Bangladesh can heave a sigh of relief as batsman Sabbir Rahman provided an indication on Saturday that he can end their search for a proper number-three batsman in the one-day internationals.
Sabbir scored 65 runs against Afghanistan to seize the opportunity
provided by the team management when he was promoted to number three for the first time in his ODI career.
Imrul Kayes and Mahmudullah batted in number three in the
opening two games but none could justify their credibility in this particular position that the Tigers were looking to fill permanently with a suitable batsman.
Sabbir looked to have arrived as a timely solution through playing an innings that was required to guide the hosts in a position of dominance against the visitors with some scintillating shots.
Tigers already got somewhat settled at number three in Test and Twenty20 internationals with Mominul Haque and Sabbir, while in ODI’s it still seemed unsettled.
From the beginning of 2014 Tigers had played 38 matches before they opted to try Sabbir.
Mominul played at the position on 10 occasions and scored 296 runs at 29.60 that also included three half centuries but in the present context his inclusion in the ODI’s set-up appeared difficult.
Mohammad Mithun replaced Mominul during the second ODI against India while Imrul was selected during the tour of West Indies.
However he could not satisfy making 9, 1, and 1 runs while during the series against Zimbabwe four players-Mominul, Sakib al Hasan, Imrul and Soumya Sarkar, who was later promoted to open the match with Tamim Iqbal, were tried.
Mahmudullah, Liton Kumar and Mushfiqur Rahim were also tried but none of them could grab the position either.
Sabbir seemed to have the credentials with his stroke play that Tigers were desperately looking to help them take the first initiative for picking up the momentum.
Sabbir was looking bit shaky during the start as he required 10 balls to open his account.
He was lucky to pick his first boundary
against Dawlat Zadran as a thick edge from his
pull shot flew between wicket keeper and the slip cordon.
However he launched him in the very
next delivery through playing a master-class pull shot that went over the boundary between a split of a second.
The right-hander picked up his innings from there onwards and decorated it with two more sixes along with six boundaries.
It was more satisfying as it eased the pressure off the shoulder of Tamim to score quickly that often led his downfall on many occasions.
‘Certainly it is relieving,’ chief selector Minhajul Abedin told New Age on Saturday.
‘We are naturally looking for a permanent number three and he seemed to fit in quite well,’
‘His technique against fast bowlers raised some doubts that prevented us from trying him earlier but he answered quite well and hopefully he will continue that in future,’ said the selector.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Cricket