Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo has dropped a bombshell ahead of the three-match ODI series against the West Indies by revealing that Shakib Al Hasan will not be batting in the no 3 position.
The premier all-rounder in Bangladesh had been in the form of his life with the bat in the no 3 position during the 2019 World Cup.
But his subsequent yearlong ban from all forms of cricket imposed by the ICC had led to Najmul Hossain Shanto batting at that position.
"I have had discussions with players already. They know what their roles are. We haven't announced the final XI to the players. But they will know today what their particular position is going to be, before the media knows who will bat where," Domingo told the media on Monday.
"Obviously Shanto has been in really good form. It is great to have Shakib back. He had an unbelievable World Cup at No 3. At the moment I am probably thinking of having the experienced players of four, five and six being Shakib, Mushfiq and Riyad. It gives us good maturity and experience in the middle-order. We know playing in the sub-continent where the middle-order is so important," the head coach added.
There was speculation in the Bangladesh cricket fraternity about how the batting order would line up with Shakib back and Shanto also in the squad and Domingo further explained the reason behind batting Shanto at no 3.
"I just feel that there's a good young player in Shanto who is in really good touch at the moment. He played in the last series against Zimbabwe and we need to make sure that we develop some young batters. In the sub-continent, the top three is the best place to develop young batsmen," he said.
"Shakib hasn't played international cricket in a while so batting at No 4 would give him the breathing space coming back into the side. We know he is a world-class player. This batting line-up is not set in stone. There's a long way to go for the World Cup. We need to look at various options before we settle on a batting line-up," he concluded.
Bangladesh are set to play West Indies in the first ODI on January 20 at the Sher-e-Bangla National stadium in Mirpur.