Hathurusinghe is disappointed by the absence of key players.

Chandika Hathurusinghe has been realistic about the composition of Bangladesh’s squad.

Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha admitted that they are missing the experience of two seasoned campaigners at the top of the ongoing Asia Cup, Tamim Iqbal and Liton Kumar Das, and that replacing them is a big challenge for any team.

Bangladesh’s veteran left-handed opener Tamim was unable to compete due to back problems, and Liton was replaced by Anamul Haque after failing to recover from a fever in time.

The experience of the duo- Tamim (241 ODIs) and Liton (72 ODIs)- was something the tourists sorely missed in their opening game against Sri Lanka, as the co-hosts humiliated them by five wickets thanks to the Tigers’ batting debacle.

Bangladesh chose to open with young Mohammad Naim and uncapped Tanzid Tamim, but they failed to fill the void left at the top, scoring 16 and 0 respectively, with the latter looking far from at ease during his brief stay at the wicket. Hathurusingha, on the other hand, chose not to complain about the current situation and instead backed his young side to face the challenges ahead.

“Losing that much experience at the top of the order is a big challenge for any team,” Hathurusingha said ahead of their game against Afghanistan.

“We can’t do anything when one of them is ill and the other is hurt.” We have no control over it. But we have a backup player over here. Certainly, they are talented, which is why they were chosen,” he said, adding that if the wicket and conditions change, they may go for different options, implying that changes at the top of the order may occur if team management believes so.

“We haven’t yet seen the wicket.” If the wicket conditions change, we will consider a different combination,” he said.

“Afghanistan has one of the best bowling attacks in the world, particularly in limited overs cricket.” “They have two world-class spinners and decent seamers,” Hathurusingha said.

“So it’s definitely a challenge, but we’ve recently played them and our players had some success.” Everything is dependent on how you perform on the day. “We are well aware of the challenge,” he stated.

“We are well aware of their threat, and we have recently played them in ODI and T20I as well,” he said, adding that he is confident of making a comeback in their do-or-die game.

“Because of what happened in the previous game against Sri Lanka, this game (against Afghanistan) is very important.” We understand that this is a must-win game. We certainly did not play to our full potential in the previous game, and we did not represent ourselves well enough. “However, we are confident that we will bring our ‘A game’ against Afghanistan,” he said.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan captain Hasmatullah Shahidi urged the middle-order batters to perform well in the Asia Cup, claiming that they are not consistently delivering and that this is impeding their progress as a batting unit.

“We have an excellent batting lineup.” In some recent series, our middle-order was not performing to the standards that our team management, coach, and I desired. “We discussed it in team meetings and worked on it as well,” Shahidi said.

“I don’t believe so (bowling is our main strength).” Our strength is our bowling, but our batting has also improved. As I previously stated, some of the newcomers to the team include Ibrahim, Gurbaz, and Rahmat. As a result, our batting is also strong,” he said.

“However, in the last two series, we collapsed in two games, and we discussed it in team meetings.” We will try not to repeat it,” he said, adding that the familiar situation will help their cause in Lahore.

“I believe our middle order will do well, and Lahore pitches are more similar to Afghanistan pitches, as we play domestic cricket on similar pitches.” So that will be beneficial to us. This is also a benefit to our team,” he concluded.