‘Sabbir showed what he can do with one shot’
Sabbir Rahman was called back into the squad for the Asia Cup last August after over two years despite not much of impressive performances in the domestic circuit.
The right-handed batter scored five off six deliveries on his return as he featured in a quick-fire 19-run opening stand with Mehedi Hasan Miraz in their do-or-die contest against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup. But that was enough for the right-hander to earn a place in the 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup, scheduled to begin next month in Australia.
Bangladesh went with the makeshift opening pair of Sabbir and Miraz in the just-concluded two-match T20I series away to the UAE as well.
Even though Bangladesh won the series against the UAE 2-0 – that included a hard-fought seven-run victory in the first game – Sabbir failed to make an impression, scoring 0 and 12 in the two matches, respectively.
Perhaps the only glimpse the 30-year-old has shown since getting a callback was when he launched UAE pacer, Sabir Ali, for a massive six over midwicket off a free-hit in yesterday's game. And referring to that, Bangladesh's batting coach Jamie Siddons said that Sabbir showed everyone what he is capable of doing.
"Sabbir still trying to find his feet at this level of the game. But, you know, he showed us what he can do with the bat with one shot. We just want to see a bit more of that," Siddons said of Sabbir's batting in a video message to the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) after the Tigers' 32-run victory in the second T20I against UAE in Dubai on Tuesday.
However, unlike Sabbir, Miraz has been showing more than just glimpses in his new role as an opener. The all-rounder scored a team-high 37-ball 46 yesterday. He also scored a rapid 38 in the Asia Cup game against Sri Lanka to give Bangladesh a positive start.
"Miraz is coming along in leaps and bounds. His confidence is up. I have seen him bat really well in Test matches and ODI cricket. I knew he could do what he has been doing. Now, he has been given a license to play more shots at the top of the order and he is doing a great job," Siddons lauded Miraz's efforts.
Bangladesh will participate in a tri-nation T20I series involving hosts New Zealand and Pakistan from October 6, before going to the land Down Under for the eighth edition of the marquee T20 event.