No Shakib, where to now for Bangladesh?
This is a great opportunity for the likes of Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey and perhaps even KL Rahul to press their cases for a spot in this Indian T20I side in the absence of Virat Kohli. After a pretty quiet series against South Africa, Rishabh Pant’s scores (or lack of) has opened the door for Sanju Samson who’s been knocking it down after a couple of successful seasons in the IPL. That’s just one of many tough calls India will have to make ahead of this first game in Delhi, Shivam Dube is also in the mix to make his T20I debut. They’ll look to build a sturdy-platform at the top with experienced-duo Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan opening up, Rohit himself has been in sublime form for India in test cricket of recent with some big scores coming against the Proteas. It’s amazing to think KL Rahul is still no certainty to feature in India’s XI, even without Virat at the top. With an average of 42.80 in 28 matches, you’d have to think Rahul is the preferred option to slot into the top order. Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal is also set for a return in this format, his last T20I was in late-February against Australia. We might also get to see a new-look Indian attack in the form of Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur. It’s a real mystery as to who will step up and shine in this series for India, youth could be the story to come out of the series which would be promising sings ahead of the upcoming World T20 in Australia next year.
Is this panic mode for Bangladesh? They’ve just lost their most experienced player and captain only a week before the start of this series, they’ve thrown Mahmudullah the captaincy and must find a replacement at No. 3 for Shakib Al Hasan. Mohammad Naim has been hinted to be a possible candidate to step in despite having never played International cricket before. Batting-duo Mohammad Mithun and Soumya Sarkar look the likeliest to accommodate for Shakib’s absence, handing a debut to a 20-year-old in India in the first game of the series is an extremely risky move that rarely pays off. The spin-friendly conditions in India not only means that they’ll have to focus heavily with the bat, they’ll also need to find some purchase with the ball themselves. Bangladesh aren’t short on slow bowlers either, they’ve brought in Arafat Sunny Jr who joins Mosaddek Hossain, Afif Hossain and Taijul Islam as the main spinners in the squad. Mustafizur Rahman is expected to lead the attack alongside Shafiul Islam who will likely team up with the future star in the fast bowling brigade. This is a team that showed an enormous amount of potential in the recent ICC World Cup in the UK, they just didn’t have the firepower that the other teams possessed. This will be another huge test for Bangladesh given they’ve lost one of their key players for the series.
TOP 5 FANTASY PICKS – 1st T20I
- Shikhar Dhawan
- Yuzvendra Chahal
- Rohit Sharma
- Deepak Chahar
- Shreyas Iyer
Wildcard pick – KL Rahul
- Mushfiqur Rahim
- Liton Das
- Mustafizur Rahman
- Mosaddek Hossain
Wildcard pick – Afif Hossain
PREDICTED TEAM XI’S
India (possible) – 1. Shikhar Dhawan 2. Rohit Sharma (c) 3. KL Rahul/Sanju Samson 4. Shreyas Iyer 5. Rishabh Pant (wk) 6. Shivam Dube 7. Krunal Pandya 8. Washington Sundar 9. Deepak Chahar 10. Yuzvendra Chahal 11. Khaleel Ahmed/Shardul Thakur
Bangladesh (possible) – 1. Liton Das 2. Soumya Sarkar 3. Mohammad Mithun/Mohammad Naim 4. Mushfiqur Rahim (wk) 5. Mahmudullah (c) 6. Mosaddek Hossain 7. Afif Hossain 8. Aminul Islam/Arafat Sunny Jr 9. Shafiul Islam 10. Mustafizur Rahman 11. Al-Amin Hossain.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.