Imrul Kayes has been told to prepare to play at No. 3 in next week's first Test against Australia, but hasn't been given any guarantees by the team management. He will continue at one-drop, the position he played in against Sri Lanka in Bangladesh's last Test in March, though he said the relatively new role will take time to adjust to.
"Coach has told me that I will be batting in this position," Kayes said. "I am preparing for it although it is difficult to adjust to No. 3 after being an opener. I feel lucky to be playing for Bangladesh and while there can be a personal choice in terms of batting position, I also have to understand the team's needs. I am okay batting in any position really, opening or No. 3."
Kayes will be playing a stop-gap role, replacing regular No. 3 Mominul Haque after he had a poor outing in the first Test in Sri Lanka. Kayes has one century at No. 3, but after that ton in 2014 he has averaged 18.60 in his next five innings at that position. As an opener Kayes has featured in 25 off his 28 Tests, and has formed Bangladesh's most-prolific opening pair with Tamim Iqbal - their association includes a 312-run stand against Pakistan in 2015.
Despite Mominul's late addition into the 14-man squad after much drama, he is most likely to be spending time on the bench as Kayes pads up. Kayes explained that transferring from the opener to No. 3 is a big deal since openers are used to getting out in the middle and not waiting for their turn to bat.
"I become rather excited when I am sitting padded up in the dressing room," Kayes said. "Tamim won't be able to do it and even I have trouble doing it. Still, I had to do it [switch batting roles] for the team.
"Tackling the new ball can be tricky but there is an advantage. Sometimes the opening batsmen and bowler don't know much about each other's strength, but when the No. 3 comes to bat, the bowler [has already settled into a rhythm]. But there are great batsmen who do a fine job at No. 3."