Bangladesh ODI skipper Tamim Iqbal backed Mahmudullah at the number six position in the 50-over format despite his recent poor form which is turning out to be a major concern for the Tigers.
In recent times, youngster Afif Hossain made a strong claim to get promoted up in the batting order from number seven as he played some brilliant innings while batting in that position.
The right-handed batsman missed a chance to showcase his mettle in the last game against South Africa when the platform was set for him considering he’s known to be the man to bail out his team in crisis.
Mahmudullah managed to score 25 runs against South Africa in the second ODI while he also failed in a similar condition during the first ODI against Afghanistan where he made only eight runs during a chase.
On both occasions, Afif along with Mehidy Hasan played a crucial part in rebuilding the innings and as a result, a certain section has pointed their fingers at Mahmudullah’s place in the playing XI. However, skipper Tamim thought otherwise.
“I think Riyad (Mahmudullah) bhai is a very important part of this ODI team,” Tamim said.
“Neither me nor the team management, selectors are thinking about (dropping) it,” Tamim said, adding that he has no intention to change the batting order of Afif.
“During the last six months to one year, we’re always talking about getting a perfect number six and seven who can bat down the order and finish the game for us. I think Afif is the right guy (at number seven) and he is really batting well in that position,” he added.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Team Director Khaled Mahmud said that they need to regroup ahead of the series-deciding third ODI in Centurion.
“I think we need to regroup before the third ODI and I’m confident that we can do that,” Mahmud told the reporters in South Africa.
“We have played well in the opening game and I feel we have a better bowling attack than our opponents. So we feel if we can play to our potential, we have a good chance to clinch the series,” he concluded.