Shakib-Mithun as opening pair?
Bangladesh coach Russell Domingo has said in the absence of regular openers Tamim Iqbal and Liton Das, Bangladesh might even field a new opening pair in case there are injury issues with the opening pair.
Soumya Sarkar and Naim Sheikh opened the batting for Bangladesh in Zimbabwe, where the visitors won 2-1 but any emergency might force the team management to a completely new pair, Domingo said during an online press briefing today.
Bangladesh take on Australia in five T20 matches from August 3 to 9.
"We are discussing about it. We have Shakib Al Hasan, whom we might use for opening. Mohammad Mithun returned to the side. Even though he's a middle-order batsman, we might use him to open. If anyone gets injured, we might use them. We have the players to cover for for the situations," Domingo said, after mentioning that Soumya is carrying a slight niggle from Zimbabwe.
Shakib Al Hasan is currently second in ICC T20 all-rounders' ranking even though he has never batted in the opening slot for the Tigers. Mithun, on the other hand, opened a few times but his average of 10.58 in 17 matches is the lowest among the batters in the side.
Apart from Tamim and Liton, Bangladesh are also missing the services of Mushfiqur Rahim and leg-spinner Aminul Islam after they left Zimbabwe midway through the tour due to family emergencies. And with Mehedi Hasan Miraz not in the squad, Bangladesh might be a bit light both in batting as well as spin bowling departments. But Domingo siad he feels he has enough options at his disposal.
Meanwhile, Australian all-rounder Ashton Turner said he was excited about playing on the spin-friendly pitches of Bangladesh.
"I'm really excited. It's the first time I've been to Bangladesh. It was the first time I went down to the West Indies and I feel like I'm learning on the job from the far experienced guys who have played here before," the batting all-rounder, who bowls a bit of off-spin, told reporters during a virtual press briefing today.
"We are probably going to expect wickets that are going to be not too dissimilar from what we experienced at the West Indies," he said. "Coming from Australia and specially in winter, we don't get to play on too many wickets that spin like this. So as a spin bowler I'm really excited to have wickets that offer something for spin bowling which is not always the case in Australia."