Tigers to take on Sri Lanka with an eye on WC 2023

The Tigers would play the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka – set to begin Sunday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium – with an eye on the World Cup 2023, Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo said Saturday.

Bangladesh have played six matches of the World Cup Super League and won three. They will have to end this event as one of the best seven teams to be directly qualified for the World Cup in India.

"Winning right now is always important but you have also got to have one eye on the future. Sometimes you need to be a little bit aware of that, and not always focus on the immediate future or past," Domingo said at a virtual press conference.

"This is an important series and points are up for grabs. However, the development of the team going forward is equally important. Who knows, in two years, you might not have Shakib, Tamim, Riyad or Mushfiqur available. And you have got to make sure that you develop some other players who can step into those roles," the South African coach said.

Tigers to take on Sri Lanka with an eye on WC 2023

Also, the T20 World Cup 2021 is just a few months away. Bangladesh coach also said along with winning the series against Sri Lanka and grabbing points for the World Cup Super League, they need to figure out the batting line-up for the T20 World Cup as well.

However, filling up the number seven position will be a tough job for team management. In the last series against New Zealand, Bangladesh tried Mahedi Hasan at number seven. He drew some attention with the ball, but he failed to do well with the bat.

"I think we are trying to find someone who can fit into the number seven role – a batter who can offer a spin-bowling option. There's Afif Hossain and Mosaddek Hossain while we also floated the idea of Soumya (Sarkar) being down there. Mosaddek is competing for a spot in the lower middle order," Domingo said.

Soumya was Bangladesh's number seven in the last home series at home. But he just played one match and scored seven of eight balls, while Mahedi played the same role in New Zealand but failed to impress.

Aiff got his ODI cap last year and played only one game where he scored seven of four balls. According to Domingo, Mosaddek is also a contender for this position.

However, sloppy fielding efforts cost the Tigers a lot in New Zealand and Sri Lanka recently.

"Some teams have great fielders; some average fielders. It is about getting the right guys in the right positions a lot of the time. Confidence is a big thing in a fielding unit. We have to get ourselves in a good mental space in this series," Domingo added.

About Liton Das, who is having a bad patch now, Domingo said he is looking forward to backing up Liton at the top of the order. "I have a lot of faith in Liton, who I think is a quality player. He needs a bit of luck. I don't think there's a question mark in his ability. All players go through five or six games when they don't do well."

Bangladesh's probable XI

Tamim Iqbal (captain), Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Afif Hossain, Mahedi Hasan/Mosaddek Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman and Shoriful Islam.

Source: United News of Bangladesh