Bangladesh may not be hot favourites to lift the trophy on June 18, but the days of them being easy pushovers are history. Currently ranked sixth above both Pakistan and Windies the ICC ODI rankings, the tigers are a very talented side comprising of experience batsmen, exciting fast bowlers and reliable spin attack.
Their preparation for this tourney has also been ideal. Bangladesh have been preparing hard for the past one month in Ireland where they played a tri series featuring New Zealand and Ireland. Their increasing stature as a team was visible when they defeated a depleted New Zealand in that tri series.
In Shakib Bangladesh has got one of the best all-rounders in the modern game. Star batsmen like Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah along with young talents like Shabbir and Soumya Sarkar is a lookup of strong batting outfit.
In the bowling department, they have got Mustafizur Rahman, one of the most exciting young prospects in world cricket, whose ability to take wickets at regular intervals is unmatched.
Bangladesh will be hoping that others like young off spinner Mehdi Hasan and fast bowlers Taskin and Rubel Hossain can provide the needed support to Fizz for picking up those crucial wickets in the middle overs. Overall the team looks balanced and capable of toppling the big guns on their day.
What could go wrong?
Although Bangladesh have enough ammunition to win against top sides on occasions, but they don’t have the ability to repeat it consistently. Another major worry for them is their dismal fielding, Bangladesh dropped 4 catches against Pak in warmup, and their ground fielding on most occasions have been poor.
On flat ODI wickets if the tigers don’t manage to pick up early wickets, Bangladesh might find it very hard to stop the run flow and some huge scores can be scored against their weaker bowling line-up. Lack of world class explosive batsmen could also be a huge barrier for Bangladesh in posting big totals.
Mustafizur Rahman is an x-factor player for Bangladesh. He has battled through injury in the past year but his supreme death bowling ability and wicket taking knack makes him a player to watch out for in this tournament. If he can adapt in English conditions and get back to his best, fizz will be quite a handful and pivotal in winning matches for them.
Bangladesh is an improved side but will lack the firepower to defeat big guns consistently in foreign conditions. Tigers might take down of the big three in their group, which includes New Zealand, England, and Australia, but will eventually not make out of the group stage.
Watch out for:
The No. 1 Test all-rounder.
The No. 1 ODI all-rounder.
The No. 1 T20I all-rounder.
SQUAD: Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Tamim Iqbal, Somya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mushfqur Rahim (wk), Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rahman, Mosaddek Hossain, Mehdi Hasan, Sunzamul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Rubel Hossain, Shafiul Islam
June 1 v England, The Oval
June 5 v Australia, The Oval
June 9 v New Zealand, Cardiff