Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza is seen running into bowl during practice at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong yesterday. Mashrafe has only just returned from injury but it looks likely that he will have to relinquish the captaincy for next month's series against Zimbabwe. Photo: anurup kanti dasMohammad Isam from Chittagong
A change at the top looks likely as the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has decided to select the captain for the five-match one-day series against Zimbabwe only after the selectors name the squad.
During Sunday's board meeting, there was some discussion on the captaincy issue and it was made clear that the naming of the captain would probably be done when board president AHM Mustafa Kamal approved recommendations from the technical committee, informed BCB director Gazi Ashraf Hossain.
“It was decided in the board meeting that the selectors will pick the squad first and then let the technical committee make the recommendation [regarding the captaincy],” said Gazi Ashraf yesterday.
“The board president is the final authority to approve and he can do it without the board meeting,” he added.
After Jamie Siddons's forthright admission that Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, the incumbent, would have to fight his way back to the squad, it became slightly clear that the Bangladesh team would be selected keeping the 'right combination' in mind.
“Of course performance and fitness are the two most important things we look at before selecting a player,” said chief selector Rafiqul Alam.
Rubel Hossain, who won the man-of-the-match award in the final one-dayer against New Zealand, showed improvement with the old ball and was in good form as was Shafiul Islam. The Bogra lad did not exactly have spectacular figures with the ball, but did the job whenever he was given the ball.
Mashrafe, who joined the Tigers in Chittagong on Sunday night, acknowledged the competition and is well aware of the pressure attached to holding down a place in the side.
“It is not right to come to the field thinking that there won't be any pressure, especially when I have played for so long and at this level,” said Mashrafe during practice at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium yesterday.
“This competition is always good for everyone. There is no set place for anyone and one can't expect that there won't be any pressure for one's place. Because of this, even an average player would want to perform better,” added the man who has played 36 Tests and 114 ODIs.
Mashrafe bowled with a full run-up yesterday for the first time since injuring his ankle back in early October and the fast bowler looked to be hurrying the batsman with his inswing.
“I bowled with a full run-up today [Monday], and I didn't have any problem. I started bowling with a shorter run-up earlier but the physio told me to see out the six weeks required for recovery before bowling with a full run-up,” said Mashrafe.
The Narail Express, however, expects a good fight from Zimbabwe and did not make the mistake of counting them out.
“First of all, nobody expected that we'd beat New Zealand 4-0, did they? Everyone expected us to lose the series and maybe win one or two games. But we beat them 4-0. If you see it from that angle, then Zimbabwe is nothing.
“But if you think of the situation before the New Zealand series, then Zimbabwe will play much better cricket than what New Zealand played against us.
“They have two good spinners, their batsmen are in form and they have played here often,” explained Mashrafe.