Ideal Tiger Squad for Asia Cup
20 December 2015, Nirapad News: Rezaul Islam Shubho an ardent cricket admirer in his blog has suggested a Bangladesh squad for the ensuing Asia Cup to be played for the first time in T20 format.
Obviously, the form and fitness of the players in the recent BPL T20 was the primary basis of his suggested squad. He off course rightly suggested including young leg spinner Jubair Hussain who unfortunately was not picked by any franchise in the just concluded BPL2015.
His Squad of 14 is as follows
Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Zahurul Islam, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan , Shabbir Rahman , Nasir Hossain, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza , Arafat Sunny, Al Amin Hussain, Abu Haidar Rony, Mustafizur Rahman and Jubair Hussain.
The surprised omissions from this squad are Soumya Sarkar, Liton K Das, Anamul Haq, Taskin Ahmed, Rubel Hossain and Shaiful Islam.
While we admire Shubho for suggesting his squad, we can discuss in details when the actual squad may look a bit different from what he suggested.
BPL 2015 was a franchise based tournament here foreign players were part of franchise. The wickets were slow and sluggish for stoke play. Otherwise, those were not perfectly suited for T20 type of matches.
Umpiring was substandard and there are clear doubts and confusions about fairness of few matches. Asia cup will be organized by BCB under supervision of ICC (ACC is now part of ICC) and pitches will be prepared under supervision of ICC curators.
There will be ICC appointed umpires and match referees. The national teams will be playing for the pride and not the mercenaries playing for pounds.
Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan , Shabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza , Arafat Sunny , Al Amin Hussain, Mustafizur Rahman.
The above 12 are automatic choice for limited over version of Bangladesh team. No sensible cricket enthusiast should have any issues in agreeing. The only worry is injury of Captain Mashrafe. But even if he is 75% fit nothing can resist him from committing his 100 % for Bangladesh.
There can be huge debate about not including Soumya Sarkar. His performance in BPL and for that matter since his meteoric rise from World Cup and bi lateral series appears to be not fitting to his talent. He got out in similar fashion choosing wrong ball to strike and in some instances got poor umpiring decision. Possibly, he was not advised to adjust his technique to the quality of wickets.
Asia Cup wickets are expected to be sporting giving equal opportunities for all. I will suggest including Soumya Sarkar in the squad. He is only one innings away to get back to his brilliant best.
Zahurul Islam is a quality batsman. He played well in BPL. But I am not sure whether he can be in the squad at the cost of young talent like Soumya Sarkar.
I agree with Shubho that Anamul, Liton or Rony Talukdar cannot be considered for the squad above Imrul Kayes who in our opinion is the ideal partner for Tamim for opening the innings in all formats now.
Though Mashrafe has changed the trend of the team playing with three and even four pacers for limited over version still on Bangladesh surface spin will continue playing major roll. Shakib, Sunny, Nasir and Riyad are more than adequate .Off them, three are top class all rounders.
Bangladesh did a serious mistake in not playing quality leg spinner Juabir Hossain in any franchise. Leg spinners are match winners. Jubair and Yasir Shah emerged almost simultaneously.
Pakistan used Yasir properly and he is now one of the top spinners of the world. Bangladesh handled Jubair poorly and he could not mature. I will strongly suggest Jubair to be part of the squad.
Bangladesh has a very strong batting unit. Though few failed in few matches but Tamim, Kayes, Mahmudullah, Shakib, Mushfique batted reasonably well. Shabbir and Nasir struggled a bit but still batted reasonably well.
Bangladesh now has enormous potential of winning the Asia Cup which will be a great boost for qualifying for World Cup T20 winning the preliminaries. T20 world cup will be a huge challenge in the group of death with Australia, India, Pakistan and New Zealand.
The main opponents of Bangladesh in Asia Cup will be Pakistan and India. Sri Lanka after retirement of great Sangakkara and Jayawardene may not be as strong as before.
Pakistan will have a very strong bowling unit. Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Irfan can form a very strong pace attack. Yasir Shah can be a match winning bowler .But their batting is not as strong.
India is a far balanced team with strong batting and more than useful bowling. Bangladesh has to select horses for the courses for winning matches against Pakistan and India. For that, players who already have played well against them in the recent past have to be preferred.
We hope Mashrafe recovers his injury in time. He is still someone whose mere presence in the field and dressing room takes out the best from everyone. He bowls accurately even with his shortest of run up and when necessary bats sensibly.
Mustafiz mystery was in display in BPL as well. None could de code him. He will be one of our best bet for winning Asia cup. I would agree having Al Amin and Abu Haider Rony as his bowling mates.
Al Amin bounced back like an injured tiger. Rony was the find of BPL 2015. Watching Mustafiz, Rony and Al Amin bowl for Bangladesh will be a fascinating site under Mashrafe care.
Rubel and Taskin on the low slow wicket did not look menacing. They had just returned from Injury. They will need time to get back to rhyme. Shafiul and Shahid rather bowled consistently. I would suggest including Taskin in the squad of 15 keeping Rubel, Shahid and Shafiul in the reserve. Pace bowlers can break down any time.
My suggested Sqaud would be
Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Soumya Sarkar, Mahmudullah Riyad , Mushfiqur Rahim,Shakib Al Hasan, Shabbir Rahman , Nasir Hossain, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Arafat Sunny, Al Amin Hussain, Abu Haider Rony, Mustafizur Rahman Taskin Ahmed and Jubair Hussain.
Stand Bye: Liton K Das, Zahurul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Mosharraf Hossain and Shafiul Islam.