Monday, 27 March, 2023

Tigers fret over Mehidy’s availability

Shakib hones switch-hit

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 18 March, 2023 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Tigers fret over Mehidy’s availability
Captains of Bangladesh and Ireland pose for a photo with the ODI series trophy at Grand Sylhet Hotel in Sylhet on Friday. – BCB PHOTO

Bangladesh received another blow ahead of the upcoming home series against Ireland as all-rounder Mehidy Hasan Miraz is doubtful for the series opener at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium in Sylhet today.

During the optional training session on March 16, Bangladesh had to make a change in their squad as they included Rony Talukdar in place of Zakir Hassan after the latter sustained a finger injury.

On Friday, Mehidy was taken to hospital as part of precaution after the all-rounder was hit on his forehead and eyes by a football during the warm-up and now it seems he is unlikely to play the first game unless he recovers drastically after a good night’s sleep.

It was learnt that BCB had a scan of Mehidy as the ball hit his head but nothing serious came out in the scan following that scan team management decided to send him to an eye specialist to assess the condition of his eyes.

A top BCB official told The Daily Sun that Mehidy’s chance of making the playing XI in the opening game against Ireland is very slim as his eyes turned red due to a blood clot.

“He is under observation and let’s see what happens because there is some blood clot in his eye and it is red unless he feels well chances of his participation in the series opener is very slim and we are making our plans accordingly though you never know he just might get completely ok after a good night sleep but if that is not the case he is unlikely to play in the series opener,” said the official adding that as he has sustained injuries in his eyes tea management are not very keen to take any chance even if there is the slightest bit of risk involved.

It was earlier reported that Tamim is down to fever and though the ODI skipper batted in the nets on Friday there is still concern over his availability in the opening game.

“There’s a little bit of concern with his (Tamim) health. Not fitness. I think he has some kind of viral infection. He will bat and field today. We will make the call afterward,” Hathurusingha told reporters at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on Friday.

Hathurusingha added that he is very impressed with Rony, who made a comeback after eight years with the three-match T20I against England, who is basically included as a backup opener.

“He impressed me a helluva lot. In the first T20, his start gave us a lot of momentum. The coaching staff was impressed with his body language. Talking about characters, those are the things that I am looking at, a lot more than runs and wickets. We know it can go up and down, but if the players show good character and strong will to perform the way they did in domestic cricket, that’s all we want,” he said.

Bangladesh head coach along with senior trio -- Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan spent a lot of time trying to understand that nature of Sylhet’s wickets considering the fact it had a tradition of having some pace and bounce that can also be some sort of relief for the opponents as they are more accustomed than playing in a wicket that had relatively spin friendly.

“It is a very good wicket. It looks like a belter which will give a good contest for bat and ball,” he said. Shakib, who joined his national teammates on Friday after completing a trip to Dubai that raised quite a few eyebrows as media reported it was arranged by a fugitive, took the spotlight on him by opting to bat as a right-handed batsman in the nets.

Shakib honed his range-hitting to pace bowling coach Allan Donald’s throw downs at one of the centre wickets and the left-handed batsman turned right-hander for one delivery that appeared to be just for fun.

However, when he came to the nets it turned into a different practice session for him as he instructed the thrower to give a loop on the deliveries and then batted right-handed, mostly playing sweeps and it did not take time to understand that he is batting right-handed.

He seemed to judge the angle of how he was playing the delivery as a right-hander. Then he went back to batting left-handed and started playing switch hits. He would switch on all the deliveries he was facing in the nets.

Hathurusingha added that they are trying to manage fast bowlers like Taskin Ahmed and Mustafizur Rahman going forward.

“We want to manage him (Taskin). He is one of our strike bowlers. He is world-class. He bowled as quickly as anyone in that series. We wanted to manage him and Fizz. There’s a lot of cricket coming up. It will also allow us to give more game time to the other fast bowlers as well,” he concluded.

Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan plays a shot during a practice session at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium in Sylhet on Friday.     – TANVIN TAMIM