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‘Saifuddin could replace Mash’
Mohammad Saifuddin being recalled into the ODI side by the selectors did raise a few eyebrows after he was overlooked for the tour of West Indies and the recently concluded Asia Cup. He last played for the ODI squad at the start of the year during the tri-nation series at home involving Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka.
Captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza has recovered well after an injury during the Asia Cup. He bore down the pitch at a full run-up and bowled at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium during Tigers’ practice session today which was a good sign. TigersÕ will be hoping that their skipper can maintain fitness for the Zimbabwe series but did not want to face a situation where they did not have a replacement player in case of an injury. Rhodes said that Saifuddin could be that replacement.
"We think Saifuddin is a very good allrounder. He has the ability to perform at the highest level. He has had a taste, been out of the national team and has now come back again, Rhodes said.
It would be impossible to replace someone of Mashrafe’s stature given his strategic input and leadership. But with the World Cup just eight months away, Tigers would be foolhardy not to think of possible players who can take Mashrafe’s place in case of a crisis.
Mash does a fantastic job for this country in the way he captains, the way he bowls, the way he throws himself around in the field. He had his injury issues. If Mash did pick up an injury, the type of player to replace him is somebody like Saifuddin. We need to think about that while going forward. Hence the reason for bringing him into the squad, the Tigers’ coach reiterated.
The coach reiterated that Saifuddin could be the replacement and was pleased with his approach so far.
Saifuddin could be that replacement. The ball will be in his court if he gets the opportunity. I don’t know if he will do it but am pleased with his approach, his attitude and he looks a little bit stronger and more mature, Rhodes concluded.