The Indian cricket will have the minimum of rest following the conclusion of the South African tour as the team will soon travel again to Sri Lanka for T20 tri-series featuring the Lankans and Bangladesh. All the matches will be played at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo including the final which is scheduled for 18th March. Speaking about the upcoming T20 tri-series, former cricketer turned commentator Sanjay Manjrekar believes that the tournament will offer Bangladesh the perfect opportunity to showcase their talent at the international stage.
Sanjay Manjrekar even went to label Bangladesh the second strongest team in the Nidahas Trophy 2018, after India.
“The Nidahas trophy gives Bangladesh another chance to show its wares to the biggest cricket viewership in the world – India. As the years have gone by, Bangladesh has slowly become a stronger force, this has a lot to do with the improving physical strength and fitness and of course self-confidence of their players,” said Manjrekar in his column for TOI.
The Bangladeshi team recently participated in the tri-series in Bangladesh involving Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. The home side were in superb form defeating both the other teams in the group stage before eventually losing out to Sri Lanka in the final. The number 7th ODI team in the world has been doing excellently well over the past two years and has constantly challenged the stronger nations in world cricket.
India will face a challenge in the Nidahas Trophy 2018 with Bangladesh
“It still has a long way to go to make a mark overseas, but then India too was no different in this regard. I see Bangladesh as the second strongest team in this triangular and in Shakib and Mustafizur, they have two world-class players and game changers and they aren’t the only ones, even Tamim Iqbal when in full flow can be quite special,” added Sanjay Manjrekar, who has played 37 tests and 74 ODI’s for India.
Speaking about the rise of Bangladeshi cricket, Sanjay Manjrekar said, “The rise of Bangladesh is such great news. Cricket is an extremely popular sport there, more popular than it is in India actually. Like it was in India a few years back, Bangladesh is currently a one-sport country. Bangladeshi players are big stars in their home land.”
Prior to the T20 tri-series, Sanjay Manjrekar is hoping to see Mashrafe Mortaza return to the T20 side and lead them once again. The 34-year-old fast bowler announced his retirement from the shortest format of the game last year but continues to lead the side in the 50-over format. Bangladesh cricket board president Nazmul Hasan has also expressed his desire to see the veteran return to the 20-over format that is if he decides to come out of retirement.
“Let’s hope that Mashrafe Mortaza returns to lead Bangladesh in T20s, he is an impressive tactician. Good leadership always plays a key role in an emerging team when it’s looking for world acclaim,” Manjrekar concluded in the end.