The greenish wickets at the Sher-e Bangla Stadium have ensured that the ball dominates the bat throughout the Asia Cup. Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir has had the maximum impact. In terms of numbers though, Bangladesh’s bowlers have dominated.
Al-Amin Hossain leads the list of wicket-takers with ten scalps in four games. His teammate Mohamadullah, albeit a spinner, has been the tournament’s most economical bowler so far.
Bangladesh’s bowling unit has kept its side in good stead. Despite losing the services of star-bowler Mustafizur Rahman due to injury, their bowlers did not let their team down in the crucial clash against Pakistan. The opening pace attack of Al-Amin, 26, and Taskin Ahmed, 20, has been effective. With greenish wickets on offer, the onus has been on the pacers to deliver and the pair has not disappointed.
Al-Amin, in particular has proved his mettle after enduring a torrid last few years. In 2014, he was pulled up for a suspect action. A year ago, he was sent back from Australia mid-way through the 2015 World Cup following a reported breach of the team’s night curfew rules.
Former Bangladesh coach Sarwar Imran, feels the players have shown character at a time when the team most needed it. “Al-Amin is a hard-working bowler. After last year’s controversy he was distraught. The past one year he has improved a lot. His performance in the Asia Cup has been quite heartening,” said Imran, the man who scouted Al-Amin and Taskin for the Bangladesh pace academy.
“All bowlers are young and are flourishing under captain Mashrafe Mortaza who is also a medium-pacer himself. With the management backing them I feel the confidence has trickled into the field,” added Sarawar, who heads a part of the High performance programme at the Bangladesh cricket academy.
Bangladesh fans did not give their team much chance after it was revealed that the wickets in the Asia Cup would assist pacers. Mistafizur, 20, who heads the pace attack, was not his self through the tournament, before bowing out with a side strain. Al-Amin and Taskin stepped up to fill the void.
“Youngsters have been behind this Bangladesh side’s success. The final though will be where they will be tested. That is when their maturity will come into the picture. India are the only batting line-up against whom they have faltered in this tournament. It will be interesting to see if they have learnt from their mistakes,” Imran said.