Khondkar Saleque Sufi
The ensuing Tri Nation ODI series in Ireland involving Bangladesh –Ireland and New Zealand offers excellent opportunity for Bangladesh leapfrogging Sri Lanka to 6th position in ICC ODI ranking. Right now Bangladesh ranks 7th.
All they need to achieve is at least three wins from four matches. Ireland, now knocking at the door of ICC full membership is not yet a team to challenge the might of sparkling Bangladesh though in the past they beat them on a few occasions.
New Zealand cannot field their strongest side as most of their top players are still engaged in IPL. Bangladesh has full squad. The team looks in great touch after couple of weeks acclimating in English condition.
Only today Bangladesh crushed Ireland Wolves by 199 runs in the lone warm up match. Batting first Bangladesh scored a very impressive 394/7 in allotted 50 overs and then wrapped up the local team for 195.
All batsmen are in great form and even all the bowlers seem to have accustomed to the condition. Observers and experts believe that judging from present performance and relative strengths of teams, Bangladesh is the favorite for winning the Tri Nation ODI series.
Bangladesh is only 2 points behind Sri Lanka and three points ahead of 8th ranked Pakistan. It may be mentioned here that only 8 top ranked teams would directly play in 2019 ICC world cup.
The tri series starts at Dublin on 12 May with host Ireland playing against Bangladesh in the first match.
The three teams would play twice against one other and the winner will be decided on maximum points earned after four games.
Schedule: 12 May Ireland v Bangladesh Malahide 14 May Ireland v New Zealand Malahide 17 May Bangladesh v New Zealand Clontarf 19 May Ireland v Bangladesh Malahide 21 May Ireland v New Zealand Malahide 24 May Bangladesh v New Zealand Clontarf
Here is scenario What May Happen If Bangladesh? • Win all four games –sixth place, four points clear off Sri Lanka • Win one game against NZ, two games against Ireland– Sixth place, one point clear off Sri Lanka • Win two games against IRL, lose two games against NZ- Seventh Place, Loses one point • Win one game against IRL, lose two games against NZ- eight position • Lose all four games- the Eight position, four points ahead of West Indies.
West Indies Cricket admirers will agree that given the present form and looking at the squad announced Bangladesh, winning all matches, will be the most likely outcome. But it is cricket where no one can guarantee the outcome of any match till it is played.
The Squads: Bangladesh: Mashrafe Bin Mortaza (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Mehedi Hasan Miraz, Imrul Kayes, Sanjamul Islam, Shafiul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Nasir Hossain and Subashis Roy.
Ireland: William Porterfield (capt), Andrew Balbirnie , Peter Chase , George Dockrell , Ed Joyce , Tim Murtagh , Barry McCarthy , Kevin O’Brien , Niall O’Brien ( wk), Sami Singh, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson , Gary Wilson (,wk), Craig Young , John Anderson.
New Zealand : Tom Latham (capt), Hamish Bennett, Neil Broom, Scott Kuggeleijn, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Jeetan Patel*, Seth Rance, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, George Worker *Patel will join the squad for the fourth ODI.
Of the three squads above, Bangladesh is by far the best team being the first choice national squad. New Zealand has treated this series as an experiment for trying few upcoming youngsters as the following top players are not available for their continued engagement in the business session of IPL 2017.
In view of above, observers consider that Bangladesh may not find it difficult winning at least three of the four matches. Even the home team can make it very difficult for New Zealand experimental team winning matches in their backyard. Bangladesh appears to have prepared well for the Tri series and Champions trophy.
Three matches the Tigers have appeared so far (two in Sussex and one in Ireland) they scored over 300 runs, smacking the bowling all over the parks. Two matches they won comfortably and one got washed out after Bangladesh batting.
Three players who for different reasons joined the squad late Mashrafe, Shakib and Mustafiz played and performed in the match against Ireland Wolves. Tamim who has minor back spasm appeared in his prolific form yesterday.
All batsmen including Mushfiqur, Sabbir, Kayes, Mahmudullah, Shakib, Soumya, Mosaddek and Mehedi are on song. Taskin, Rubel, Mustafiz and Mashrafe appear to have found the right channel to bowl.
Selecting the playing XI appears to be an issue for Bangladesh. Mashrafe, for one match ban, cannot play against Ireland. Shakib will lead the side replacing Mashrafe Bin Mortaza.
Perhaps Kayes and Nasir have no possibility of playing the first match. It is to be seen whether Bangladesh plays with four seamers Taskin, Rubel, Mustafiz and Subashis or play Miraz and Sanjamul against Ireland.
We have observed weakness of Irish batsmen against spin in their recent series against England. In any case admirers of team Tigers look forward for a great news coming from Dublin over three next two weeks leading to ICC Champions trophy starting in England and Wales from 1 June 2017.