Bangladesh played 11 T20Is in the last 12 months, and on only one occasion, the opening partnership passed the 100-run mark. On eight occasions, the opening stand ended before scoring 20 runs.
This figure is more than enough to prove Bangladesh’s struggle at the top of the order in T20Is. Prince believes the scene could change if Liton can perform well.
What really excites me about this Bangladesh team is that we have a good mix of experienced players and young players. Not just in the batting department, but also in the bowling department
“Personally I am not really concerned about the opening batsmen. I think we had one or two good partnerships in Zimbabwe but conditions were tough against Australia. It is not easy to score boundaries frequently as you would in pitches where the ball is coming on,” Prince told the media in a virtual press conference.
“Adapting to the conditions is important. The partnership would be important. I think we have a strong competition in the opening position. I am sure Liton Das will get an opportunity in this position as well,” he added.
Soumya Sarkar and Mohammad Naim paired up in eight out of the last 11 matches. Naim was slightly better, but Soumya failed to prove his mettle at the top order. In his last eight T20Is, Soumya failed to reach a two-digit score on five occasions. His continuous failure has left the Bangladesh team management worried.
Tamim Iqbal could be in contention at the opening slot in T20Is, but the left-handed batsman has been suffering from a knee injury that prevented him from taking part in the Australia series.
Along with Liton, Mushfiqur Rahim is also set to make a comeback in the New Zealand series. He was also out of action during Bangladesh’s series against Australia.
“Return of Liton Das and Mushfiqur is vitally important for the team. Their return adds to the experience and communication between the more experienced and younger guys. The team has a good combination of experienced players and very exciting youthful players,” Prince further told the media.
Prince believed a good combination of experience and youthfulness will help Bangladesh to become a tough team to beat in T20Is.
“What really excites me about this Bangladesh team is that we have a good mix of experienced players and young players. Not just in the batting department, but also in the bowling department,” Prince added.
“We have some Under-19 World Cup winners, so they are bringing youthfulness and experience of being successful in a big tournament. It really feels as though there’s a good connection between experience and youthfulness. There’s a good quality in every department – fast bowling, spin bowling and batting,” he further told the media.
The series will kick off on 1 September at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Mirpur, Dhaka. All other matches will be played at the same venue on 3, 5, 8 and 10 September respectively.
Bangladesh played a total of 10 T20Is against New Zealand but failed to win any of them. This series came as a good chance for the Tigers to open a new chapter in this series as it’s taking place at the home ground.