Mushfiqur was out of action during the T20I series against Zimbabwe. He also missed the five-match T20I home series against Australia. Now he is back, but his place in the XI as a designated wicketkeeper is no longer assured.
Mushfiqur is considered Bangladesh’s best batsman in every format of international cricket. But a popular belief is he could be better as a batsman only if he gives up his keeping gloves.
The 34-year old batsman never accepted the idea. He has always been rigid to hand over the position to someone else.
His position as a wicketkeeper came to serious scrutiny when Sohan made it to the playing XI after a long gap between his latest comeback and the last international fixture.
Sohan came in and proved his mettle once again as a wicketkeeper, which left Domingo in a state to find out a solution to the problem of selecting from between Mushfiqur and Sohan.
“Sohan will keep wicket in the first two games. The plan is to split wicketkeeping duties in this particular series, make it two games each and make a decision in the fifth game. I think it is important to have those options covered,” Domingo told a virtual press conference on Monday.
Mushfiq has always been the first choice wicketkeeper to the coaches of the Bangladesh national team after the retirement of his predecessor Khaled Mashud despite not being the best in the country. His ability as a batsman has played a big role behind this stance of the coaches.
But over the last few years, with the emergence of Liton Das, who is known as a better keeper than Mushfiq, Bangladesh is facing a never-ending conundrum to decide who keeps the wicket. And now, the dilemma has been intensified with Sohan, the best keeper of the country in popular opinion, made comeback to the national team.
Bangladesh management is also sweating over the decision regarding selecting the openers of the squad. Tamim Iqbal, arguably the number one opener of Bangladesh, is out of the setup due to an injury, which brought three— Soumya Sarkar, Liton Das and Mohammad Naim— in the contention.
“Liton is back in the squad. I will need to sit with the selectors over the next day to find what the XI is going to be. We have three guys who can open the batting – Soumya, Liton and Naim. With the selection panel, we will make a decision in the next 24 hours,” Domingo said in this regard.
Bangladesh coach also said the competition that the team is in about selecting the best opening pair is good.
“Competition for places is always a great situation to be in. You cannot just have eleven players who you think will win games for you. It has to be a squad, particularly with the pandemic bubble life and travelling restrictions. It is an important part of a team’s performance to make sure that you have a squad of players available who can perform,” Domingo added.
Bangladesh coach also said that this series is going to be a chance for them to fix the errors of the batting department ahead of the T20I World Cup which will take place in Oman and UAE in October this year.
“Batting conditions have been really difficult. It would be great if we got some bigger scores, but that depends on what conditions allow you to do. I think bowling confidence and getting into a winning habit is also very important, so we must make sure we continue to do that,” Domingo noted.
“Winning the series is important. We are playing at home, so we want to continue gaining confidence before the World Cup.”
Bangladesh may announce the World Cup squad before this home series ends. Bangladesh coach said it would be good if the squad is announced before the series starts.
“I think the squad needs to be announced a day or two before the New Zealand series is complete. I think we have a pretty good idea who will be in the squad. It would be great to announce the World Cup squad before we play this series, to put players’ minds at ease. They can go out there and play, without the fear of World Cup selection just around the corner. But I don’t think we can do that yet,” he added.