If I dont play well I will be dropped too! - Mehidy Hasan


Mehidy Hasan has continued to be a vital cog of Bangladesh's white-ball side.

Bangladesh all-rounder Mehidy Hasan reacted sportingly to the selection committee's decision to axe Litton Das for the final game of the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka. Last month, the new selection panel took charge for the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and this decision easily ranks amongst the boldest calls taken in the country's recent past.

Litton endured a lukewarm 2023 in ODIs with just five fifties from 28 innings at an average of 26.04 and his two innings in 2024 have both been ducks. For the record, the 29-year-old's last ODI hundred came back in February 2022. When asked about the opener's axing for the final ODI, Mehidy was brutally honest in his assessment of the development. He stressed on the importance of consistency in performance and feels that the new selection committee may be ruthless in their evaluation of players' performances.

"Litton da has played a lot of good innings. There are several memorable innings. I don't think his being dropped is that much of an issue. I believe he can come back. He has that ability. We know what kind of player Litton is. He has been dropped, it's nothing much. Maybe he is in a bit of off-form. I believe he will return to the Bangladesh team," said Mehidy while interacting with the press on the eve of the series decider.

"You have to play in the national team by performing consistently. If I don't play well, I will be dropped too. The national team is a place where you have to establish yourself through performances. Look, Mushfiq [Mushfiqur Rahim] bhai is here after providing the Bangladesh team with consistent services for a long time. There is Riyad [Mahmudullah] bhai, who is still playing. Everyone has their ups and downs. I feel that it's important to stay in the team by performing. You cannot get in the team by playing poorly. This is true for every player."

In February this year, Gazi Ashraf Hossain, Bangladesh's newly appointed convenor of selectors, had expressed his wish to get a free hand in selection matters. In the past, selection matters in Bangladesh cricket have often been influenced by outside noise, be it political or bureaucratic. Hossain, known for his outspoken mentality, had confirmed during the time of his appointment that he had been promised to get full power while being in charge of the selection panel.

Mehidy, however, doesn't feel that the Litton episode is a negative statement from the selectors. "Look, every selection panel has a thought process. If you ask me, I can't talk about that because this is their thinking. I don't talk too much with them. I think the team management, coach, or captain will be able to say it better.

"Everyone has their own thought processes. It's just that all the players need to perform. If you can't perform, you can't play anywhere in the world, let alone the national team. You have to play by performing consistently. I think each player needs to get even more serious about performances. They need to work on those areas that need improvement."

Both the games in the ODI series have been moderately high-scoring games with the team chasing getting across the line comfortably. The presence of heavy dew in the evenings has made the toss a crucial factor although the series decider will not have that problem with it being a day game.

Dwelling on the pitches in Chattogram, Mehidy felt that such true wickets would help Bangladesh to improve as a white-ball side across all departments. Chattogram has generally been known to produce run fests but the ongoing series has also seen some help in it for the bowlers, notably the pacers.

"It's a good thing that we are playing on good wickets. It's an advantage for us. We always look for results whether we are winning or losing. When we go to big tournaments, we play on true wickets. On those wickets, there are challenges for spinners and pacers, our habits get better (playing in these kinds of wickets).

"We will have to try to defend 300 and chase down more than 300 runs (on this kind of wicket) and then we can get results at big tournaments like the World Cup and Asia Cup because we all know of our past experiences."

In the early stages of their rise as a white-ball side, Bangladesh were known to prepare spin-friendly pitches at home so that their slow bowlers and pacers who vary their pace could come into the game a lot. In the years gone by, surfaces have increasingly gotten sporting with grassy decks no longer a surprise in the country. As a result, the country's pace-bowling department has seen a spike and it's also helped the batters in improving their strokeplay. Chattogram's flexibility in surfaces is yet another step in that direction and Mehidy is pleased about it.

"I think this is the ideal wicket, playing matches on these wickets. If we can make it a habit - batters scoring big and bowlers defending, then we will succeed in big tournaments in the future.

"Look, we lost the last game. Considering it's a day match, of course there will be some advantage for us. Because day-night matches depend a lot on the toss. The team that wins the toss, gets the bigger advantage. Wickets at night are a bit challenging for the spinners. The Sri Lankan spinners did not get much help in the first game either. They had good bowlers but they didn't get much help. It was difficult for us (spinners).

"On good wickets, it's important for batters who get a start to play long innings, which is something that [Najmul Hossain] Shanto and Mushfiq bhai did in the first game. Towhid Hridoy did the same in the second game but we couldn't support him. Riyad bhai, in the first game when we lost early wickets, he implemented his game plan of attacking, which eased things for us."