Pacers could be crucial in Oman
A lot will depend on the bowling department if Bangladesh want to yield a good result in the upcoming ICC World T20 in the Middle East.
There have been a lot of talks over the Tigers' preparation ahead of the mega event as Bangladesh utilised the home advantage to clinch maiden T20I series wins over New Zealand and Australia before heading into the World Cup.
It was the slow and low pitch in Mirpur that aided Bangladeshi spinners to a great extent as the visiting batters struggled against the Tigers' spin-heavy bowling attack.
But it will be a totally different ball game in the flagship event, especially in Oman where, according to Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) sector Habibul Bashar, the surfaces will be sporting, bringing in the seamers into the game just as it did in Bangladesh's unofficial warm-up game against Oman A last Friday.
"The pitch in Oman was pretty fresh as not many games were played there in recent times. The Indian Premier League (IPL) matches are being played in the UAE where we have witnessed how the pitch behaved," Bashar, who is with the Tigers for the World Cup, told the media on Monday.
"But the pitch in Oman looks different. Here, you hardly get any spin while there is the dew factor in play in the afternoon which we get to know about during the practise game," Bashar added.
Bangladesh will begin their World Cup mission with the qualifier round in Oman and will take on Scotland in the first game on October 17 at Al Amerat Cricket Stadium in Muscat. Bangladesh will then face the hosts Oman and Papua New Guinea on October 19 and 21 respectively at the same venue in the qualifying stage.
According to Bashar, the pacers will have to play a crucial role in the mega event.
"It is pretty hot during the daytime in Oman but the weather is pleasant once the sun sets. The pitch is pretty good -- true wicket. Pacers can get good purchases from the surface and it's also good for the batters. The spinners might not get enough turns but the condition is pretty much similar to our country as there's not much of a difference," he added.
Undoubtedly, left-arm seamer Mustafizur Rahman will have to lead the Tigers' pace bowling department with the likes of Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam and Mohammad Saifuddin also playing crucial roles.
However, according to BCB's cricket operations committee chairman Akram Khan, there is some injury concern in the Tigers' pace bowling department. And keeping that in mind, the team management decided to keep Rubel Hossain with the team in Oman and the UAE as an additional member who can be called up to the squad if needed.
"Taskin and Saifuddin have got slight injury concerns. So, keeping that in mind, we have decided to include Rubel as a backup option. Rubel's inclusion is just a precautionary measure," Akram told the media on Monday.