Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan expressed that the think tank could likely rest a few players for the New Zealand series in the lead-up to the eagerly-anticipated 2023 ODI World Cup. Notably, the Bangla Tigers will play three ODIs against the Kiwis which is slated to begin on September 21.
Shakib-led Bangladesh are currently in the midst of the Asia Cup 2023 and are staring at an elimination following back-to-back losses in the Super Four stage against Pakistan and Sri Lanka. With the big-ticket event to begin in less than a month, the Bangladesh skipper opined on resting most players from the Asia Cup squad for the New Zealand series.
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“We will try a few things in the three ODIs against New Zealand. If we can get one or two players from there who can fit into the team [later], it will be better for the team. Everyone has a chance [to play]. I personally believe that those who played in the Asia Cup could be rested from the New Zealand series, especially those who are confirmed for the World Cup,” Shakib was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
Cannot afford injuries in that big tournament: Shakib Al Hasan
Shakib further acknowledged that the side has limited bench strength and cannot experiment much with the setup. In addition to this, he also stated that the side cannot afford to have injuries considering that the World Cup is on the horizon.
“We cannot afford injuries in that big tournament which involves practice matches and lots of travel. We don’t have a lot of bench strength. It is very important for us that players are fit and healthy for the World Cup. I want all four of our fast bowlers to remain fit, now that Ebadot [Hossain] is out,” he added.
Notably, Bangladesh suffered a setback after speedster Ebadot Hossain sustained an injury during the ODI series against Afghanistan, subsequently ruling him out for the Asia Cup and the marquee ICC event. While the Bangla Tigers are yet to name their squad for the series, New Zealand on the other hand have named a second-string squad with Lockie Ferguson leading the setup.