Sunday, 3 July, 2022

Tigers set to go with rotation policy in St Lucia

Tigers set to go with rotation policy in St Lucia
Bangladesh Test skipper Shakib Al Hasan (right) and Mustafizur Rahman set the field during the opening Test against West Indies at Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in Antigua on June 16. –AFP PHOTO

Bangladesh are all set to introduce the rotation policy during the series-concluding second Test against West Indies by giving pacer Mustafizur Rahman a rest while including another pacer Shoriful Islam in his place.

The BCB is considering the option of rotating their players, in order to manage the workload better and the idea first came up following Tamim Iqbal’s decision to opt-out of the T20I series against New Zealand owing to personal reasons in 2021.

Several other leading cricketers of the country including Test skipper Shakib Al Hasan opined publicly that the time is high to go for the rotation policy due to the increasing number of international matches.

The decision to send Shoriful earlier than the scheduled time and to include him in the second Test squad suggest that the team management is not ready to field Mustafizur in the second Test in St Lucia, which will start on Friday.

Six right-handed batsmen in the opposition team prompted the Bangladesh management to go for a like-for-like replacement of Mustafizur while they also wanted to preserve the left-arm pacer’s energy for the white-ball cricket.

“You can say this is sort of start as far as rotation policy is concerned (opting to rest Mustafizur from the second Test),” a member of the team management told The Daily Sun, adding that they have always felt the need of introducing it in order to manage the workload of their cricketers.

“We have always been thinking of introducing rotation policy and it’s not only about Mustafizur; rather we are thinking of rotating cricketers who play all three formats because it is difficult for them to play in all three formats.

“At least we can say that it is some kind of a start (introducing rotation policy) and you will see more in the coming days,” he added.

There were lots of talks regarding Mustafizur’s Test participation and after a lot of drama, he was included in the Test series.

Before the two-match series opener in Antigua, Mustafizur last played red-ball cricket during the home series against West Indies in 2021 and he remained reluctant to play Tests and has stressed the need to pick and choose formats in order to prolong his international career.

However, the 26-year-old, who doesn’t possess a Test contract for 2022, agreed to play Tests again after the BCB sent him a letter to clarify his position.

In the Antigua Test, Mustafizur hardly looked to be bowling at his best and he looked jaded in the second innings considering he was bowling in the range of 120 kmph for the most part.

Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo also hinted at resting him in the second Test as he was not ready to overburden him with red-ball cricket.

In the recent past, it was observed that the pace unit is going from strength to strength and as a result, the team management is keeping their faith in the pace unit.

In the seven Tests Bangladesh played so far in 2022, the Tigers played five pace bowlers with Ebadot Hossain picking the highest 20 wickets while they used nine spinners during this time with Mehidy Hasan picking the highest 17 wickets for them.

The bowling unit, precisely the pace-bowling group, did well in the Tests despite the fact they have earned five losses from seven games that were largely due to the batting failure.

The move to rest Mustafizur and opting for Shoriful by the team management suggest that they are now making plans to make sure they can have pacers with fresh legs to make sure they are fired up to do well.

“For the betterment of the pacers, there is no other way but to go for rotation policy,” said the member of the team management.