Bangladesh’s selectors were left with hard decisions to take ahead of Sunday’s squad announcement for the T20Is against Afghanistan in India next month. Most of their selections will be based on the performances in the Nidahas Trophy that was played in Sri Lanka in March.
Imrul Kayes, Abu Jayed, Ariful Haque and Nurul Hasan didn’t get a game during the Nidahas Trophy, while Soumya Sarkar, Taskin Ahmed, Abu Hider and Mehidy Hasan also had sub-par performances. Soumya made just 50 runs in five innings while Taskin, Mehidy and Hider combined to take just three wickets.
Soumya, who lost his central contract in 2018, could still retain his spot, with the team management having shown faith in his T20 ability. Mohammad Mithun, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Afif Hossain and Zakir Hasan are possible inclusions. However, Afif and Zakir, who made T20I debuts in February, aren’t in the 31-member preliminary squad.
The selectors are also likely to persist with Mehidy; uncapped Naeem Hasan is the only other specialist offspinner in the training camp. Abul Hasan, who showed some form in the death overs in the BPL, and Yeasin Arafat have outside chances among the bowling group.
Meanwhile, among those in the preliminary squad, Sabbir Rahman is likely to be picked on his international form. His most recent score was a 50-ball 77 in the Nidahas T20 Trophy final. Sabbir, was banned from domestic cricket after assaulting a fan during a first-class game earlier in the season, has been working on his batting technique and fitness.
“I have been out for two months, having missed the DPL and BCL,” Sabbir said. “I worked on my fitness and batting technique. I feel staying out of the game can be a positive thing. I spent time with my family. My mother was sick, so I was with her.
“Confidence is a big factor. All the techniques are in place when runs are scored. There are no faults. Everything is in place. I get out playing a good shot when I am not scoring runs, and then there are questions about technique. There can be technical and temperamental issues but as far as I am concerned, there’s nothing greater than scoring runs.”