-Amin (fm) 10. Arafat (sla) 11. Rubel (fm)

  • Nasim on February 15, 2014, 4:47 GMT

    The 2-match T20 series against SL only shows how inadequate our WC preparations are. So much to work on both in team selection and team practice in so less time.

    The opening match against Afghanistan at Mirpur should be the main focus. Both T20Is against SL was played in Chittagong but Dhaka pitch is different. Two points of note from a fan-

    1) First things first, batsmen must practice finding gaps and rotating strikes and score runs with safer shots. Fist 5/6 overs are the most vital for runs as well as keeping wickets in hand.

    2) Regarding death overs, it has to be the pace bowlers (since spinners risk more hoicking). The question is just which field for what batter. However, Finding the bowler to "bell the cat" is the extra headache for BD. Although, many of us fans would prefer Al-Amin over Rubel, the selectors seem to entrust Rubel with the task. I'd only suggest not to make too many experiments and eleventh-hour-changes in the team.

  • Dummy4 on February 14, 2014, 12:40 GMT

    Hope BD at least go to the main event by defeating the associates. Also i am spectating Mushfiq early recovery. In T20 we need a new future captain to ease off pressure from Mushfiq shoulder So that Mushfiq can concentrate more on Oneday and test captaincy. Nasir can be a option. But only in future and slowly selectors should find the right team combination for this particular format of the game. Srilanka was playing 5 genuine batsman but it was their right combination which was dangerous and make them world number 1 T20 side. For good performance in Test we need difficult spinning and bounce pitches in domestic circuit so that our batsman can be familiar in those conditions and wait for patience game rather playing too many shots. in difficult condition to pose any threat our batsman need to pose 300+ score. We also need to produce wrist spinners for big turn in any surface. we need a permanent spin coach for our young talent .

  • Amir on February 14, 2014, 2:17 GMT

    I am conflicted about Mominul. He is a natural stroke maker and can do well in T20 but I think he can do well in Tests. He should focus on controlling his aggression and cement his #4 position in the test team. He should only play test and ODIs. T20 cricket may hamper his growth as a test cricketer. Once he gets the experience necessary in Test matches, only then he should look at T20. Probably in 4-5 years.

  • Dummy4 on February 14, 2014, 0:09 GMT

    Honestly we are missing our dear captain so very much. In the last match Mashrafe needed to bat before Reza (who in my opinion was one of the numerous wasted spots) . The lineup im hoping for in the next T20 is: Tamim, Shamsur, Anamul, Shakib, Nasir , Mahamdullah, Sabbir, Gazi, Mashrafe, Al-amin Hossain, Abdur Razzak. Zuiar Rahman would also be an ideal pick for the format but he is currently no in the squad.

  • Dummy4 on February 13, 2014, 23:42 GMT

    Yes I am surprised by Gazi's poor bowling in t20. Also Farhad Reza will always be a domestic player and in internationals keeps getting found out. 3 SLA in T20s? Go ahead and have Mahmadullah as the off spinner. Shakib, Arafat, Razzak aint bad. Sabbir for Mithun... anamul wicketkeeper.

  • nathaniel on February 13, 2014, 19:15 GMT

    Mashrafe has been very very expensive since he had come back from injury and cost us the last asia cup . I dont think this will change in one month . So please dont pick him for t20 wc , he will single handedly cost Bd some games. Ziaur Rahman can be effective t20 pacer , if he is not out of form then experiment him with srilanka now. Alamin is better than rubel and he can also hit 6 and 4.

  • Android on February 13, 2014, 13:43 GMT

    With shahadat, Nazmul and Shafiul bowling exceptionally well in the NCL, this calls for a change in our pace lineup. Mashrafe,Shahadat, Shafiul/Nazmul with one of either Shahadat and Shafiul/ Shahadat/Nazmul in the benches. Last Asia Cup,we played without Rubel and we did really good. I suggest Rubel gets a go in the first odi because of the hattrick but if not upto standard replaced by either of these guys. Like honestly, lets give the performers a chance. Naeem is deserving and Faruk and co. should have no second thoughts in his inclusion. For T20 WC, I think Mash, Shafi, Naz can do the job for us. Gazi since debut has never really flourished in his t20 matches so that calls for a swap with Sunny if all seems well. Razzak bhai, Shakib, Sunny or Gazi can make up the bowling alongside the three paceman. Let's go for the kill boys

  • Nasim on February 13, 2014, 12:17 GMT

    Team selection is not an easy task, and Mr. Faruque's selection panel has our full support. As a fan's request - I really wish to see Sabbir playing in all the remaining matches including ODIs to prove himself (middle-order batsman/ part-time leg-spinner), as Mr. Faruque himself said "One match would not make much difference..."

    Gazi/ Mahmudullah's slots could be open to other bowlers not necessarily ofspinners....Don't see any harm playing Arafat/Elias to partner Razzak, even a leggie e.g. Noor Hossain

    Most importantly, if it is ensured that the domestic leagues are held with regularity and importance, then, none of those talents will fall out even though they can't make it in the national side this time...

  • Android on February 13, 2014, 11:19 GMT

    Guys please take Nazmul is consideration. Please!

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