Sunday, June 16, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Team selection surprises everyone

Update : 05 Mar 2015, 06:02 PM

It has been a holiday trip so far for Bangladesh’s two specialist spinners, Arafat Sunny and Taijul Islam, as the Tigers completed their fourth Pool A match in the ongoing 2015 ICC World Cup.

The think-tank is yet to utilise the two left-arm spinners for unknown reasons with the Tigers surprisingly opting for eight batsmen in their playing XI against Scotland yesterday, despite being fully aware of the opposition’s perceived weakness against the slow bowlers.

Prior to the World Cup, the national selectors covered all bases while picking the final 15-member squad, containing four fast bowlers and three genuine spinners, including all-rounder Shakib al Hasan.

And it was widely assumed that the team management will select two specialist spinners against the Scots. It was almost confirmed that Sunny would replace Mominul Haque.

But, both the Bangladeshi journalists and the supporters at Saxton Oval in Nelson were surprised to find out that the selection of Nasir Hossain was the only change yesterday.

Before the Bangladesh-Scotland clash, two matches were held at Saxton Oval and both of those encounters were high-scoring affairs. Even skipper Mashrafe bin Mortaza admitted a couple of days ago that the wickets at Saxton Oval are flat with very little assistance for the faster bowlers. And the decision of not picking an extra specialist spinner backfired horribly as Scotland posted 318/8, their third highest total in ODIs, after being asked to bat first. 

Scotland opener Kyle Coetzer smashed a career-best 156 from 134 balls, featuring 17 boundaries and four sixes, while Matt Machan and captain Preston Mommsen provided valuable support as they flayed the Bangladesh bowlers all over the Saxton Oval.

All the three Bangladesh seamers proved to be expensive. Both Mashrafe and Rubel Hossain were hammered for 80 runs each from their eight overs while young paceman Taskin Ahmed gave away 43 runs from seven overs. Shakib was the standout bowler among the seven deployed by Mashrafe, conceding 46 runs from his quota of 10 overs.

Immediately realising the need for a spinner after taking the field, Mashrafe used part-time spinners like Nasir and Sabbir Rahman alongside Shakib and Mahmudullah.

Together, Nasir and Sabbir bowled 12 overs, conceded 79 runs and picked up three wickets, clearly indicating that Sunny could have played a vital role yesterday. It now remains to be seen what the team management has in store for the next Pool A match against England this Monday in Adelaide. 

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