BPL 2013: Team Preview – Barisal Burners

Genio Pazzo January 11, 2013
BPL 2013: Team Preview – Barisal Burners

BPL 2012:

The black and red outfit made it to the final of the inaugural Bangladesh Premier League before failing to conquer Dhaka and hence had to settle for the runners up position. It was their batting prowess that took them all the way, as the devastating opening duo of Ahmed Shehzad and the mighty Chris Gayle took it upon themselves to bat the opposition out of the game on most occasions. The latter played just 5 games, ending with an average of 97.0, while Shehzad was one of the most consistent batsmen in the tournament ending up with the most runs (487). Along with the experienced Brad Hodge, they gave the likes of Al-Amin, Shane Harewood and Showrawardi, a bulky total to defend on more times than one.

Team for BPL 2013:

Australia Brad Hodge (Captain)
Bangladesh Shuvagata Hom
Bangladesh Iftekhar Nayem
Bangladesh Jubair Ahmed

All Rounders
Bangladesh Alok Kapali
Pakistan Azhar Mahmood
Pakistan Hammad Azam
Bangladesh Sabbir Rahman

Wicket Keepers
Pakistan Kamran Akmal
England Phil Mustard

Pakistan Saeed Ajmal
Trinidad and Tobago Sunil Narine
Bangladesh Elias Sunny
Pakistan Umar Gul
Bangladesh Shafiul Islam
England Kabir Ali
Bangladesh Al Amin
Bangladesh Alauddin Babu
Bangladesh Nazmul Islam Apu

Team Analysis:

The owners, Alif Group, have managed to put together a well balanced side, certainly more intimidating on paper than last time around. They may not have the Gayle force this time, the Carribean batsman opting not to take part in this year’s event, but the batting line up is still decent with their captain Brad Hodge being an ideal foil for the more attacking Kamran Akmal, Alok Kapali and Azhar Mahmood. Azhar had a brilliant first season with Dhaka, contributing with both bat and ball, and he will be looking to kick start from where he left off. Phil Mustard will take up the keeping responsibilities, once Akmal leaves to serve International duty, and the Englishman would also like to make full use of his experience in this form of the game, and fill in the boots of Shehzad who did ever so well for Barisal last time around. The local lads Sabbir and Shuvogota are promising talents coming up the ranks and they will have to do their bit when given the opportunity.

However, it is the bowling line up that is more threatening for the opposition, though they won’t enjoy the services of Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul and Sunil Narine for the whole tournament, but this bowling trio is sure to put shivers down the spine of any batting lineup. They will, however, have the service of the left arm spinner Elias Sunny for the whole stretch of the tournament. Sunny was the leading wicket taker in the first season of the BPL and he would have to team up with his compatriot Shafiul Islam to fill in for the International absentees. Shafiul will have to lead the young pace lineup, and for the likes of Al Amin, Babu and Apu, this might be the launching platform.

Players to watch out for:

Azhar Mahmood: He plays everywhere, doesn’t he? Where ever you have a T20 competition going on, Azhar is delivers the goods for you. A T20 specialist, he is accurate with his medium pace bowling and can also pace the innings well with the bat, as well as give it the kitchen sink cometh the hour. He is the one the coach can depend on to be consistent with his performance and also share his experience with the young ones in the dressing room.

Brad Hodge
: A lot lies on the shoulders of this Australian, as he will have to lead the side well in the field as well as take the bulk of the responsibility when his team is batting. He will have to be the solid rock in the middle order around whom the rest will bat.

Alauddin Babu:
 A promising young bowling all-rounder, he can also do his bit with the bat in hand. He might find himself in the lower middle order given the responsibility to end the innings with some lusty blows. He has been impressive in the youth system for some time now, and this might be the ideal platform for him to catch the eyes of the many thousands watching worldwide.

With all been said, it will eventually come down to the mid-season recruits that might decide the fate of Barisal Burners. They will have to find suitable replacements when Gul, Ajmal and Narine won’t be available, and the ones coming in will have big shoes to fill. This might eventually decide whether Barisal can make it two-in-two and progress to the finals once again. Whatever happens, the entirety of Barisal will be cheering for Hodge and his army.

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