Bangladesh, having slipped to their second defeat in three matches, have included Soumya Sarkar and Imrul Kayes in their Asia Cup squad to give a much-needed boost to their batting.
Since their win against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh have slipped to big defeats: by 136 runs to Afghanistan and, on Friday, 21 September in the Super Four, by seven wickets to India. They were bowled out for 119 and 173 respectively.
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Even in the match against Sri Lanka, which they won after posting 261, only two batsmen, Mushfiqur Rahim (144) and Mohammad Mithun (63) made more than 15.
Three wins out of three at the #AsiaCup2018 for India! 🇮🇳
— ICC (@ICC) September 21, 2018
They have also suffered a spate of injuries, with Tamim Iqbal having to return home after fracturing his wrist, while Shakib Al Hasan (finger) and Rahim (rib) playing through their injuries.
Sarkar, 25, and Kayes, 31, last featured in a one-day international back in October 2017, turning out against South Africa. While Sarkar averages 34.53 in ODIs, Kayes, also a left-hand batsman, has an average of 28.95.
Both batsmen can come in for Iqbal in the opening slot – Liton Das and Nazmul Hossain, the other openers, haven’t gone past seven in the five innings between them.
What an innings yesterday by @mushfiqur15! 🙌
— ICC (@ICC) September 16, 2018
Speaking after the loss to India, Mashrafe Mortaza, the captain, said he hoped the duo had worked on technical issues that saw them lose out on selection to the first fifteen. With a tricky match coming up against Afghanistan, he said, “It won’t be easy for anyone – not for those who are currently playing, nor for those coming in.
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“But everything in international cricket is tough – and you have to score, bat well and bowl well within that, and we have staged comebacks like this. Nothing is impossible, whoever plays has to take a little responsibility.”
Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Shakib Al Hasan (vc), Mohammad Mithun, Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Ariful Haque, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Nazmul Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nazmul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Abu Hider, Mominul Haque, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes.