Sports, Cricket

Tigers WC squad stuck as fitness, performance woes linger

Published : 05 May 2024 09:35 PM

With the World Cup fast approaching, the May 1st deadline for submitting the final squad looms large for Bangladesh. However, there's a twist: teams can make changes until May 25th, creating a window for last-minute adjustments based on player performance and fitness. This flexibility proves valuable for Bangladesh, who are grappling with key selection decisions amidst fitness concerns and inconsistent form.

A significant question mark hangs over opener Soumya Sarkar. Excluded from the initial squad for the first three Zimbabwe matches, his inclusion in the World Cup squad hinges entirely on regaining match fitness. 

Despite overcoming a knee injury, doubts linger about his ability to perform at peak intensity.

 His dedicated training session on Saturday, involving both running drills and bowling under coach Andre Adams' supervision, hints at the team management's desire to see him regain form. 

Selectors are keeping a close eye on his progress, with Chief Selector Gazi Ashraf Hossain Lipu acknowledging the possibility of "a change or two in fitness or performance."

While Litton Das is the undisputed first-choice opener, his recent struggles raise concerns. The concern centers around his ability to seamlessly transition from ODI to T20 format. 

While the management expresses confidence in his ability to regain form, a string of poor performances against Zimbabwe could threaten his position. 

Parvez Hossain Imon, another left-handed batsman, could potentially benefit from Liton's struggles. However, Litton's decent showing in the first T20I buys him some time, but continued failures could tip the scales in Imon's favor.

Leg-spinner Rishad Hossain's underwhelming performance in the first T20 against Zimbabwe has set off alarm bells. 

Conceding a hefty 37 runs in just 4 overs against a modest Zimbabwean batting line-up raises questions about his ability to control the flow of runs. 

His struggles extend beyond the match, as his bowling practice the day before raised further concerns. Teammate Mahmudullah's post-practice observation – "He will get beaten if he gives the ball above (short)" – underlines the need for Rishad to tighten his bowling strategy. His World Cup selection hinges on a significant improvement in both his control and effectiveness.

Bangladesh's plan to include four pacers and four spinners in the World Cup squad offers a well-rounded bowling attack. 

This strategy ensures depth without compromising batting strength, as most players in the bowling pool (including Shakib Al Hasan) contribute with the bat. 

However, the team's overall success rests heavily on the performance of their core batsmen. 

If the likes of Litton Das and others fail to deliver, the selectors might face a selection headache even with the May 25th deadline offering some flexibility.