After waiting for over nine months, cricket is all set to make a return to Bangladesh as the hosts are going to take on the touring West Indies on January 20 in the first encounter of three-match ODI series at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
With this game, the Bangabandhu Bangladesh vs West Cricket Series will take the field. The next match of ODI series will take place on January 22 at the same venue while the final and third ODI will be played in Chattogram on January 25, reports UNB.
Tamim Iqbal, Bangladesh’s new ODI captain, during the pre-series media interaction, said he is looking forward to establishing a Bangladeshi brand of cricket, and the West Indies series is his first assignment.
“What I always prioritise is to establish its own brand of cricket for Bangladesh. I always say that every cricket-playing country has its own style to play the game of cricket. So, I don’t think we should follow others. We may not be as strong as West Indies or we may not be well-built like Australia, but we still have some advantages which are missing by the other teams,” Tamim told the media.
Aiming to establish Bangladesh’s brand of cricket, Tamim is going to make some adjustments in ODI batting line-up as he is backing the decision to send Soumya Sarkar at the lower order and moving Shakib Al Hasan to No. 4 from his preferred position of No. 3.
“We’ve informed Soumya about his new role before the BCB President’s Cup. We told him that he would need to bat at a certain position and advised to prepare accordingly. So it’s not a surprise to anyone except some of you (media). Along with the batsman, we all know it long before,” he explained Soumya’s new role.
While explaining Shakib’s new challenge, Bangladesh captain said: “The message was very distinct to Shakib. I’ve also talked to him personally, and he said he has no problem to accept it. He understood it. And it (batting at No. 4) will give him breathing space because he is going to make a comeback after a long time. We all know how good he was at No. 4. His record is enough to back this claim. We are well-informed about it. He is happy to bat at No. 4. I have also told him to talk to me if he wants his previous batting position back, and he is okay with the decision.”
Shakib was Bangladesh’s No. 3 during the last ICC ODI World Cup in England where the southpaw accumulated 606 runs in five fifties and two centuries with the best figures of hitting 124*. Overall, he batted at No. 3 in 23 games and scored 1177 at an average of 58.85 with two centuries. It was known that Shakib had pushed the team management during the World Cup to allow hit to bat at No. 3.
Previously, Tamim led the Tigers in three ODIs in Sri Lanka, but he failed to shine as a captain as Bangladesh endured 3-0 to the Lankan Lions. During the last few years, Tamim led different teams in the domestic circuit.
“I captained in two domestic events right before playing the same role at the international circuit, which came as a big advantage for me. It was unfortunate that we’ve missed some international fixtures due to the Covid-19 breakout throughout the world. The two domestic events were very tough for me, but I’ve learnt a lot. I think people understand what they do by the time going, and I’ll also go through the same. And at the same time, you’ve to understand what the situation you’re facing off. I think you’ve to think differently sometimes,” he added.
Bangladesh will have to make this series a success in order to set themselves in a good position on the point table of the ICC ODI League so that they can end up as one of the best eight teams to ensure a direct World Cup entry in 2023, which might pose an extra pressure for the hosts in this ODI series.
“You always have to face pressure to win the games. We’ll play a maximum of 27-28 ODIs before the World Cup 2023. Every single game is important for us as long as we want to gather adequate points to ensure direct qualification for the World Cup. Every match is important for us so that we ended up as one of the best eight teams in the ongoing ICC ODI League,” Tamim told the media.
After the three-match ODI series, both the teams will lock horns in a two-match Test series starting from February 3 in Chattogram. The second Test and the final match of the series will take place in Dhaka from February 11.