Opener Liton Das came off the back of a fantastic knock against West Indies in the final T20 match which set up Tigers' series victory at Florida. In the Asia Cup however, he did not quite showcase his talents in the fifty over format but Tigers' captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza reiterated that they are hoping Liton is starting to find his feet after a show of confidence from the team as the opener looks to make a place for himself in the ODI side.
Bangladesh will be playing their fourth match in six days and the physical toll is having an effect on the team. Mashrafe felt that some quick runs at the top can bode well as the batmen coming down the order will feel less pressure.
"If some quick runs come at the top, then the pressure decreases later on in the innings," he said.
Liton was looking in good touch against Afghanistan in Bangladesh's last match until he played a rash shot off Rashid khan to lose his wicket. He had scored his runs quickly – 41 off 43 deliveries, and had hit the Afghan strike bowler for a magnificent four in the previous delivery before he got out at a time when Tigers were looking good.
"We have talked about that mistake. The good thing was that he read the delivery but could not execute his shot. He could have taken a single. He struck a fantastic boundary, one of the best in this tournament in the previous delivery. We already had five runs from that over and in every over if we could score five off Rashid then we could have gotten 50 in 10 overs, which would have been more than enough," Mashrafe said about Liton's shot selection.
Tigers skipper though reiterated that Liton is getting back confidence. Bangladesh flew in openers Soumya Sarkar and Imrul Kayes after batting debacle against India but the captain showed confidence in the opening pair of Liton and Nazmul Hossain Shanto by playing them against Afghanistan. While Nazmul did not yet make a mark, Liton did provide Bangladesh with a start and Mashrafe believed that the team's support gave the opener confidence.
"I hope Liton got back confidence. From our side, we supported him and had confidence in him. He scored 41 off 43 balls in the last match and played Mujeeb really well. He crafted his innings really well and I think our confidence in him helped him do that," Mashrafe said.
Liton has generally done well against pacers and with Pakistan boasting some of the best pacers in the world right now, the Tigers will hope that Liton can come good in today's virtual semifinal.