Can Bangladesh be bold in final T20I against Zimbabwe?
Bangladesh have been the superior side in their ongoing tour of Zimbabwe and the results spoke volumes of the Tigers' authority. The only hitch along the way was the 23-run defeat in the second T20I on Friday that saw Zimbabwe level the three-match series.
The outcomes of the fixtures might point out Tigers' dominance throughout but those results say very little about the safe approach Bangladesh opted in order to ensure their superiority on the tour.
Bangladesh played a total of six matches so far on the tour -- one Test, three ODIs and two T20Is. And in every game, the Bangladesh team management employed a batting-heavy playing eleven in order to safeguard against a potential batting collapse.
And the strategy worked as Tigers have pulled off wins by staging comebacks from vulnerable positions due to their long batting line-up. The team management even had to face heavy criticism for employing nine regular batsmen, three of whom were all-rounders, with just two frontline pacers in the one-off Test that the Tigers eventually won by 220 runs.
However, aside from relaying the message that the team management has minimal trust on it's batsmen, such a safe approach from Bangladesh's think tank has often made lives difficult for skippers on the field as they had to make do with four specialist bowlers and shuffle between a few other part-timers to complete all the overs in a game.
There was even one instance in the final ODI when skipper Tamim Iqbal handed the ball to Mohammad Saifuddin even after the all-rounder conceded runs at rate higher than 10 an over.
However, the growing number of injuries in the side have only limited the options for Bangladesh team management but there is still someone like Nasum Ahmed, a left-arm spinner, who is yet to get his chance on the tour. And with four of the five Zimbabwean top-order batsmen being right-handed, a genuine left-arm spinner could augur well for the side.
The only pertinent question is, will the Tigers be bold enough to play five regular bowlers instead of their usual safe approach of fielding one extra batsman and seal the T20I series like an actual superior side?