Wicketkeeper-batsman Liton Das is the frontrunner for Bangladesh's problematic No 3 batting position. The Tigers are often found dealing with the issue of the No 3 batter and the situation remains the same ahead of their first game in the Nidahas T20I tri-nation series. Bangladesh will begin their campaign facing India Thursday at R Premadasa Cricket Stadium.
Makeshift Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah, who had appeared for the pre-match media session following a half-hour long team meeting Wednesday afternoon, said the side are still to decide on the issue but hinted of Liton to be the probable solution for the first match.
Right-handed batsman Sabbir Rahman's place at No 3 for Bangladesh in the shortest format was shaken following poor run of form during their tour of Sri Lanka last year.
Since then, the Tigers played four T20Is against South Africa and the Lankans respectively. Against the Proteas, all-rounder Shakib al Hasan batted at No 3 in both the T20Is and had scored 13 and two runs respectively.
At home against Sri Lanka last month, wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim batted at the position and had responded well scoring 66 in the first game, his highest in the format, but in the second match was able to add only six runs to the board.
"We have been mulling about the No 3 batting position for quite some time now. Sabbir was doing well in that position but he hasn't been scoring runs recently. We are backing him, as any batsman can go through such a phase. [Thursday] you will get to see who gets to bat at No 3; Liton has done well in the practice match," said Mahmudullah to the media in Colombo Wednesday.
Mahmudullah's statement is backed by Liton's performance in the lone practice match heading into the main event. In the game against a Sri Lanka Cricket President’s XI side at Colombo Cricket Club, Sabbir had batted at three but scored only one in 10 balls.
The opportunity in the practice match was best used by Liton. The stumper-batsman had come into the Bangladesh squad as the replacement for the injured Shakib and Tuesday, got the chance to play the practice game as opener Tamim Iqbal was rested.
Liton, who has been on song in the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League 2017-18 season, carried the form to Sri Lanka and scored an 18-ball 40 to boost the Bangladesh innings. Besides the blazing innings, what had also caught the attention of the majority was how Liton reacted to the situation when Bangladesh lost two early wickets in the shape of Soumya Sarkar and Sabbir. If given the opportunity, the T20I game will be the first for Liton since October last year.