Bangladesh had been looking for stable opening partner for Tamim Iqbal and tried out a few options over the past few months, especially in ODI format. With Tamim himself now injured, Tigers will have to look to play the rest of the Asia Cup counting on Liton Das, who himself is looking to prove his mettle in the ODI format while Nazmul Hossain Shanto, yet to play any ODIs, is likely get the nod to open with Liton.
Asia Cup is a big stage and the opening slot is all-important given that a good start can make all the difference in these matches. The pressure to perform might be felt by the youngsters but Tigers' captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza however said that the team is just trying to help the youngsters without burdening them with instructions.
"Trying to help. Not giving them any messages. I think without creating extra pressure, they should be allowed to play the way they like to. Whatever pressure cricket they have experienced in BPL and Dhaka League, they have performed so if they can play with that mentality then they will be able to play well," he said.
The match against Afghanistan does not hold much importance in terms of the final result as the schedule, a tightly-packed one with the Tigers playing four matches in the space of six days starting from tomorrow, has already been decided. It would be a good opportunity to blood the youngsters in this game and taking the pressure off their shoulders is important too.
"I believe if they can enjoy themselves then there is good opportunity to do well. The young players would have to try and obviously we don't expect from them what Tamim was doing but if they give their best performance then maybe they could even do what Tamim did.
"I just expect a good start from them and at the same time if they get set then to manage big scores," the captain concluded.