Tue, 29 November 2022
The Daily Ittefaq

'Opening pair' a headache for Bangladesh ahead of T20 WC

Update : 22 Oct 2022, 16:56

As Bangladesh are set to start another T20 World Cup mission, they still looked not to fix the conundrum of opening pair, which has been a great cause of concern since the last World of the shortest format in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2021.

Since then Bangladesh played 27 matches and lost a staggering number of 20, for which opening partnership was mostly culpable, reports BSS.

Apart from winning against Oman and Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh lost all of the matches in that World Cup. In this year, they so far played 18 matches and won just six, which came against the likes of Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, West Indies and UAE. One match ended in a no result.

According to the experts, Bangladesh still remains vulnerable in T20 cricket, largely due to their opening partnership and death over bowling. While most of the teams, aimed to score 50-60 runs in the first six overs in modern T20 cricket, Bangladesh seemed to be at a loss in this period.

Most of the time since the last T20 World Cup, they lost two or more wickets in the first powerplay, which pushed them to the backfoot and ensured the team's defeat.

In the last one year, Bangladesh's opening pair failed to get past 50 runs in any match in T20 cricket. Against Sri Lanka in 2021 T20 World Cup, the opening pair of Liton Das and Naim Sheikh put up 40 in the first powerplay, which remains their highest as of now. But the score of the opening pair in that event was 0, 8, 11, 14, 21, 22, 21, 22 and 1.

The team management was forced to change the opening pair repeatedly after nothing worked for them. They tried with Naim Shiekh, Liton Das, Saif Hasan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Munim Shahriar, Anamul Haque Bijoy and Parvez Hossain Emon but apart from Liton, no one could repay the faith.

Later, Bangladesh walked to the path of makeshift opening partnership and started with Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Sabbir Rahman. The makeshift opening pair opened the innings in one match in Asia Cup, two matches against U AE and one match in tri-nation series in New Zealand but they also failed miserably, prompting the team management to drop Sabbir Rahman.

Miraz though scored some runs, Sabbir was totally off colour, scoring just 5, 0, 12 and 14. Their opening pair also couldn't cross more than 25 runs in the four innings they opened for the team.

Then in the last three matches of the tri-series in Christchurch, the team management brought back traditional openers to open the innings but still there was no success. Bangladesh tried with Shanto-Miraz, Shanto-Liton and Shanto-Soumya Sarkar in the tri-series but in vain.

Statistics show that instead of building a strong foundation for the team, Bangladesh's opening pair kept the team sinking. Even an opener was not able to play a long innings, which could be instrumental in keeping the side in good zone.

According to the stat, Bangladesh have been vulnerable of late, mostly due to the opening partnership. If the opening pair continues to fail, it is impossible to overcome this crisis. The openers have no choice but to shine for Bangladesh's revival. Pakistan have been picking up one success after another, relying on the brilliant opening pair of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. And there, Bangladesh are facing extreme disaster as the opening pair continues to be abysmal.

The openers are constantly playing poorly, forcing the team management to change pairs one after the other. There is no success in that either. Technical Consultant Sridharan Sriram said, they have two to three opening 'options' and they will apply it by seeing and understanding the environment, situation and opponent. But despite trying all of the options, there is no visible success, which may hurt Bangladesh in the World Cup again.


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