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Asia Cup 2023: 3 Key changes Bangladesh must do in 4th Match against Afghanistan to make comeback in tournament

Bangladesh started their Asia Cup campaign with a five-wicket loss versus Sri Lanka.

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Bangladesh . (Photo Source: Surjeet Yadav/Getty Images)

After a one-sided start to the Asia Cup 2023 competition, where Pakistan decimated Nepal, fans were hoping for the Bangladesh versus Sri Lanka encounter to be an intriguing affair. While the match was not as lopsided as the previous encounter, some indisciplined batting from Bangladesh helped Sri Lanka win with relative ease, barring a stutter at the beginning and towards the end.

Opting to bat first at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, the Tigers managed to struggle their way to 164, mainly on the back of a commendable 89-run knock off 122 balls from Najmul Hossain Shanto. Matheesha Pathirana starred with the ball, finishing with figures of 4/32 in 7.4 overs. Sri Lanka, in reply, lost their first three wickets for 43 before a 78-run partnership between Sadeera Samarawickrama and Charith Asalanka steadied the innings. From 121/3, the hosts lost two wickets for seven runs. Eventually, Asalanka and captain Dasun Shanaka helped Sri Lanka reach the target with 11 overs and five wickets to spare.

Bangladesh will have to win their match against Afghanistan on Sunday, September 3, to keep themselves afloat in the competition. A loss would mean that they will have to bow out of Asia Cup 2023, making the last group game between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan a dead rubber. Let's take a look at three changes that Bangladesh can make to get themselves a win in the do-or-die contest.

1. Bring Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim up the order

Young Tanzid Hasan opened the innings on his debut game and was dismissed for a duck against Sri Lanka. Bangladesh would need experienced players to step up under these circumstances. In the same light, Afif Hossain can be brought in place of Tanzid, and Najmul Hossain Shanto can open alongside Mohammad Naim.

This would allow Shakib Al Hasan to move to No. 3, where he has an average of 49.64, more than in any other batting position. Cricket lovers will remember how well the all-rounder played when he batted at No. 3 during the 2019 World Cup. In eight games, he scored 606 runs at an average of 86.57. Batting at No. 3 will allow the Southpaw to take control of the game and ease the pressure off the youngster coming lower down the order.

Mushfiqur Rahim can come up to No. 4. Shakib and Mushfiqur have formed many memorable partnerships for Bangladesh over the years and if they bat at consecutive numbers, it could bode well for the Tigers. The in-form Towhid Hridoy can bat at No. 5 with Afif and Mehidy Hasan Miraz to follow.

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