Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Bangladesh have chosen a largely youthful squad to face Kenya in the coming ODI series. There are a couple of old warhorses in the side to add experience, and bring the average age up to 24.5. Don't be fooled though by the age of this squad. Bangladesh's strength lies with its youth, so it is only to be expected that this is reflected in the squad's make up.
I don't know a great deal about the Bangladeshi players, so for those visitors to the site from Bangladesh, excuse my ignorance, and feel free to correct any mistakes I make. The full squad is listed below, but I have singled out a few players whose past performances indicate they could be a threat.
Of the batsmen, we need to look out for Mohammed Asraful. He is the only member of the Bangladesh squad who knows what it is like to score an ODI century - and was incidentally the youngest player ever to do so. He also scored a century against Sri Lanka in the just concluded Test series, and his wicket will be pivotal for Kenya. His ability to make big scores is tempered with a cavalier approach, but there is talk he is growing into his responsibilities. A big dangerman for us.
While no one else has yet scored a century, the following have all recorded 50s:
Aftab Ahmed (h/s 81*), who is also the only bowler to have taken 5 wickets in an innings. With a srtike rate of 71.5, again, taking his wicket early will be crucial.
Habibul Bashir, the captain. He does have a weakness for the short ball, and has often been out hooking. No doubt he can expect some chin music from the likes of Odoyo and Luseno.
Khaled Mashud, the Wicketkeeper (h/s 71*). Highly rated by coach Dav Whatmore and can play his strokes.
Javed Omar (h/s 85*). Like Mashud only averages in the 20s, and has a strike rate around 50. More of a grafter than a threat going after a large total.
Rajin Saleh. One of the up and coming youngsters. He is not bad with the ball either.
Alok Kapali. Has a heap of talent, but doesn't always use it. His selection could be a master stroke, or it could be a disaster. Hopefully Kenya can make sure it is the latter.
Shahriar Nafees. Another youngster to be wary of. Only 20, he has the highest average of the Bangladesh batsmen (28.4), and is handy against the new ball.
Mohammed Rafique. One of the older players in the squad, he is an all rounder who can be handy with either bat or ball. Has a strike rate of 70.5, but only averages 13.4. One of the three bowlers in the side to have taken 4 wickets in an ODI.
Of the bowlers, the two young seamers, Syed Rasel, and Mashrafe Mortaza could be key. Tikolo is expecting flat pitches, and if this is not the case, these two could be a bit of a surprise.
Bangladesh also have a plethora of spin bowlers, which after the Zimbabwe tour may be a bit of a concern. That said, the Zimbabwe and Bangladesh pitches will be light years apart, so the Kenyan batsmen will start with a clean slate come March 17.
How the individual players affect the series will depend on how well they are backed up by the rest of the team. In the past, this has been one of Kenya's main strengths against Bangladesh. This young side has shown more fight than we are used to however, so Kenya will need to be prepared to dig in for a tough battle.
Posted by Chemosit at 8:02 am