Bangladesh team management had Soumya Sarkar, who usually opens the innings or bats in the top order, bat at number seven in their last three-match ODI series against the West Indies at home in January this year.
It was the decision of the team management to make Soumya permanent at number seven to see him playing the role of a quick run-getter at the death with the upcoming 2023 World Cup in mind.
However, just a series later, Soumya’s role was reversed. The left-hander, who had scored just seven off eight deliveries during the one chance that he got as a number seven batsman in Tigers’ three-match ODI series against the Windies, batted at number three in the first ODI against the New Zealand at University Oval in Dunedin today. Soumya failed to even open his account today as Bangladesh were bundled out for just 131 and suffered a heavy eight-wicket defeat at the hands of the hosts.
And Bangladesh ODI skipper Tamim explained the reason behind the sudden change in Soumya’s batting position.
“Yes, we did say that we are considering Soumya [Sarkar] to bat at number 7. If you look at our team combination today, you can see that we did not have a sixth bowler. [Mahmudullah] Riyad bhai can not bowl due to his back injury. He might not be able to bowl the entire series for this issue. So, in that case, Soumya was our only option as the sixth bowler.
“And Soumya was the well-suited number three batsman considering the team combination that we played today. Also as he previously played at number three and also has experience playing New Zealand, we had to make him bat at three. Secondly, if anyone played badly from the regular five bowlers that we played, then we had to rely on a sixth bowler and Soumya was our only available number six bowler,” explained Tamim in a video message to the BCB today.
Soumya replaced Najmul Hossain Shanto at number three after the latter was dropped from the side following his scores of 1, 17 and 20 in the last ODI series against the West Indies at home.
The team management had also said that they would like to see Shanto grow as a number three batsman keeping in mind the 2023 World Cup. However, the team management dropped the left-hander from the squad just after playing him at number three in one series.