POST TIME: 26 April, 2019 10:16:36 AM
Tigers opening combination in WC kept in suspense
BSS, Dhaka

Tigers opening combination in WC kept in suspense

Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal stresses keeping a hand on Abu Zayed Rahi’s shoulder during practice session at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the capital yesterday. BCB Photo

The one burning question in everyone’s mind is who will open with Tamim Iqbal in the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup and BCB think tankers so far have kept it secret. Bangladesh team management seemed to have preferred Liton Das as the opening partner of Tamim Iqbal but Soumya’s Sarkar’s superb form in the last two matches of the Dhaka Premier League (DPL) changed the complexion wholly.

Even though the pitch was flat and conducive to the batsmen entirely, the way Soumya built up his innings and struck a consecutive century and double century as the first Bangladeshi batsman in List A cricket, even left head coach Steve Rhodes spellbound. And thereby Soumya forced Steve Rhodes to think in different way. “We have gone left-right with Liton and Tamim. I personally like left-right combination,” Rhodes said of Bangladesh’s opening partnership in upcoming World Cup.

“I like what Soumya has done in the last two games in DPL. Interestingly, I did tell him after he got the hundred (against Rupganj) that he won’t get a lot of chances to get 200. If you get a chance, do not throw it away. He had lots of time in that game, and ironically, he got the two-hundred in the next game.”

And it’s now a sweet problem for Rhodes is to decide who to open with Tamim Iqbal. He rather prefers to keep it as suspense.

“I don’t want to divulge who the opening combination will be in the World Cup. All I can say is that I have faith in Soumya and Liton.”

Opening partner of Tamim Iqbal has been a recurring problem for Bangladesh since no one could cement their place around him. After five different opening partner of Tamim was tested following the 2015 World Cup, it went down to two in Soumya and Liton. Rhodes advised other openers to follow the footstep of Tamim Iqbal.

“Tamim is a great example. I think Tamim is a fantastic pro. He knows what he needs to do, to be successful at the international level as a batsman. He has taken 3-4 weeks break from the DPL, because he knows how important this tournament is.

“He knows how important it was to freshen up, do some training, get himself in shape for batting and fielding, and he is in a really good spot,” he said, showering praise on Tamim.

“ He is the type of guy I lean on, for some thoughts. I am always interested in Tamim’s opinion. Sometimes the penny drops for people, and Tamim is an example. He has got things right. I have a lot of respect for him. He is a wonderful player and a good pro.”