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Bangladesh considering top-order switch at T20 World Cup

The Asian side are yet to lock in positions for their batters at the T20 World Cup, with the promotion of a veteran all-rounder to No.3 still being considered.

Bangladesh are tossing up whether to use veteran all-rounder Shakib Al-Hasan in their top-order during next month's ICC T20 World Cup.

Shakib has batted mainly at No.5 or No.6 at T20I level in recent times, but has performed well when coming in at first drop for Bangladesh in the past.

Shakib Al-Hasan T20I performance by batting position

PositionTotal RunsAverageStrike-rate
Opener9975
No.3108529.32123.15
No.488022.56127.16
No.530916.26110.75
No.69130.33130
No.7301093.75

The 37-year-old has scored seven of his 12 half-centuries at T20I level when batting at No.3 and even appeared in this position against India at the most recent T20 World Cup in Australia.

Skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto has batted at No.3 for Bangladesh over the last 12 months, but the 25-year-old was utilised as an opener in Australia at the last edition of the 20-over showcase.

Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha suggested on Wednesday that none of his batters were locked into set batting positions for the T20 World Cup and Shanto said the option of promoting Shakib to No.3 was a possibility they were seriously considering.

"It depends on the condition and the strength of the opposition but it can happen (Shakib batting at No.3)," Shanto told Cricbuzz.

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Litton Das, Tanzid Hossain, Soumya Sarkar are other top-order batters Bangladesh have in their 15-player group for the T20 World Cup and Hathurusingha said all players will need to be ready to bat in any position, based upon the status of the game and the conditions of the pitch.

"In T20 cricket, yes. Batting order will be changing. That's normally cricket. It's about where you bat and how best you bat," he said.

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Bangladesh are drawn in Group D at the T20 World Cup alongside Sri Lanka, South Africa, Nepal, and the Netherlands, with their opening match of the tournament coming against Sri Lanka in Dallas on June 7.

Bangladesh have progressed to the second round of competition at the last four editions of the T20 World Cup, but are yet to earn a semi-final berth despite having appeared at every tournament since its inception in 2008.

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While Hathurusingha would love to see that change this time around, the former Sri Lanka international has set his side the first goal of making it into the Super 8s stage of the tournament.

“I understand as a country now, we have high aspiration because we have been playing good cricket generally out of ICC events and it's the same (here)," he said.

"We have high expectation as players and the staff and as well as the fans and the country. The first step is to get through this difficult group stage. We are in a very strong group. Then we take, if we get through that one, that's the main target, first one, and then we'll take it from there."

Bangladesh squad: Najmul Hossain Shanto (c), Taskin Ahmed, Litton Das, Soumya Sarkar, Tanzid Hasan Tamim, Shakib Al Hasan, Tawhid Hridoy, Mahmud Ullah Riyad, Jaker Ali Anik, Tanvir Islam, Shak Mahedi Hasan, Rishad Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam, Tanzim Hasan Sakib. Travelling reserves: Afif Hossain, Hasan Mahmud

ICC Men's T20 World Cup, 2024News