Dhaka: Bangladesh’s young batsmen Soumya Sarkar and Sabbir Rahman, on whom lay a lot of hopes, have come a cropper in the ICC Champions Trophy in England and Wales.
If local media reports are anything to go by, the pair have disappointed the fans who had a lot of expectations from them and left the onus on the seasoned campaigners to deliver the goods.
While the likes of Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah have met expectations, what is worrying from Bangladesh’s viewpoint is the fact that the next generation is not stepping up.
Soumya, 24, and Sabbir, 25, have scores of 28, 3, 3 and 0; and 24, 8, 8 and 19, respectively.
According to leading vernacular daily ‘Prothom Alo’, coach Chandika Hathurusingha wanted Sabbir as a permanent fix at No.3 but since October 2016, Sabbir has mustered just three half-centuries in 14 One-day Internationals (ODI) with his highest being 65.
Sabbir likes to play the big shots, the paper wrote, but lacks the ability to rotate strike and play the big innings, essentials for a No.3 batsman.
It has been learnt that after the loss to India in the semi-finals on Thursday, coach Hathurusingha is mulling the option of changing his batting order.
A few days back, another vernacular daily ‘Jugantor’ also reported that it were the experienced hats who have done the job for Bangladesh during this Champions Trophy.
Bangladesh indeed rode their experienced players’ performances to book a semi-finals berth albeit some assistance from rain in the game against Australia where they were down in the dumps when skies opened up and the points were split.
Nonetheless, the likes of Tamim, who hit a century and followed it up with a 95 in the first two games of the tournament, and Mushfiqur, who scored a fifty against England, helped the team punch above weight.
To cap things off, Shakib and Mahmudulah struck magnificent hundreds in a 224-run fifth-wicket stand that won them the game against fancied New Zealand, even after being 33/4 chasing 266.
Bangladesh defied all odds to reach their first semi-finals in any International Cricket Council (ICC) event, after the victory over New Zealand and, thereafter, England beating Australia the next day.
But their campaign in the tournament was ended with a nine-wicket thrashing by defending champions India, who will now take on arch-rivals Pakistan in Sunday’s final at The Oval.