Shakib’s concern arises from the limited depth of the squad, which cannot afford injuries, especially with the World Cup on the horizon. He recognises that preserving the fitness of key players is crucial for Bangladesh’s chances in the tournament.
Sri Lanka’s recent ODI victory against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup Super Four, with standout performances from Maheesh Theekshana and captain Dasun Shanaka, highlighted the importance of having a strong and healthy squad.
Following the series against New Zealand, Bangladesh is scheduled to play two warm-up matches on September 29 and October 2 against Sri Lanka and England, respectively.
Shakib believes that the series against New Zealand will also serve as an opportunity to assess the team’s bench strength, given the significant travel involved during the World Cup.
As of now, Bangladesh have not yet announced its final World Cup squad, but the management is clearly focused on preparing the team as effectively as possible for the upcoming tournament.
“We will try a few things in the three ODIs against New Zealand,” Shakib said as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
“If we can get one or two players from there who can fit into the team [later], it will be better for the team. Everyone has a chance [to play]. I personally believe that those who played in the Asia Cup could be rested from the New Zealand series, especially those who are confirmed for the World Cup.
“We cannot afford injuries in that big tournament which involves practice matches and lots of travel. We do not have a lot of bench strength. It is very important for us that players are fit and healthy for the World Cup. I want all four of our fast bowlers to remain fit, now that Ebadot [Hossain] is out,” he added.
New Zealand has also picked up a largely second-string side. Senior players have been given a break before the World Cup.
(With ANI inputs)