Right-left hand opening combination no more a surprise now: Tamim Iqbal

Publish: 7:17 PM, May 11, 2019 | Update: 7:17:PM, May 11, 2019

DHAKA- Watching Soumya Sarkar open with Tamim Iqbal in the first match against West Indies in tri-series tournament was a bit surprise for the fans, especially when head coach Steve Rhodes made it clear that he personally chooses right and left hand opening combination in a bid to keep the opponents perplexed.

So everyone expected right-hander Liton Das to continue opening with Tamim Iqbal but it was not to be. Soumya Sarkar, a left-hand batsman like Tamim Iqbal replaced Liton at the top to partner Tamim to make it all left hand combination as team management shelved their traditional thinking.

Soumya has been in magnificent form, hitting two successive centuries in Dhaka Premier League (DPL), one of which was country’s maiden double ton in List A cricket, which basically forced the team management to go with left-left combination instead of right-left combination of Liton and Tamim.

Southpaw Soumya continued his brilliant form and made the national selectors proud as he paid it off with a truly magnificent 68 ball-73. He shared 144-run with Tamim Iqbal who made 80, to script the side’s facile eight-wicket victory over West Indies.

But in true sense, Soumya was seen to more comfortable than his illustrious colleague Tamim Iqbal in the crease. While Tamim was struggling to timing the ball, Soumya kept the scoreboard flowing with audacious shots and in doing so, he didn’t let the pressure of asking run rate grip the team.

Their match-winning partnership however made it true that the left-left hand opening combination also could become successful.

Soumya’s opener partner Tamim Iqbal even drew the example of Australian Mathew Hayden and Justin Langer, saying that the opening pair of two left-handers even can be world-class.

In their heydays, Hayden and Langer took the bowlers in disdain to make Australia a team to beat.

Having brought Langer and Hayden to the fore, Tamim said, the left-left opening combination was no more a surprise in world cricket and the matter is to be in form.

“I don’t think the left-left opening combination was a surprise in modern day cricket. We have seen Matthew Hayden Justin Langer, both of whom were left handers and they were immensely successful,” Tamim said.

“A team can plan many things. As a player we have to execute the plans. So it’s not a big matter for me whether it is left-left or right-left combination.”