It appears that paceman Taskin Ahmed still has a chance to make the Bangladesh squad for their tour to Ireland and beyond that, the World Cup could even be a realistic possibility. It has more to do with the team’s injury situation than his performances so far since returning from injury.
Taskin suffered an injury during the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) last year. Before that he was selected for both the ODI and Test squads for the Tigers’ tour of New Zealand. The injury not only took away his chances of honing his skills in foreign conditions but also led to him being omitted from the World cup squad even as he returned to cricket by playing one Dhaka Premier League game. The selectors had wanted to have a look at him during the New Zealand tour but he was also excluded from the squad that will tour Ireland.
However, the current injury status of the pace-bowling unit means that he has a realistic chance of making the Ireland series. Pacer Rubel Hossain is just coming off the back of an injury while Mustafizur Rahman is yet unable to bowl following a lateral ankle sprain on April 11. Mohammad Saifuddin has continued putting in strong performances in the Dhaka Premier League even as he is suffering from a tennis elbow. The biggest concern for Bangladesh bowling coach Courtney Walsh right now is risking these bowlers in the Ireland tour.
He talked about backup options while talking to reporters today. “Trying to get back up in Ireland so we don’t over use these guys or injure them. So, one of the things I have mentioned to the head coach is to see if we can get back up fast bowlers to go to Ireland, probably help us out while these bowlers are recovering. We have a couple more days to assess the injuries, to see how serious it is and then make a call.”
Walsh talked about a system of rotation because with Fizz, Saifuddin and Rubel already in the World Cup squad, the team thinktank will not look to take risks with the trio. Skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza -- who underwent several knee surgeries during his career -- is not optimally fit and the team management will like to rest him whenever they can with the long grind of the World Cup.
“With so many of them being injured at the moment, something like that [rotation] I would recommend. We would probably look at them for another four-three days to see how quickly they are progressing. We have the guys that are carrying injury; you don’t want to take them to Ireland and they have all the workload to do and then get injured and get another setback. So, it would be best if we have a rotating system for Ireland so everybody can stay fresh because it’s going to be a long World Cup,” Walsh admitted.
If Tigers are looking at backups, Taskin may be the one they will go for since he was already in the minds of the selectors before he suffered his injury. A chance to perform in Ireland could also open the door for Taskin as he could then realistically compete for a place with the untested Abu Jayed Rahi, who is yet to make his ODI debut. With experience in his side could this be Taskin’s chance to appear in his second World Cup? Time will tell soon enough.