The Bangladesh team did not practice on Wednesday after sweating for two days. The cricketers had a light gym at the hotel and rested for the rest of the time. The coaching staff spent time at Bhatiari Golf Course. However, even on this holiday, the coach-captain and others in the team management must have various thoughts on the test plan in their minds. The Chittagong XI is likely to have the most in that thought. How much is it possible to build a balanced XI by losing two all-rounders like Shakib Al Hasan and Mehdi Hasan Miraj?
Shakib is one of the rare ‘genuine’ all-rounders in world cricket. If he doesn’t play, there will always be a big mess in the XI. But not finding him is nothing new. In recent times, the team has started to get used to a kind of eleven without him. But this time Miraj has dropped out due to injury before Shakib. The shock of losing Shakib due to Kovid will therefore hit the XI’s plan a little harder.
In recent years, Miraj has begun to forget the frustrations of the first few years of his batting career. Along with the great improvement in bowling, he was also consistent with the bat. Filling Shakib’s void to some extent, as well as advancing towards becoming a ‘genuine’ all-rounder in international cricket like the days of age-based cricket, all impressed his performance. But there is uncertainty about getting him in the second Test, not just the first Test against Sri Lanka due to a finger injury.
Even if there was only one of the two, it would have been easy to arrange the XI. The situation has become very complicated as there is no one between the two.
If both were found, there was a strong possibility of entering the field with 5 bowlers. Now that possibility is definitely over, the team has to think of different equations to play four bowlers.
That uncertainty was reflected in the voice of selector Habibul Bashar. He told Indian-gov.com,
“We had to think a lot after the mirage fell. He was in very good form, he has become a very important part of the team. Losing him was a big shock. Since there is no Shakib yet, many equations are definitely changing. Not only the eleventh selection, but the whole plan also has to be redesigned now. ”
“When Shakib plays, he is a big part of the team planning. Opponents are also busy thinking about such cricketers. We (selectors) have not talked to the team management yet, we will go to Chittagong on 13th May. Then we will talk. But what I said is that not having two all-rounders like Shakib and Miraj means that the plan will definitely change a lot. ”
Another selector Abdur Razzak is also waiting to discuss with the team management. However, his thoughts have always been positive since his playing career. Even in the emptiness of Shakib-Miraj, he is looking at the filled part, not the empty part of the glass.
“If there is Shakib, we get two cricketers together. Miraj has also been doing very well in the last few days. Not having them is a big blow to us, we don’t have to be selective anymore. Everyone understands. But there is a way out. Not having them doesn’t mean it’s all over. ”
“I would never say that those who will play in their place will not be able to do anything. Rather it will be a great opportunity for them. If we can convince them that they too can be part of the team and win the match, then they will be inspired. Here the coach-captain, we, even the media, all have responsibilities. If everyone is positive, those guys can be inspired and surpass themselves. ”
Naeem Hasan has been called up for the absence of Miraj. The chances of this off-spinner playing are also strong now. Besides, Mosaddek Hossain is also coming into the equation now. Although he was not in the team announced at the beginning, he was added later. As there is no Shakib, there is a handful of XI in front of Mosaddeq. He is the only all-rounder in the squad.
Habibul Bashar also mentioned it. Besides, Naeem is also asking for more.
“Although the XI will be discussed later, Mosaddeq will definitely be considered. The all-rounder says he will play the match, I’m not saying that. However, the discussion will be about him. In that case maybe one batsman should be left out. There is a lot to think about. Because we are not in a position to play 5 batsmen and 5 bowlers yet. Batting power cannot be reduced, care must be taken that bowling is not too light. As far as I can guess, the main discussion is about the number seven position. ”
“Whatever the end of the XI, we have to contribute to the batting at the bottom. There is no mirage, even if there is Taskin, I hope some runs, they are not there. If Naeem plays, he will have to play a role in batting. There is Taizul. There is a lot to think about, all options will be discussed in the coming days. ”
Although Mosaddeq is an all-rounder, the only difference between Shakib and Miraj is that they are both specialist bowlers. Mosaddeq is the first batsman there. Although his bowling is quite effective in limited overs, Joe does not consider him a bowler in Tests.
In the past, however, Bangladesh has a lot of examples of building a batting-packed XI. Once again, the team management may have a safer mindset in the draw than taking risks on the way to victory.
All in all, the team management will have to struggle to fill the vacancy of Shakib-Miraj in the next few days. Such is the greatness of all-rounders!