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Selectors in search of T20 talent

Staff Correspondent

The national think-tank said they will be observing the development of cricketers’ skills in the shortest format of the game during the three match Bangladesh T20 Challenge Series between the national team and the Bangladesh A team, scheduled to begin on December 10.
They emphasis will be put on finding out if anyone can press a claim for a place in the national side for the 2014 ICC World Twenty20, scheduled for March 16-April 6 in Bangladesh.
It will also give the national selectors the opportunity to plan for a future Twenty20 national squad that is totally balanced for a format that remains one of the Tigers’ weakest links.
Bangladesh have won just nine matches of their 31 T20 International matches to date.
‘I think the tournament is important because we can have a look at them in this format,’ selector Habibul Bashar told New Age on Wednesday.
‘We don’t play too many Twenty20 matches, so it is always difficult to predict a player’s capability.’
‘On the other hand it will also give some of the players outside the national set-up a chance to prove their mettle,’ he added.
While the national selectors will be looking to improve the balance of the team, their major objective will remain finding a formula to improve their play in the batting powerplay, which remains a major concern for them and is often identified as the reason for their defeats.
In 2013, Bangladesh played four Twenty20 International matches – one each against Sri Lanka and New Zealand, and two against Zimbabwe – and won just one, a 34-run victory in Bulawayo.
In that match, Bangladesh scored 42 runs in the last five overs, while Zimbabwe made just 24 runs during the same period in their innings. The Tigers also scored 57-1 in the mandatory powerplay during the first six overs and restricted Zimbabwe to 45 for two.
In all the other matches, Bangladesh’s opponents fared better than the Tigers in these periods.
‘We need to improve in these two areas to earn positive results in Twenty20s,’ said Habibul.
‘We have failed to capitalise in the last five overs on many occasions, costing us the game, and we are looking to improve performance during that span of time.’
‘We must find someone to fill the role of power-hitter, as it remains one of our shortcomings in Twenty20 matches.’
‘We hardly perform in the last five overs and we need find out why,’ added selector Minhajul Abedin.
Bangladesh had earlier tried all-rounder Ziaur Rahman in the power-hitter role, but he scored just 108 runs in 11 matches.

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