Liton Das, the right-handed Bangladesh top-order batter, is all set to take the helm, leading Bangladesh in the three-match ODI series against India starting on Sunday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
Liton had previously led the Tigers in a T20 match against New Zealand. He recalled his first experience of captaincy as being similar to a vacation. Yet, now, with the advent of him leading Bangladesh in an ODI series for the first time, his excitement is palpable.
Upon the announcement of Liton as captain of Bangladesh's ODI series, supporters questioned if he could maintain the same level of performance he had demonstrated for Bangladesh over the last year. In the last one year, he played 10 ODIs and scored 500 runs at an average of 62.5 — the highest for any Bangladeshi batter in the same period.
Liton assuaged any worries, stating that his focus was instead on playing their natural cricket and performing well against a team like India, who have long been the superior side compared to Bangladesh.
The superiority of India might be felt more to Liton as the regular captain Tamim Iqbal is out of action due to a groin injury, and the spearhead of Bangladesh's pace attack, Taskin Ahmed, is also uncertain for this series. So, Liton has to find a way to fill the gap left behind by the duo.
The new Bangladesh captain lamented the absence of Tamim and Taskin, but was hopeful that those who have earned a spot in the team are more than capable of playing solid cricket. "Our only goal is to win," Liton stated.
Liton is confident that the pressure of captaincy can be alleviated with the backing of Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad, who have rejoined the ODI team after missing out on the T20 World Cup.
"The World Cup is far away from now," Liton said. "We always have some areas to improve. We need to focus on playing good cricket on a daily basis. If we can play well against a strong team like India, it will sharpen our thinking and help us to elevate our game. Everyone in the team is eager to take the field and perform well."
Liton was asked what his expectations were for his first ODI series as captain. He smiled, and in a diplomatic manner replied, "A trophy would be great; nothing else matters to me."