Liton on Tamim, Riyad: Want them to enjoy their game
Bangladesh's stand-in captain Liton Das said he would like the experienced duo of Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah Riyad to play freely and enjoy their game during the three-match ODI series against New Zealand, starting in Mirpur tomorrow.
Both Tamim and Riyad are making a return to the national fold after a while. The first ODI against the Kiwis will be Tamim's first in Bangladesh colors after stepping down as the captain in August while Riyad will be playing his first ODI since being dropped from the squad following the home series against England in March.
"Obviously it helps a lot when you have two senior players in the side. They will be returning after a long layoff. I do not want to put any kind of pressure on them," Liton, who will be leading Bangladesh in the series in the absence of regular skipper Shakib Al Hasan, said at the pre-match presser in Mirpur today.
Liton also mentioned that the experienced duo should be able to enjoy their game in order to get the best result for the team.
"They should enjoy their game. In fact, the chances of success really increase when every player enjoys their game," Liton added.
The number seven spot has been a headache for the Tigers in ODIs for a while now. Riyad and Soumya Sarkar were recalled for the series against the Kiwis after Afif Hossain and Shamim Hossain failed to produce the goods with the bat down the order.
However, Liton refrained from specifying the roles of Riyad and Soumya in the side, mentioning that the important thing for either of them would be to score some runs whenever they get the opportunity.
"I do not want to talk about roles as it would depend on the situation. If we lose wickets early, and then Riyad bhai arrives at the crease with around 30-35 overs left then he will play like he always does. I don't really need to specify how he needs to play as he is mature enough to know the role.
"The same goes for Soumya. Whichever position they get the chance, they will try to score runs. It is not just about them, every batter's responsibility is to score runs."