Tigers ready for Asia Cup challenge | 2018-09-08 | daily-sun.com

Tigers ready for Asia Cup challenge

Sports Correspondent     8 September, 2018 12:00 AM printer

Asia Cup has traditionally been the tournament of heartbreak for Bangladesh National Cricket Team. But this time things might unfold differently. The reason behind this optimism is Bangladesh’s recent overseas exploits during West Indies tour.

Nonetheless, Bangladesh will face a tough road to glory in the 14th edition of Asia Cup which will be held in United Arab Emirates. A fearless Afghanistan and a reinvented Sri Lanka stand in the way of Bangladesh in the group stage.

Going in to this tournament of regional glory, Bangladesh head coach Steve Rhodes’ major headache will be Bangladesh ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan’s finger injury. Shakib will play the tournament due to importance of Asia Cup for Bangladesh despite suffering from a sustained finger injury.

It remains to be seen whether a ‘seventy percent fit Shakib’ is as much of a game changer as Steve Rhodes believes.

Another Achilles heel of Bangladesh will be their batters’ inability to handle leg spin. Tiger batters’ heavy footed approach to dealing leg-spin yielded disastrous results in the past.

 This issue is rooted in excess supply of left-arm orthodox spinners in Bangladesh’s domestic circuit. Even average quality leg spinners are hard to find in Bangladesh’s domestic arena. Thus the batters are horribly ill-prepared to take on top leg spinners of the likes of Rashid Khan.

The amount of turn a leg-spinner generates is humongous compared to left-arm orthodox spinner. This huge turn along with the mystery of googly, flippers and the straight one makes leg-spinner a very tricky customer to deal with.

To make matters worse, Bangladesh will not be in strong footing as they take on Afghanistan in their second match in Asia Cup due to the horrible defeat of Tigers during the series against Afghanistan.

Despite all the obstacles, Tigers have a unique power to kindle the light of hope in the hearts of millions of supporters due to the indomitable spirit of Tigers which makes impossible possible.

Litton Das might turn out to be just the perfect dark-horse for Bangladesh. With sensational performances in Nidahas Trophy and the historic West Indies tour under his belt, Litton looked a much more confident player than earlier. This temperament will be the key for both Bangladesh and Litton.

Bowling department will heavily rely on Shakib but skipper Mashrafe Mortaza’s role will be no less important. The thirty four-year old captain is made for the big stage and Asia Cup surely brings out the best in him. Mustafizur Rahman will also need to deliver according to his potential.

Bangladesh Squad

Mashrafe Mortaza, Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Mithun, Litton Das, Ariful Haque, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Mominul Hoque, Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mehedi Hasan Miraz, Abu Haider Rony, Nazmul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Mushfiqur Rahim.