Salahuddin backs Riyad for WC inclusion
A lot of confusion persisted for days but Bangladesh selectors are finally set to announce the World Cup squad today when the Tigers take on New Zealand in the third and final ODI in Mirpur.
According to prominent coach and former Bangladesh fielding coach Mohammad Salahuddin, the entire selection process ahead of such a big event has been messy.
"Maybe if you had asked me this six months ago, I would have said that we were in a position to do something special in the World Cup. But with what happened in the last six months, are we really in a position to do something special? That is my question as the team is yet to get settled and we don't have much time. And I think the entire process regarding the World Cup team has been a mess, Salahuddin said when asked about the Tigers' chances in the World Cup during a multimedia show by The Daily Star yesterday.
Even though top-order batter Najmul Hossain Shanto said in a press conference yesterday that the players are well aware of the roles they need to play in the World Cup, Salahuddin suggested otherwise.
"I think there are still a few players who are not sure in which position they are going to play. So, there are doubts among the players and when you have doubts, you can't focus on your game. So, it's really very difficult. We were a good side in ODIs, so, naturally, the expectations from the fans are high. It's important to settle things soon," Salahuddin added.
According to sources, chances are high that Mahmudullah Riyad will make it into the squad following his 49-run knock in the second ODI against New Zealand.
Salahuddin also backed Mahmudullah and informed that having experience in the side will help the team do well in pressure situations.
"As I said, we have fifty thousand runs in the team between the four experienced players and if you cut down that to two then it will come down to 15 thousand or less, meaning you would be going with less experience in the World Cup.
"Experience does matter and it's very important, especially the players who play in the middle or down the order need to be able to perform under pressure. The role of the batters down the order is such that his knock of 20 could win or even lose you a game. So, it's important that the batter uses his head to navigate the innings," he said.
According to the most successful coach in the domestic competition, the seniors must make sure their individual performance helps the team win a major competition.