Thursday, January 17, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, January 14, 2004
The Opening Saga

F Waliullah
Since December 2002, the West Indies tour of Bangladesh, there have been seventeen (17) different opening combinations for Bangladesh in ODIs and only four (4) different opening combinations in Tests.

What is the most interesting information is that good performance in ODIs has influenced the selectors to continue with a particular player in the test matches or vice versa.

The opening dilemma has always been a major problem for Bangladesh since the beginning of One Day International cricket for Bangladesh. But recently with the strong demand for a win has increased this lack of finding an opening pair more than any other time.

Up until the last Pakistan tour, finding a good opener for both tests and ODIs was a difficult ask. But now with the good form of Hannan Sarkar, one problem is solved. After that, the quest had begun in finding the right partner for him.

What is more surprising is that in test match cricket, we did not have to face a similar problem. With Javed Omar among the ranks, we just had to find an opening partner for him. And Al Shahriar was just the right kind of partner. When Javed Omar was injured, we straight away had Hannan Sarkar as Al Shahriar's partner. In test cricket, Hannan never had to look back. It was his performance in the ODI cricket that had prompted the team management to drop him from test cricket.

In addition, it was a surprise also that Al Shahriar, who had a very poor battig average according to Bangladeshi standards, got away with it and played in the World Cup because of his good batting average in Tests.

Now one thing is settled. When Javed Omar and Hannan Sarkar are fit, they are going to be the test match openers for Bangladesh. But because Javed Omar is slow in batting, especially in One Day cricket, so we are still having to find the right opening partner for Hannan in ODIs.

Shahriar Hossain, the former Bangladeshi opener has just made a name for himself and he is sure to return to Bangladesh cricket. We all hope that he can partner Hannan Sarkar in both tests and ODIs well. But if it does not happen, then we will once again find ourselves in a hole.