Despite playing international cricket for more than a decade, Bangladesh, as a cricketing nation is yet to mature. There have been times when they defeated big teams like India, Pakistan, Australia, South Africa. But those have been sporadic. They have never been consistent, never clinched any coveted trophy. They have always threatened but never been able to establish themselves among the top teams. Their talents have flattered to deceive when it was time for a knock-out punch. If they perform to their potential, they can be a big threat to the big teams in the slow and low Sri Lankan turfs.
Strength: Bangladesh should be lucky to have a world class performer like Shakib Al Hasan in the side. Shakib is the only one in the Bangladeshi side who can get a berth in any of the top sides in the world. Shakib the bowler takes wickets, contains runs. Shakib the batsman scores runs. He can be free-flowing as well as play gritty knocks according to the demands.
Apart from him, the team has an explosive opener in Tamim Iqbal. Iqbal, like Sehwag, can tear apart any bowling attack of the world. In the past he has proved to be a very dangerous customer for the opposition camps, It’s his innings that helped Bangladesh beat India in the 2007 World Cup, a loss which ultimately ousted them from the event. If Tamim remains in-form, Bangladesh can upset any opposition in the world. Among the lower order batsmen Nasir Hossain, Mahmudullah can play cameos.
Another aspect that can go Bangladesh’s way is their spin department which is very much disciplined. On the slow pitches it’s very difficult to break free against left-arm spinners like Shakib, Abdur Razzak and Elias Sunny. The part time off-spinners-Nasir Hossain, Mahmudullah also bowls a tight line and length which makes run scoring a difficult prospositions in the middle overs.
Weakness: Pace bowling and mediocre batting are Bangladesh’s biggest worries. Though there is Mashrafe Mortaza to lead the pace bowling attack but you can’t rely on him as he is very injury prone. Right-arm pacers Shafiul Islam and Ziaur Rahman are not the kind of bowlers who would turn a match on its head. Bangladesh always rely on spinners for all the breakthroughs which make their attack very much insipid and helps the opponent batsmen come to terms with the pace of the ball and settle down easily.
Like their pace attack, Bangladesh’s worry is their fragile batting. Apart from Tamim and Shakib Bangladesh batsmen don’t have the patience and tenacity to build an innings and they tend to succumb easily under pressure. Middle-order batsman Jahurul Islam, top-order batsman Junaid Siddique and ever talented Mohammad Ashraful- are all capable of playing the match-winning knocks. But more often than not they flatter to deceive. Unless all their batsmen score runs consistently, Bangladesh would not spring a surprise in the World T20 in Sri Lanka.
Opportunity: If Bangladesh want to establish themselves one of the top cricketing nations in the coming days, this is the perfect place for them to start off, for T20 is the best format for a small nation to come of age. Since Sri Lankan conditions will be similar to what they get back home, it’s a home away from home situation for the Bangladeshi team. With the kind of spinners they have in their teams, Bangladesh can pose serious threats to the teams like South Africa, England, Australia and New Zealand. If they play to their potential, Bangladesh can be one of the semi-finalists in the World T20.
Threats: Inconsistency is Bangladesh’s biggest hurdle. They have to guard against inconsistency if they have to come good in the tournament. Bangladesh can beat any team but the problem is whether they can beat the top teams in the consistent basis. Other thing that will haunt them is there poor records in the ICC tournaments.
Players to watch out for: Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Ashraful, Nasir Hossain
Mushfiqur Rahim (capt), Mahmudullah, Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Ashraful, Junaid Siddique, Jahurul Islam, Shakib Al Hasan, Nasir Hossain, Ziaur Rahman, Elias Sunny, Abdur Razzak, Mashrafe Mortaza, Shafiul Islam, Farhad Reza, Abul Hasan