Will definitely be playing three pacers against NZ: Tamim
Bangladesh will be opting for five proper bowlers including three frontline pacers in the playing eleven for the upcoming ODIs against New Zealand.
New Zealand have always produced fast and bouncy pitches and it's their seam-friendly weather and the windy conditions that play a big role there. Bangladesh also went prepared on the tour as the Tigers' 20-member squad for their upcoming three ODIs and as many T20Is against New Zealand include a total of seven frontline pacers -- Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Hasan Mahmud, Rubel Hossain, Shoriful Islam, Mohammad Saifuddin and Mohammad Al Amin Hossain.
And Bangladesh ODI skipper Tamim Iqbal confirmed that the Tigers will 'definitely' opt for three pacers in the eleven.
"About the team combination, what I can confirm is that we will definitely be going with three fast bowlers," said Tamim while speaking to the media today from Dunedin during a virtual press conference ahead of the Tigers' first ODI in Dunedin on March 20.
Tamim also mentioned that Bangladesh will take the field with five regular bowlers and the skipper explained his reasons behind this decision.
"We will also have [a few] all-rounders [in the playing eleven]. As a captain, what I really want to do is to go with five proper bowlers because sometimes it becomes difficult in New Zealand's conditions to play with four [genuine] bowlers. The fields here are small and there are high-scoring games. And I think it is important to go with proper five bowlers and that is what we are going to do," Tamim added.
While the Bangladesh team will probably stick with Nazmul Hossain Shanto at number three, there might be a few changes in other positions. Bangladesh team management had Soumya Sarkar, who usually opens the innings or bats in the top order, bat at number seven in their last three-match ODI series against the West Indies at home in January this year. The left-hander, however, had just batted at his new position only once in that series. He scored seven off eight deliveries in the final ODI while he did not have to bat in the first two ODIs.
There were even talks of playing Soumya at that position to see him playing the role of a quick run-getter at the death with the upcoming 2023 World Cup in mind.
Interestingly, Tamim mentioned that Soumya's role will once again be reversed if the left-hander is considered for the playing eleven.
"If the opportunity comes and if we consider him for the starting XI then he will be playing at the top," Tamim said.
Bangladesh are without their star player Shakib Al Hasan on the tour as the premier all-rounder opted to skip the series to attend the birth of his third child. It has always been a difficult job for the team management to maintain the balance of the squad without the presence of Shakib. But, according to Tamim, the team have a set of players who can step up and fill the void.
"We have to be prepared as all the players will not be available at all the time. Injuries and other things will happen. We need to proceed in such a way -- which we are doing now -- that if any individual can not play, for instance, if I or Mushfiqur [Rahim] can't play then the team should not be hampered immensely. And to replace a player like him [Shakib] is always difficult. But we are working on it and we have the set of players who can fulfill the spot if Shakib or any other player misses out for any reason," concluded Tamim.