New Delhi: Hosts Bangladesh will look to provide immense test to their big rivals in the upcoming Asia Cup Twenty20 series starting from February 24.
The Mashrafe Mortaza-led side has been in some stupendous form at home in the ODIs which was seen in a stellar 2015 campaign. Now they need to shift that momentum into Twenty20 cricket.
Bangladesh's T20 journey hasn't gone the same distance as ODIs. Moreover, their last two T20I series were against Zimbabwe and both were drawn. Last season they had also lost to South Africa in the T20 series at home.
Bangladesh have defeated the likes of Pakistan and India last year in ODIs at home and that can serve as a confidence booster ahead of the crucial Asia Cup.
Most of the success of Bangladesh cricket has been credited to their fearless youngsters and they will be expected to go and step up further at home in front of packed crowds.
Bangladesh has seen a tremendous rise of their attitude and approach towards the game and the Asia Cup seeks more of their fireworks. Experienced campaigners Shakib Al Hasan alongside Mushfiqur Rahim and Mortaza will be the key figures in the side.
Youngster Mustafizur Rahman, who was a thorn for Mahendra Singh Dhoni's side in the ODI series loss last year, will be eyeing similar performances in the shortest format. The left-arm pacer was also bought by the Sunrisers Hyderabad for the upcoming Indian Premier League season in April.
The hosts are expected to give a tough fight to India, who go into the tourney as favourites. With Pakistan and Sri Lanka's unpredictability and inexperience, Bangladesh has the opportunity to rise up the ladder further with some vital performances.
The Asia Cup will be a perfect platform of intense cricket ahead of the crucial ICC World Twenty20 in India starting from March 8.
The hosts open their campaign against India on February 24.
Bangladesh Asia Cup squad: Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Shakib Al Hasan, Imrul Kayes, Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim, Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Al-Amin Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Arafat Sunny, Abu Hider, Nurul Hasan.