Tamim Iqbal has played 182 ODIs for Bangladesh and is Bangladesh’s all-time leading run-getter in ODIs with 6205 runs.
Tamim Iqbal has played 182 ODIs for Bangladesh and is Bangladesh’s all-time leading run-getter in ODIs with 6205 runs.

Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal reckons that the 23-year-old Liton Das could be his opening partner for the 2018 Asia Cup. Bangladesh start their campaign with the tournament opener against Sri Lanka at the Dubai international Stadium, Dubai on Saturday.

Bangladesh dropped opener Anamul Haque from their Asia Cup squad after the the 25-year-old could only manage 10,23,0 in the three ODIs against West Indies in July this year.

Das, who last played for Bangladesh in 2017, has been included in the squad alongside another opener in Mohammad Mithun, but Tamim hinted Das could get the nod ahead of Mithun.

“Liton has been there (playing for Bangladesh) for a while,” said Tamim,adding, “He has been opening for us in Tests and in T20Is and has been batting quite well. If the team management decide to open with him, it won’t be a surprise.”

This will be the first time that the Bangladesh team will be playing in the UAE and even though Tamim says they don’t know what to expect in terms of pitches, he is banking on his experience of playing in the Pakistan Premier League in the UAE.

“We have not seen the wickets, but I have played here before in PSL and the wickets can be sometimes be a good for good batting, sometimes it is helpful for the spinners, so we need to see what kind of wicket we get, but playing in Dubai will be exciting.”

Bangladesh open their campaign against Sri Lanka, with Bangladesh ranked higher than the Islanders and Tamim reckons they know the Sri Lankan side inside out.

“Our ex-head coach (Chandrika Hathurasinghe) was from Sri Lanka and we have played them a lot recently, so we know them inside out. But it depends on the day, whichever team who ticks most boxes will have the chance to win.”

Apart from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh will face Afghanistan in Group B and the opener felt the first two games will be the most crucial for the side and making it to the Super 4s is their priority.

“First two games are very important to go to the next round. But thinking too ahead is not going to work, we have to take it match by match,” added the veteran, who has played 182 ODIs for Bangladesh and is Bangladesh’s all-time leading run-getter in ODIs with 6205 runs.