With World Cup in sight, Bangladesh look to expand squad options


With World Cup in sight, Bangladesh look to expand squad options

by  Atif Azam  •  Published on Sun, Mar 19, 2023

Rangana Herath, the Bangladesh spin coach, said that they are eyeing to expand their spin bowling group ahead of this year’s 50-over World Cup, slated to be played in India.

The inclusion of Taijul Islam for the ODIs against England was a surprising move considering he was not regular in the ODI set-up in recent years. Taijul has played 15 ODIs so far in his career, the last of which came against Zimbabwe in 2022 where conceded 164 runs in 30 overs and picked six wickets at an economy rate of 5.46.

Taijul, however, failed to retain his spot in the squad for the opening two ODIs against Ireland as team management opted to see another left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed.

Nasum did not disappoint the team management, returning figures of 3 for 43 at the Sylhet International Stadium in the series opener and could potentially stake a claim for a spot in the ODI squad with Taijul.

“Taijul has done well in the last series against England. Now we are giving the opportunity to Nasum. We are looking to expand the squad looking ahead to the World Cup,” Herath told reporters at the SICS on Sunday.

“We also have to make sure our spinners’ aggressive attitude remains intact,” he said. “He bowled well to take three wickets. I think these guys are adjusting to the conditions. I am happy and proud with how they’ve adjusted and read the surfaces. It is a challenge when you don’t have assistance.

“We don’t know what kind of wickets we will get, especially with a World Cup coming up. We have to be prepared for any kind of surface. There wasn’t much assistance for the spinners. But we managed to bowl well in that pitch as well,” he said.

Bangladesh missed Mehidy Hasan in the series opener against Ireland as he injured his eyes while playing football ahead of their game and Herath insisted they will make a call after getting the medical report.

“He (Mehedy) will be monitored today as well. He will consult with the doctors, so once we know, we will let you know,” he said.

Herath added that the team is inspired by the pace bowling while he urges his charges not to get complacent against Ireland, who he believes will try to make a comeback in the series deciding game.

“We are all inspired by pacers. We have a good fast bowling attack now,” he said. “Hathurusingha was there earlier as well. His coaching ability and the way he has managed the team, and how he applied those experiences, is fantastic.

“He will give a lot of input to the players and coaches. I think it’s a fantastic effort by the all-team members in the opening game, especially Towhid and Shakib, and then Mushfiqur and also Yasir.

“Their aggressive approach was fantastic. We are showing a brand of our cricket at the moment and hopefully we will do the same thing tomorrow as well.”

As there was rain, both the teams opted to skip the practice session, with Tamim Iqbal being the only exception. The left-hander had an indoor net session in the indoor. Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha and Herath along, with two ball-throwers joined Tamim, who had missed Bangladesh’s previous series against India due to a groin injury.

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