The Bangladesh Cricket Board is yet to come up with a solution to the Twenty20 captaincy dilemma as four players have been considered for the role. The captain always has significant input on picking players for a series or tournament. Therefore, once the BCB finalizes who will lead the Tigers in the upcoming event, selecting the final squad for the Asia Cup 2022 will become easier. Besides, the selectors have to evaluate the 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE squad for Bangladesh as they will host the forthcoming event. How Bangladesh’s Twenty20 squad would look like for the Asian Cup cricket competition is discussed in this article.
Who could make the Bangladesh squad for the Asia Cup 2022?
There are a few automatic choices who will be in the Asia Cup 2022 squad for Bangladesh. However, a few spots will be up for grabs. The captain's, head coach's, and selectors' preferences will determine the final selection. Not to mention that the United Arab Emirates will host the event and the players who competed in the 2021 T20 World Cup will be given consideration. Let’s have a look at the players who can find a place in the likely 15-member Bangladesh Twenty20 squad for the 2022 Asia Cup.
There will be no Tamim Iqbal and most likely no Litton Das, who sustained a hamstring while playing the third T20I against Zimbabwe. So, who will open the innings for Bangladesh?
The most likely options would be Anamul Haque Bijoy and Munim Shahriar, as both of them have recently played for the T20 team. But given their recent records, neither of the players should be considered to open the innings for Bangladesh in the upcoming event.
The selectors might think about Mohammad Naim and Soumya Sarkar, who have better statistics than Anamul and Munim since 2021. Another possible option could be Najmul Hossain Shanto, who has maintained a 100 strike rate in 7 innings. In the recently concluded Zimbabwe series, Parvez Hossain Emon made his debut against Zimbabwe. But the selectors may be reluctant to pick him for the tournament. At least three opening batters will be included in the squad. Shakib Al Hasan will bat at No. 3, which is all but confirmed.
Probable four players for top-order: Anamul Haque, Mohammad Naim, Najmul Hossain Shanto and Shakib Al Hasan.
Mushafiqur Rahim at No.4 and Mahmudullah Riyad at No.6 are two almost confirmed spots for Bangladesh's T20 line-up. Afif Hossain and Nurul Hasan Sohan are strong favourites to take the no.5 and no.7 spots, respectively. Afif, in particular, has been the most consistent middle-order batter for Bangladesh since the T20 World Cup last year. He has made 325 runs in 19 innings with a strike rate of 112.45.
Surprisingly, Mahmudullah Riyad, who has been criticized for not being consistent with the bat, is the second-highest run scorer in Bangladesh’s middle-order since the 2021 Twenty20 World Cup. The selectors may pick two additional all-rounders in the squad. At the moment, Mosaddek Hossain and Mahedi Hasan are the best two options at the moment as they have regularly featured on the T20 side in the last few bilateral series. Other candidates for the final two positions are Soumya Sarkar, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mohammad Saifuddin, Shamim Hossain, and Yasir Ali.
Probable six players for middle-orders: Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad, Afif Hossain, Nurul Hasan, Mosaddek Hossain and Mahedi Hasan.
Bangladesh are likely to pick four fast bowlers for the upcoming event. Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, and Shoriful Islam are automatic choices as they have done pretty well in the recent series. There could be a battle for the final spot as Hasan Mahmud, Mohammad Saifuddin, Ebadot Hossain, and Khaled Ahmed could all be in consideration for the main event. Hasan Mahmud made his international return in the Zimbabwe T20 series, while Saifuddin has to prove his fitness before considering him for the final squad.
Probable four pacers: Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam and Hasan Mahmud.
The selectors will definitely pick at least one genuine spinner, and it could be two, depending on the demand by the coach and captain. Nasum Ahmed and Taijul Islam will fight for the place. However, given Nasum’s success in the T20 format for the Bangladesh national side in the last one year, the selectors may eventually pick him.
The BCB’s main focus is now to announce the new T20 captain for Bangladesh, at least for the upcoming 2022 World Cup event in October. The selection committee would also face a major challenge in picking the right players and assembling a strong playing XI for the Asia Cup 2022. Bangladesh's players haven’t really performed up to the mark in the recent Twenty20 matches. The lack of appropriate power hitters on the team is a major source of concern for the Cricket Board. The selectors may pick players who have regularly featured for Bangladesh's national T20 team in recent international series.