Bangladesh captain Tamim to assess fitness in ODI series opener against Afghanistan

CHATTOGRAM, Bangladesh (AP) — Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal wants to assess his fitness by playing the opening game of the three-match one-day international series against Afghanistan.

Tamim was ruled out of the one-off test against Afghanistan last month, which Bangladesh won a record 546-run margin, due to a lower back issue.

The injury resurfaced during a practice session but he has decided to lead the side in Wednesday’s first match to determine its extent.

“I am in a better state and better frame of mind than before but I won’t say I am at hundred percent,” Tamim said. “After the game, I will be able to assess my situation.

“Until now the decision is that I am playing tomorrow’s game. I need to see how much I am able to cope and how much I can’t. I won’t do something for which the team suffers. I always believe team comes before any individual.”

Every series is crucial as Bangladesh prepares for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup. It will also play the Asia Cup and a three-match ODI series at home before the World Cup starts in October.

“During the game if I feel that I am not ready and it can be too risky then I, along with the medical department, will take a decision,” Tamim added.

Although Bangladesh haven’t announced its vice-captain, Liton Das led the side to a 2-1 home victory over India last year when Tamim was injured. He also captained the side during the test against Afghanistan.

Tamim feels a number of people can fill the role.

“I am sure there is lot of cricketers in our team who are capable of leading the side in my absence. I don’t think it’s a big deal.”

He is expecting a tough fight from Afghanistan despite winning the test match with ease.

“They are one of the best bowling units in white-ball format and Rashid Khan is back so I am expecting it to be challenging and it won’t be a cake-walk like the test,” he said.

Afghanistan won 11 out of 15 matches in the ICC ODI Super League and is brimming with confidence.

Captain Hashmatullah Shahidi believes Rashid Khan could give them the edge in the ODI series.

“Of course, he (Rashid) is a big man for us. When he is with us, as a captain, I feel very confident,” Shahidi said.

“It’s a positive sign for us. He didn’t play the test for us but now he is available in the ODI series. And I know he will do good for us.”

“The test game gave us a lot of lessons. So we are well prepared now. We don’t know what is going to happen. We have prepared for everything.”


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