Steve Rhodes, the Bangladesh head coach, said that the team’s tri-series success in Ireland proved that there is more to them than just their “big five” players.
Bangladesh achieved their first victory in a multi-nation tournament with a five-wicket win over West Indies in the final – a match in which they were without their talismanic all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan. A side strain had kept out Shakib, while the other seniors Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah played secondary roles in the run chase. Soumya Sarkar top-scored with 66, while a brutal, unbeaten half-century from 23-year-old Mosaddek Hossain took his side over the line, giving Rhodes plenty of encouragement ahead of the World Cup.
“There have been two or three guys who have played special innings,” he said. “If you think of Mosaddek, for example, he is a guy now who is going to keep everybody on their toes. That’s the depth of the squad and he might not play, and if he doesn’t, then what a great position we have. It gives us the confidence that we can win some big games as well.
“That means Bangladesh are stronger within the squad, and that’s what we want as we want more depth, and if we get that depth, then people will stop talking about the big five.”
Soumya returned to form with three half-centuries in three games during the tri-series, following a lean patch in New Zealand in February, when three innings yielded a combined 52 runs.
The left-hander has since scored big in Bangladesh’s domestic one-day competition, and Rhodes said: “He has been a revelation since he hit that hundred and double-hundred in the DPL [Dhaka Premier League, Bangladesh’s premier List A competition], but he also gets some rough days from people.
“So it’s just nice to see him carrying on that form, and I hope people would get off his back a little bit because he is a wonderful player. We support him and back him. But not everyone always does that.”