• Monday, Nov 29, 2021
  • Last Update : 02:19 am

Liton, Mithun under radar as Bangladesh eye series win

  • Published at 07:09 pm May 24th, 2021
Bangladesh players celebrate after winning the first ODI against Sri Lanka in Mirpur last month AFP

Liton and Mithun are likely to be in the line of fire as Bangladesh eye top stop in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League standing with a win Tuesday

Hosts Bangladesh are likely to see at least two changes in the playing XI when they take on Sri Lanka in the second and penultimate match of the three-ODI series at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium Tuesday.

It is a wide practice to not mess with the winning combination.

Bangladesh made a winning start to the series with a 33-run victory at the same venue Sunday.

But it is getting tougher and tougher for the decision-makers in the Bangladesh Cricket Board to overlook the consistent below average performances.

Batsmen Liton Das and Mohammad Mithun have been part of a wide discussion and are likely to be in line of fire as Bangladesh eye top stop in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League standing with a win Tuesday.

Bangladesh are currently at No 4 in the table, but is equal with 40 points alongside England, Pakistan and Australia.

The Tigers bagged their fourth win in the league in seven games, defeating Sri Lanka in the first match.

The previous three wins for Bangladesh had come against the West Indies at home earlier this year.

Under such circumstances, the Bangladesh think-tank is likely to go for their best option, that is replacing struggling duo Liton and Mithun.

It is understood that the Bangladesh selection panel is looking at Mohammad Naim and Mossadek Hossain as the possible replacements in the XI.

Liton had made it through to the national fold based on his consistent performances in the domestic circuit.

The wicketkeeper-batsman however, failed to prove his worth when given the opportunity.

In 43 ODIs, Liton has scored 1,155 runs with an average of 28.87.

In his last game, against Sri Lanka, Liton could sustain just three deliveries before getting out in what was his third duck in five innings.

Liton has three centuries and as many half centuries, and in these six landmark knocks, he has totalled 676 runs.

In the remaining 37 innings, the 26-year old has scored just 479 runs with an average of around 13.

Member of the national selection panel Habibul Bashar when queried did not rule out the possibility of wielding the axe.

"It is natural for a player to be part of discussion when he is not performing for a long time. This is not unique in case of Liton or Mithun. There is always ifs and buts and postmortem after every game, and discussion on what can be done to get better in the next game. With them [Liton and Mithun] not scoring, it is of course up for discussion. So let’s see,” said Bashar to Dhaka Tribune Monday.

It is understood that there is a strong discussion Liton is likely to make way for Naim.

The left-handed batsman is not part of the 15-member squad for the first two ODIs of the series, but as stand-by has been with the team since the start of the camp.

Mithun is likely to be replaced by Mosaddek, who is comfortable batting at No 7.

In that case, Mahmudullah might be given the option to bat at No 5, followed by Afif Hossain at No 6.

In the bowling department, concerns over the fitness of Mustafizur Rahman has been ruled out.

The left-arm pacer who picked up three wickets for 34 runs in the first game was suffering from severe cramps.

As per the team source, the Bangladesh bowler has recovered well since.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka will not only have to deal with the pressure of bouncing back in the series, but also hunt for their maiden win in the Super League.

The island nation has played four games in the league, and have not been able to win any to be 12th out of 12 in the league table.

The visitors can take inspiration from the dogged determination showed by all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga, who had almost steered the boat to the shore with his 77-ball 74 in the first game.

The defeat was not one of huge difference and they can have the liberty to stick to the same XI.

If too necessary, the side can bring in a more experienced Niroshan Dickwella in place of top-order batsman Pathum Nissanka.

Nissanka's impressive performances in the Test team have kept him in the ODI side, but with just 50 runs in four outings, the team think-tank can opt to get Dickwella in.

Bangladesh [probable]:

Tamim Iqbal (C), Mohammad Naim Sheikh, Shakib al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (WK), Mahmudullah, Afif Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, Saifuddin, Mehedi Hasan Miraz, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman

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