Riyad hoping for ‘smart choices’ to surprise Aussies
Bangladesh T20 skipper Mahmudullah Riyad suggested that the batting order could see dynamic shifts a day before the five-match T20I series against Australia.
Mahmudullah Riyad had promoted himself up the order to number four during the recent T20I series against Zimbabwe when Bangladesh needed 194 to win in the third and final series-deciding T20I. In the first T20I, he had batted at number three as well.
Asked if such chops and changes can be used to test or surprise Australia, Riyad said: "It's a great opportunity to show our ability and also boost our confidence. To beat one of the best teams, we have to play our A game. I think it goes with our T20 approach that we have to be very clear in our mind. We have skillful batsman in the side, just we have to make the smart choices in particular conditions and also bowling options. We discussed these in the team meetings and if we can execute at the right time, we can expect a positive result."
With the T20 World Cup in mind, the skipper had previously talked about playing a different brand of T20 cricket. The changes in the batting order could make an impact in a format like T20 where match scenarios change broadly in a short span of time. More importantly, the performance of youngsters like Afif Hossain, Shamim Hossain and Nurul Hasan in the recent series against Zimbabwe gives Bangladesh depth lower down the order. Riyad was hoping that the contributions will continue and it might also lead to him coming in to bat earlier.
"I feel that Sohan, Afif and Shamim has the ability to finish [matches]. They are in a good rhythm and I hope that they will do justice to their talent and skill in this series."
Given Mushfiqur Rahim's absence, the batting order was likely to be adjusted. Mahedi Hasan in fact was tried at number three as well in the recent series. Riyad sees a likelihood of promoting himself up the order against Australia as well.
"Maybe in T20s, I usually come to bat a number five or six. But in the last series I batted higher up the order. It's possible that I will have to bat further up the order in this series as well. I would hope to contribute for the team," the skipper concluded.