Difficult to replace Shanto now, says Bashar
Bangladesh batter Najmul Hossain Shanto getting ruled for the remainder of the ongoing Asia Cup will be "a big, big loss for the team", opined selector Habibul Bashar.
"In true sense it's a big blow for the team, no doubt," the former national skipper rued over Shanto's unavailability.
A hamstring injury suffered against Afghanistan on Sunday forced Shanto's exit.
"The player had complained of hamstring pain during batting and could not field. We had an MRI scan done, which confirmed a muscle tear. As a precaution, Shanto will not take any further part in the tournament and will be returning home to start rehab and prepare for the World Cup," said national team physio Bayjedul Islam Khan.
The left-hander is currently the leading scorer of the tournament with 193 runs in two matches, which featured a magnificent hundred against Afghanistan in a must-win game in Lahore after fighting a lone battle against Sri Lanka with a valiant 89 in the previous match.
"It will be difficult to replace him right at this moment. We have had a lot of belief about his calibre and he just started to deliver. Nothing could have been better for him, as well as the team, than to have played the entire Asia Cup ahead of the World Cup.
"If we look at his last two innings, we can understand how impactful he is as a player in the team. And another thing, the team will miss his energy he generates not only during fielding but also in the dressing room. He is a good team man," said Bashar, who also highly praised the way Shanto returned among runs in a big stage.
"Shanto was not in a good touch in the last series against Afghanistan after an impressive run in the previous series but he got back among runs just after a bad series, which is unique and shows his maturity as a batter.
"You see, he played both innings in the Asia Cup under pressure. So, it's not possible to replace him but I believe others will step up to fill his vacuum."
The national selector was hopeful that the batter will be fit again before the World Cup, starting from October 5 in India.
"We have a home series against New Zealand before the World Cup but we will not take any risk regarding his fitness because we desperately need him for the World Cup," opined Bashar.