The Financial Express

Tigers' World Cup squad looks perfect to bring the anticipated change

| Updated: September 18, 2022 16:54:49

Tigers' World Cup squad looks perfect to bring the anticipated change

After days of mulling, Bangladesh announced their 15-man squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia and the tri-series in New Zealand prior to that.

The squad finally saw Mahmudullah Riyad axed from the T20 International setup, and almost all of it was perfect, as only Najmul Hossain Shanto's place in the team was questionable.

But amidst all that, this squad can be the perfect spot for Bangladesh to start their T20 rebuild, which they have been implying regularly.

Six players from the Asia Cup squad have been left out. Mushfiqur Rahim has retired, Mahmudullah axed, Mohammad Naim, Anamul Haque, Parvez Hossain Emon dropped, and Shak Mahedi Hasan downgraded to reserves.

Among the inclusions, four were expected. Nurul Hasan Sohan, Liton Das, Yasir Ali Chowdhury, and Hasan Mahmud would have been included in the Asia Cup squad if they were not injured. The only question thus was why Shanto.

When it came down to the backup opener option, the list came down to two persons - Shanto and Soumya Sarkar.

According to chief selector Minhazul Abedin, they picked Shanto based on domestic performance. But stats say otherwise, as the last domestic T20 tournament he played was the 2022 Bangladesh Premier League, and his performance was abysmal.

Playing 10 innings, he scored 188 runs at an average of 20.88 with a shocking strike rate of 91.70.
So, why was he picked? Because the Tigers' technical consultant, Sridharan Sriram, believes Shanto can have an impact down under.

"He (Najmul) is a very good player. He has the temperament for international cricket. From whatever little I have seen him bat or spoken to him, he has the temperament for international cricket. He has the game for the bouncy wickets. He has the tools with him for the impact we are looking for," Sriram said in a press conference on Wednesday.

Despite Shanto's questionable selection, this squad gives Bangladesh the platform to embark on the new era, around which there has been much chatter.

This squad, barring Shakib Al Hasan, consists of the players who will play for Bangladesh for the next five to seven years. And truth be told, including the reserves, Bangladesh do not have many quality cricketers around.

In his press conference, Sriram spoke about how he was looking for impact over performance, which Bangladesh have failed to understand in the shortest format of the game.

"What I am looking for is impact, not performance. Bangladesh will win if seven or eight players make an impact. A 30 or a 25 in 17-18 balls is an impact for me. I think performance is overrated in T20 cricket. A team could still lose if they have performers. But if we have more impact, chances are, we will win more games," he said.

But due to the country's cricketing culture, Bangladeshi players generally lack the vision to understand that impact surpasses everything in terms of importance in T20 cricket.
If Sriram can change the players' mindset at his disposal over the next two months, then Bangladesh will have a shot of redefining themselves in the format.

Because these players are the present and future of Bangladesh cricket, they can work wonders if they finally understand how to play the game and the proper backing to do so.

And thus, this young and coming squad is the perfect place for the Tigers to start their new age. If it works, fine; if it doesn't, the players are young enough to try something new again.

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