Bangladesh coach Russell Domingo has said that he wants Mahmudullah to lead Bangladesh in T20Is this year. Mahmudullah was handed the captaincy hastily, minutes after Shakib Al Hasan was banned by the ICC last October. Mahmudullah led Bangladesh well in his first assignment, a tightly contested T20I series in India and reprises the role for the three-match T20I series in Pakistan which begins on Friday.
Domingo, in a recent interview to ESPNcricinfo, said that he did not want to try too many players ahead of the T20 World Cup in October, and now he has put his weight behind Mahmudullah to be the one to lead Bangladesh in the tournament.
"I am hoping he leads us in the World Cup T20," Domingo said. "He has my full support. I thought he did a great job in India. I have enjoyed working with him. I think he is a good professional. He has respect of the change room. He is a world-class player. He is my captain.
"[Continuity with the players] depends on how they do. If a player is out of his depth, we can't keep going with him. If a player has potential to develop, you have to run with those players. After this series, we have to keep our squad as small as possible. I think we can play with a maximum of 16 or 17 players in the next couple of series."
Domingo said that some batsmen may have to bat out of position as they are trying to figure out the middle-order in Mushfiqur Rahim's absence. They have picked five openers - Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Mohammad Naim, Najmul Hossain Shanto and Soumya Sarkar - but he has said that the likes of Soumya and Liton may end up batting elsewhere for the sake of the team's balance.
"Guy like Soumya, who batted No 3 in India, may end up batting at No 6 in Pakistan. [Mahmudullah] Riyad may bat at No 5. Afif might come up to No 3 or 4.
"The best players can play under any conditions, in any positions. If you bat [Eoin] Morgan at No 3 or 6, he is successful. If you bat KW [Kane Williamson] at No 3 or 5, he will find a way to do that role. It is a great opportunity for the young players to find new strings to their game.
"I am excited by it. If a guy like Liton has to bat at No 4 for a game or two, that's fine. If [Mohammad] Mithun has to bat at No 3, that's okay. If Afif has to go from No 6 to opening, he has to learn to do those things," he said.
Domingo said they are yet to discuss whether Tamim will play the anchor role, similar to the one he played for Dhaka Platoon in the BPL, or play a more aggressive game. "It is my first tour with Tamim. I have to understand him a bit more. I know he had a role with his BPL team, and it is something that we need to discuss with our team.
"At the moment, no decision is made. I will think about it. Depends on who he opens with. If he is playing with a dasher, he can play that role. If he is opening with someone inexperienced, he may have to play positively. The discussions will take place in the next couple of days," he said.
It will also be the first international tour for Hasan Mahmud, the 20-year old pacer who enjoyed some success in this season's BPL. Domingo said that he has seen a bit of Mahmud, and players like him can stake a claim for a place in the T20 World Cup squad, which is not yet finalised.
"It will be the first time I will be working with Hasan Mahmud. I have seen some of his performances in the matches and nets with Emerging Team. It is a young group of players. It shows the depth within our system. Hopefully some of these players can make a big play to get into the World Cup squad. It is not finalised yet," he said.