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Dynamo to replace pocket dynamite

Staff Correspondent
16 Aug 2022 00:00:00 | Update: 16 Aug 2022 12:37:31
Dynamo to replace pocket dynamite

Afif Hossain will be the new ‘dynamo’ of the Bangladesh Twenty20 International team, said the team director Khaled Mahmud on Monday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka.

Bangladesh showed early prospects in T20I when the format was launched globally, but over time, they have failed to impress in this format which needs power-hitting ability and fast-paced scoring.

With the 2-1 defeat against Zimbabwe, where Bangladesh displayed sluggish batting, the think-tank is ready to overhaul the batting order to produce a favourable outcome. This is where Afif comes in.

Khaled Mahmud, a director at the Bangladesh Cricket Board and the national team director, told the media that the team needs Afif’s aggressive mindset.

“We will fix him at four. We are thinking about Afif for a particular role. He is our dynamo. He is a confident lad. He played well in the last two One-Day Internationals (against Zimbabwe),” he said at the SBNCS after the program of the National Mourning Day.

“We will allow him to play at number four or five. He is our future, an important cricketer in the making. It is our responsibility to give him the opportunity,” said the former captain.

Afif scored an unbeaten 85 from 81 balls in the third and final ODI against Zimbabwe, which Bangladesh won by 105 runs. He also scored 39 runs from 27 balls in the third T20I of the series, which Zimbabwe won by 10 runs.

Putting Afif at number four in the batting order will surely push Mushfiqur Rahim down. The wicket-keeper batsman has been a regular on that spot, but now the team management is thinking differently.

The opening pair has been an issue for the Tigers where multiple changes could not bring the desired results. Mahmud feels this time Bangladesh might take a different approach.

“Our openers aren’t doing well. We have tried a few of them in Zimbabwe, but they haven’t done well. We have to go for make-shift openers depending on the variety of wickets. It could be Shakib (Al Hasan), Mushfiq (ur Rahim), or (Mehidy Hasan) Miraz. (Shak) Mahedi also opened the innings before,” he told the reporters.

After much controversy and a tug-of-war between BCB and Shakib, the all-rounder finally discontinued his contract with the surrogate brand of a betting company. Then, BCB made him the captain until the T20 World Cup in Australia. Mahmud feels that Shakib can bring positive changes.

“Shakib is back, this is the best part. Everybody knows that he is the most experienced cricketer from Bangladesh in this format as he plays in many leagues across the world. He is an aggressive captain. We want to play this way. It’s a game of only 120 balls, one must hit right after stepping in. Very small time to take decisions. Have to score at a higher strike rate. I want to see this kind of fearless cricket among the players,” Mahmud told the media on Monday.

With Shakib at the helm and some veterans like Mahmudullah Riyad, Mushfiq, and Sabbir Rahman on board, Mahmud does not find it realistic to claim Bangladesh as one of the contenders to drop out early from the Asia Cup.

“Many have questions about making it to the second round of the Asia Cup as we are not doing well in this format (T20I), but we believe we can do well. We have played in the final previously. 50-overs or 20-overs does not matter. We want to play in the final. We want to play competitive cricket,” said Mahmud.