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  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Rhodes mum on Tamim’s opening partner

  • Published at 01:42 pm April 25th, 2019
Tamim Iqbal speaks with Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes during training in Mirpur Thursday Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

Is it going to be Liton Das or Soumya Sarkar; this is the topic of discussion in the cricket fraternity in Bangladesh right now

Bangladesh cricket team head coach Steve Rhodes does not want to reveal the probable opening partner of Tamim Iqbal in the World Cup 2019. 

Is it going to be Liton Das or Soumya Sarkar; this is the topic of discussion in the cricket fraternity in Bangladesh right now.

The right-handed Liton and southpaw Soumya both emerged in the international arena with high hopes. 

But frustratingly, there has only been a few occasions when the two had been at their best for the Tigers.

One of the highest points as an opener for Liton came at last year's Asia Cup final where the wicketkeeper-batsman dominated India's bowling to make 121. 

However, Bangladesh had lost yet another chance to clinch a multi-nation tournament title, off the last ball. 

Soumya meanwhile has mostly been busy to earn a place in the ODI team since 2016. 

The left-handed batsman though has earned the upper hand to Liton scoring back-to-back centuries in the just concluded Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League. 

The centuries included an unbeaten 208 as Abahani Limited sealed the premier 50-over competition of the country.

Rhodes said the fact that Soumya and Liton are both in the squad means the team management has faith on them as they are the only two openers in the squad other than Tamim. 

The former English wicketkeeper-batsman hinted his preference for the left- and right-combination but said the decision will only be made in accordance with a particular situation.

“I don’t want to divulge who the opening combination will be in the World Cup. All I can say is that I have faith in Soumya and Liton,” said Rhodes to the media at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Thursday.

“We have gone left-rjght with Liton and Tamim. I personally like left-right combination. I like what Soumya has done in the last two games in DPL. Interestingly, I did tell him after he got the hundred (against Legends of Rupganj) that he won’t get a lot of chances to get 200. If you get a chance, do not throw it away. He had lots of time in that game, and ironically, he got the 200 in the next game,” he added.

The Tigers will depart for the two-and-a-half-month tour of Europe Wednesday. 

In the first leg of the tour, the Tigers will play at least four matches in the tri-nation ODI series involving the West Indies and host Ireland. 

Bangladesh team will then travel to England for the World Cup and contest at least nine games. 

Considering the long tour, Rhodes believes the series in Ireland can be a good platform to mix things up, keep the players fresh and try out some new options.

“We will try to mix it around a little bit in the tri-nation, but we have to be careful not to get too funky. If you get too clever, everything comes crashing down on you. We won’t make massive changes, but we will share around an odd position just to keep people fresh. I think the length of the tour is more of an issue than the amount of games. We need to keep people interested and fresh, so getting the right balance in practice and game is really important. When we set the schedule, we must give them the right space. But things can change quickly in England,” Rhodes explained.

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