Litton breaks out of his shell and guides Bangladesh

Nov 4, 2022

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This season, the team has struggled on the power play, but in Adelaide, Litton stepped up and caused India some concern.

The run-out of Litton Das is a hot topic. It was a turning point in the game because Bangladesh lost both the initiative and their finest hitter. They were ultimately six runs shy of their 151 in 16 overs DLS-adjusted target. India is currently in the greatest position to get to the semifinals, with Bangladesh in danger of losing.

However, Litton’s 60 off 27 balls had taken the wind out of India’s sails in the opening seven overs and had kept them uneasy even as the rain began to fall. For the first time during this T20 World Cup, Litton had an innings like that, filled with exquisite strokes.

Above all things, Bangladesh had been waiting for a long time for such a knock. The team was grasping at thin ends because they had such little faith in the top order. The team administration frequently gave irate reactions to inquiries concerning the opening duo. Everyone was aware of the difficulties, but there was also the impression that someone simply had to play such a game. Without a strong knock from one of the key hitters, you cannot get it through two World Cups in two years.

The second-fastest fifty by a batsman from Bangladesh is Litton’s 21-ball total. With a 60+ score in T20Is, his strike rate of 222.22 is the second highest among Bangladeshi players. In the powerplay, Litton also became the second Bangladeshi to reach his fifty. In addition, he had the second-highest strike rate among batsmen who had seen at least 25 balls during a T20 World Cup innings, trailing only AB de Villiers.

In the opening over from Arshdeep Singh, Litton hit three fours, navigating the gaps at point, mid-on, and cover, respectively. In the following over, he drove Bhuvneshwar Kumar down the pitch before dabbing him through slip and short third-man for a six over deep square-leg. A duel against Mohammed Shami was followed by another six off Bhuvneshwar. Before smashing him into extra cover, he banged two pulls off him that went for a four and a six, speeding to his half-century. Litton finished the powerplay with seven fours and three sixes.

Litton has historically given Bangladesh such quick starts in 20-over matches, most notably in 2018, when it appeared as though he was finally breaking out of his shell. He finally played a crucial knock during the T20 World Cup after a lengthy wait.

Shakib Al Hasan, the captain of Bangladesh, stated that they never questioned Litton’s abilities and that his confidence from Tests and ODIs has finally transferred to his T20I hitting.

For Bangladesh’s final group-stage match against Pakistan in Adelaide the following week, Litton’s knock is anticipated to not only widen his fielding options but also strengthen the top order. Recently, the team has not gotten off to a strong start from the top order.

In T20Is, top-order batsmen should attack more frequently, but Bangladesh has suffered so badly in the powerplay that their run rate (7.23) during this phase is among the worst half of all teams who have played at least 15 innings this year. This is partially attributable to Bangladesh’s lack of consistency, who have utilized as many as 10 different opening pairings in 20 games this season.

Despite being a skilled opener himself, Litton was positioned at No. 3 as a backup for the openers. Seven top-level attempts at Litton with four different partners failed for Bangladesh. The team management then tried to protect Litton by pushing him down to No.3, but that did not work for him.

Now, Litton is Bangladesh’s leading scorer across all three competitions this year. His opening partnership with Tamim Iqbal in ODIs is one of that team’s strengths. He was a consistent run scorer in the middle order for the Test team.

In the T20Is hosted at home, where the series against Australia and New Zealand were played on blazing turners, Litton, who was also a prolific scorer last year, struggled to find the back of the net. The selectors dropped Litton for the ensuing series against Pakistan because of his troubles carrying over to the UAE’s 2021 T20 World Cup.

That decline now appears to have occurred years ago. Since his lackluster rookie season in 2015, Litton’s teammates have never had any doubts about him. He will now give them a lot of confidence during one of their worst batting seasons.

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