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by Saksham Mishra & Cricket World Saturday 18 May 2019
There has been a misconception that Bangladesh have dished out underwhelming performances in big matches and are still lagging behind in terms of talent as compared to international standards. One may not realise but in each of its last three high-stake tournaments, the team has been successful in creating an impact.
Bangladesh reached the quarter-final of the 2015 World Cup and then went on to play the semi-final of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy. In the 2018 Asia Cup as well, Bangladesh not only did qualify for the final but almost won the trophy, only to be beaten by India on the last ball.
Bangladesh would look to better their record of the 2015 World Cup when they qualified to the quarter-final. That format being junked, Bangladesh do stand a chance of making it to the semifinals. It is certainly not going to be an easy task but with the riches that they possess, the team is capable of beating anyone on their day.
Open Tamim Iqbal is one of the biggest weapons that Bangladesh have. The left-hander plays his shots effortlessly and is more than capable of getting off the team to a destructive start. He has helped Bangladesh to get off the blocks quickly several times over the years and now has the experience, alongside his talent, to really make a difference.
Similarly, middle-order batsman Mushfiqur Rahim has been around the international circuit for the longest time and has only improved with the years gone by. He is not only an impeccable wicketkeeper but is very versatile. The pint sized dynamo can up the scoring rate and also play the role of an anchor as and when required.
The Bangladesh cricket board has entrusted the captaincy with Mashrafe Mortaza for the World Cup despite initially harbouring some thoughts of affecting a change. Mortaza has got the best out of the team in the recent years. On an individual level, after going through multiple surgeries, it is his will and the passion to achieve something for the nation that has kept him going. In crunch situations, the cricketing nous of Mortaza and his captaincy experience can prove to be the circuit breaker.
Bangladesh have included Liton Das in their 15-member World Cup squad despite his dismal run of form. After 27 matches, Das averages less than 20 and struggled in the the recent ODI series against New Zealand, failing to even reach double figures. It is understandable that the management has gone with him as a backup wicketkeeper but with the likes of experienced Imrul Kayes waiting in the wings, this can be a decision which can come back to haunt the team.
Although Bangladesh have pretty much picked the players to fill in their respective roles, the team does lack an x-factor, a player who can help them win a game out of nowhere. Most of their players are quite compact and confident in their ability but do not have an air of formidability about them. This can sometimes leads to predictability.
Mustafizur Rahman shot to international fame almost instantly after making a dream ODI debut against India, where he picked up a fifer and then got picked in the Indian Premier League.
However, after combating a shoulder surgery and other injuries thereafter, his effectiveness took a beating and his stocks have since fallen. He has recently returned to cricket after an ankle injury. He showed signs of returning to his best in the Ireland tri-series. If the pacer gets back into his rhythm, he has the potential to single-handedly win games for the side with the variations he possesses.
Mohammad Saifuddin and Mehidy Hasan have received their maiden World Cup call-ups for their all round skills. Despite not many extraordinary performances the selectors have shown faith in Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman, Mosaddek Hossain and Mohammad Mithun, all of whom will have a great opportunity to repay the faith shown in them. Mosaddek has been picked as he offers the option of off-break as well.
"Mossadek did well in (recent) domestic tournaments. We want an all-rounder who can bowl off-spin. Mahmudullah has a shoulder injury, so he may not bowl over there (in the World Cup). As a back-up spin all-rounder, we included Mossadek," chief selector, Minhajul Abedin, said.
The Tigers have a long list of players who are either a part of there 15-member provisional World Cup squad or are in contention to push for those spots. Abu Jayed seems to have overtaken Taskin Ahmed, who missed the New Zealand tour with a ligament injury, in the pecking order. Mustafizur Rahman is fresh off an ankle sprain. Mahmudullah Riyad recently sustained a shoulder injury.
The linchpin of the team with both bat and ball, Shakib al Hasan is just coming off a severe finger injury. Rubel Hossain has picked up a side strain. Skipper Mashrafe Mortaza has being playing through injuries for almost four-five years now. If existing injuries of the some of these players resurface during the World Cup, which is only natural, Bangladesh may find themselves in a spot of bother.
Squad: Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim(wk), Shakib Al Hasan (vc), Soumya Sarkar, Liton Das, Sabbir Rahman, Mehidy Hasan, Mohammad Mithun, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mosaddek Hossain, Abu Jayed
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