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The Daily Ittefaq

Shakib keeps suspense about batting order in Asia Cup opener

Update : 31 Aug 2023, 02:10

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan kept suspense about their batting line up as they gear up for the first match against Sri Lanka in their opening game in Asia Cup.

The match starts at 3.30 PM (Bangladesh Time). Two private television channel of Bangladesh-Gazi TV and T Sports will air the match live from Pallekele Cricket Stadium in Kandy, reports BSS. 

With Liton being ruled out after failing to recover from his illness, Bangladesh called up Anamul Haque Bijoy as the back-up but it is highly unlikely that he would play the first game straightway as he would get less than 10 hours to take a rest before the first match.

Liton was the most senior opener in absence of former captain Tamim Iqbal, who made himself sidelined from the tournament in a bid to have perfect recovery from the back pain.

Liton was the second cricketer to be ruled out after pacer Ebadot Hossain despite being in the Asia Cup squad. Pacer Tanzim Hasan Sakib had already replaced Ebadot.

At this moment, Bangladesh have two genuine openers in the team-Naim Sheikh with experience of just four ODIs and Tanzid Hasan Tamim, who is yet to make his International debut.

There are two other batters-Najmul Hossain Shanto and Mehidy Hasan Miraz who had the experience of opening the innings. But Shanto had already established him at No.3 position while Miraz's experience is badly needed lower down the batting order.

Shakib Al Hasan who considers himself more comfortable at No. 3 position was batting now at No.4 due to Shanto's resurgence.

Now the question came to the fore, whether Bangladesh would take risk, playing two inexperienced openers in the crucial first game, which they want to win to make a winning start to the tournament.

With many questions hovering around, Shakib refused to reveal anything.

"We have definitely plans up in the sleeve but I can't reveal it here," Shakib told the reporters today at Pallekele Cricket Stadium in Kandy, the venue of their first match against Sri Lanka.

"All what I can say that it's an opportunity for the players who are considered as our back up. Those who are new, it's an opportunity for them also," he said.

But Shakib spoke on Anamul Haque Bijoy whose inclusion as the replacement of Liton raised an eyebrow as he was not in the back up plan in Bangladesh squad. Rather there are some other players who were considered heavily to replace Liton.

"Anamul has been brought up mainly considering his wicket-keeping ability and he also bats in the top of the batting order. Liton is the top order batter and is a wicket-keeper, so Bijoy is like-to-like swap," Shakib said.

Explaining the matter further, he said: "At the same time, Liton's injury leaves Mushfiqur Rahim as the only keeper-batter in our team. If Mushfiqur receives injury and or if he needs to be substituted as concussion sub unfortunately, we need a keeper batter. So in this sense, Bijoy was considered ahead of the others."

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