After reaching New Zealand, Bangladesh ODI captain Tamim Iqbal told the media that he would not participate in the T20 series due to personal reasons. The Bangladesh Cricket Board could not make an alternative of Tamim as an opener in any format, therefore his absence will be a big blow for Bangladesh. Furthermore, this is Mahmudullah Riyad's first series as a permanent captain. As a result, Riyad will face a significant challenge in not having the team's most prolific batsman in a difficult condition like New Zealand. Let's discuss who can replace Tamim in the opening slot?
What should be the ideal alternative of Tamim Iqbal for the T20 format?
Tamim Iqbal holds almost all of Bangladesh's batting records. He is the first Tigers batsman to score a century in all formats. Tamim's only century in the T20 format came in the 2016 T20 World Cup against Oman. In that match, he played a fiery 103-run knock.
In consideration of Bangladesh's future, BCB should look for Tamim's replacement for the series against New Zealand. Since we must note that Tamim Iqbal is in his mid-30s and may not be able to play T20 cricket for a long time.
After the T20 World Cup 2021 in India, some Bangladeshi senior cricketers may retire from the format. In that case, the BCB should be more focused on finding a permanent alternative for the seniors from now on.
Five potential players to replace Tamim in the New Zealand T20 Series
Liton Kumar Das open the Bangladesh innings with Tamim in T20 format. So we left out him and mentioned five possible alternatives for the series. Let’s take a look at five players who can replace opener Tamim Iqbal for New Zealand series 2021
1. Soumya Sarkar
Soumya Sarkar is the first name on Tamim's list of possible replacements. For the past seven years, he has been a member of the Bangladesh national team. But he hasn't been able to secure his place in the national team so far. The left-arm batsman has a lot of talent but could not make the most of it despite getting enough opportunities. Now he has retained his place in the team with medium pace in addition to batting. Soumya bats at number 7 and sometimes at number 3 when the team requires it. In the absence of Tamim, we could see Liton and Soumya open the innings for Bangladesh.
2. Mohammad Naim
Bangladesh toured India after the 2019 World Cup. Tamim Iqbal did not play in that tour. In his place, the former top-order batsman of the Bangladesh U19 side opened with Liton. He won his first international match. Naeem Sheikh demonstrated his talent by scoring 81 runs in the second Twenty20 match against India. Since then, the selectors have special attention to this tall left-arm batsman. Naim is now a regular member of the national team squad. However, he is not a regular starter due to a lack of opportunities. In the absence of Tamim, Mohammad Naeem is a strong contender to be Liton's opening partner.
3. Nazmul Hossain Shanto
Nazmul Hossain Shanto, one of the best batsmen in the under-19 squad, has been a consistent performer in the domestic circuit. As a result, he is getting many chances to play for the national team. But, like Soumya, this young left-arm top-order batsman is struggling to capitalize on many opportunities. Nazmul Hossain Shant failed miserably after getting a chance in the ODI and Test series against the Windies at home last January. In the absence of veteran Tamim Iqbal, he may be given another opportunity to play against New Zealand. But would he be able to make the most of this opportunity this time?
4. Parvez Hossain Emon
Top-order batsman Parvez Hossain Emon has the potential to be one of Bangladesh's brightest stars. He played a key role in helping Bangladesh win the U19 World Cup even after being injured in the final of the Youth World Cup against India. Parvez recently set a record by scoring a century off just 42 balls in a match of the Bangabandhu T20 Cup competition. Since then, he has gained the BCB selectors' favor. Parvez was included in Bangladesh's initial squad for the recent Windies series but was later omitted due to injury. He has a fair chance of being included in the squad for the forthcoming New Zealand series. In that case, Pervez Hossain Emon could represent Bangladesh in a match.
5. Anamul Haque Bijoy
Enamul Bijoy was once regarded as a potential star for the Bangladesh national team. Enamul had an excellent start in the international arena, but he was dropped from the squad after the 2015 World Cup. He couldn't secure a place in the team after that.
Despite many opportunities, the right-handed top-order batsman was dropped from the national team for a poor batting display. However, the selectors may include this experienced batsman in Tamim's absence because of his consistent success in the domestic league. In that case, Liton's opening partner will be Enamul Haque.