Dharamsala: With rain forcing ICC World T20 Group A into a two-team affair, Oman are determined to fight fire with fire as the amateur boys of the Sultanate will face ICC full-member and highly experienced Bangladesh for the first time here on Sunday.
“There will be no let up on our aggression,” warned Oman captain Sultan Ahmed on eve of the crucial make-or-break day.
Whatever happens Oman Cricket has delivered more than expectations on the world stage and if that stunner happens on Sunday, rain permitting, it will be icing on the cake over the historical debut win the other day.
In Group A, it is left to Bangladesh and Oman to fight it out for the lone spot available in Super 10 and the match promises to be a nail biter.
“We will have a game plan for Bangladesh and the danger man Tamim Iqbal,” said the Oman skipper.
Tamim indeed has been in terrific form since the Premier League in Bangladesh and also the Pakistan Super League in the UAE.
He continued with his form in the match against the Netherlands steering Bangladesh to victory almost single-handedly and also toasting on the Irish bowlers in whatever play was possible on the rain-hit Friday.
Another advantage for Oman will be the two bowlers — Taskin Ahmed and Arafat Sunny — who were reported for suspect bowling action.
Naturally there will be nerves behind the performance of Taskin and Arafat, which Oman will capitalise on.
However, Oman needs to be at their best if they want to realise the dreams of causing another shock in the ongoing World T20 tournament.
The need for tightening the obvious gaps in ground fielding holds foremost importance for Oman and coach Duleep Mendis had hinted at the boys put into strict regime.
The big hitters of Oman must also be cautious while facing the more experience bowling power of Mashrafe Mortaza-led Bangladesh.
For Mortaza, this World T20 will be his last international event as soon after the Asia Cup final he had hinted his desire to retire from the international stage.
After training indoors on Saturday, Duleep said that various options are being considered keeping in mind possible weather interruptions on Sunday.
The rain has been on and off on Saturday forcing teams to train indoors and Duleep confirmed that all the players are fit and raring to go.
On strategy planned for Bangladesh, Duleep Mendis said more than the opponents it is the weather that was more than a concern.
“We are planning various combinations keeping in mind reduced overs contest. As you saw we brought in Rajesh Ranpura for Jatinder Singh yesterday, we would like keep options open for the do-or-die match as well,” said the coach.
According to Duleep it means that he will bring in more big hitters, if the rain prospects are more. In that case Jatinder may have to sit out. Rajesh’s inclusion gives an all-round option for the captain as well.
But to know who will be in and who will be out one has to wait until few minutes before the match.
Duleep also mentioned that plans have been made to target some of the hard-hitters of Bangladesh, including the in-form Tamim Iqbal.
Oman Cricket official Pankaj Khimji, who has been completely with the team since qualification, said: “We are totally charged up and the boys are raring to unleash their magic on the Bangladesh team. We are battle ready, both physically and mentally.”
Meanwhile, ousted Ireland and the Netherlands will face-off in a dead rubber before the Oman-Bangladesh knock-out.
Respective captains William Porterfield and Peter Borren have been crying foul over the step-motherly treatment of associates and they would want to bow out with pride weather permitting.
Ireland definitely needs to guard their reputation of being the best outfit among the ICC associates while the Dutch wants to prove that their fair performance against Bangladesh is no fluke but fruit of the hard work they have done since qualifying for the World T20.