Batting has always been a worrying aspect for Nepal. We have seen Nepal losing many matches from winning positions due to the unstable batting performance.
Nepalese Men’s Cricket team are in the USA for CWC League 2 fixtures against the host USA and Oman. And, without a doubt, Nepal’s batting department is a worrying factor.
After landing in the United States, Nepal played two practice matches against Nepali All-Stars and Houston Hurricanes on the 2nd and 4th of June, respectively, and as expected, batting performance was a concern. Nepalese Team were bowled out for just 190 against Nepali All-Stars before being wrapped up for 250 in the second practice match against Houston Hurricanes.
Only Rohit Paudel and Aarif Sheikh were appreciable for their batting performance in the warm-up matches. There is no doubt in the fact that Dipendra Singh Airee and Aarif Sheikh need to deliver big along with the newly appointed vice-captain, Rohit Paudel who is in top form after his comeback to the national team.
Nepal’s two regular openers Asif Sheikh and Kushal Bhurtel picking up an injury in the practice matches have added salt to the wound. As both Bhurtel and Sheikh are doubtful to start (Kushal for the first match and Aasif for the rest of the series), Wicket Keeper and opening batsman Subash Khakurel was called to the USA as a cover player. Hence, Subash and Sunil Dhamala are most likely to open against Oman on Thursday.
Rohit who is on top run needs to step up and bat at 3 followed by Dipendra at 4, Aarif at 5, and Binod Bhandari at 6. Sompal and Karan Kc certainly will be two front-line pacers with Kishore Mahato being the third seam option. Skipper Lamichhane and Sagar Dhakal are two most probable spin options. Or, Nepal might drop Mahato or Sagar to Play Dev Khanal to make the batting lineup more rigid. If so, Dipendra will have much more to do with the ball along with Aarif who fulfills the part-timer’s job. Likewise, we might see some changes in the batting lineup as Dev bats at number 3.
This is the third Tri-series between Nepal, USA, and Oman under League 2 fixtures as a couple have already been played in Kathmandu and Al Amret.
Nepal’s record against Oman in League 2 is not satisfactory as they have grabbed a victory just once in 4 encounters. However, the USA are beaten thrice in 4 matches. Nepal will seek more wins in this series to improve their position at the table as they have more tough fixtures to come. But the big question mark is Nepal’s fragile batting, especially in the away matches.
Currently, Nepal are on second from the bottom in the points table, with 12 points from an equal number of matches. Some dreadful batting displays have cost a few important points for Nepal in the tournament. Having a chance to stun the UAE in both matches in March, Nepal failed to capitalize following a huge batting collapse and the same old problem might haunt Nepal again.
Image Credit: CAN