Not many countries in the world host a world championship and then have to play qualifiers to participate in it. Bangladesh is exactly going to do that and the ardent Bangla supporter would be hoping for their team to qualify for the main event. However, questions will be lingering in their heads, what if their team does not? For starters they will have to defeat Afghanistan who have beaten them recently in the Asia Cup. The defeat must have psychologically dented the Bangladeshi players, but they have now a chance of quick redemption.
Playing at home should be a boon for them but Bangladeshi players appear restricted in their game more because of crowd pressure rather than their ability to perform. Will they manage to do it or will they fall short and disappoint 150 million Bangladeshis?
Bangladesh has a decent batting unit for a T20 game but their major problem over the years has been their inability to perform consistently day in and day out. Playing at home, in front of vocal supporters they would be hoping that they will not be dogged by the inconsistent performances. They would want a repeat of 2013 Asia Cup performances, where they managed to play superbly and defeat India and Sri Lanka.
The return of TamimIqbal back from injury to the top of the order will be a welcome relief for the team. Tamim is experienced and is capable of giving the team quick fire starts. How he plays after coming back from the injury lay off will be something of a worry for the team. His partner at the other end would be AnamulHaque who has recently shown in Asia Cup that he is a good young player with a decent technique at the top of the order, who can clear the ropes when he wants. Bangladesh has always lacked a good number 3 players who can control the game. In the shortened version, it is ideal for the captain Mishfiqur Rahim to come at number 3 but he is way too conservative to make this move. Instead it will probably be Mominul or SabbirRahman.
At number four, their best player Shakib Al Hassan is expected to make an appearance followed by the skipper and young and talented NasirHossain.For Bangladesh to make big scoreds in the tournament their lower middle order needs to fire. Mahmadullah and SohagGazi will play the role of all-rounders followed by the bowlers who can bat a bit.
Bangladesh bowling will mainly depend on their spinners. With the slow and low wickets favoring their spin bowlers, they are expected to stack their bowling line up with spinners.
In AbdurRazaaq they have a quality spinner who has the know how of using different variations and bowl good lines. His form in the tournament will be key for their progress. In Shakib they have another quality left arm spinner. His experience as a T20 bowler playing in various leagues around the world makes him the bowler that Mushifiqur will heavily depend on throughout the tournament. The other spinners include SohagGazi who will probably open the bowling for the team in most of the games. His slow off spinners lend variety and options for the skipper. Mahmadullah is expected to offer another option with his tidy off spin bowling. The only problem that Bangladeshi bowling faces is unlike other countries they do not have a mystery bowler or bowlers who can bamboozle batsman by bowling doosras.
If the wicket is flat they will go for runs and teams will be trying to target the bangla spinners knowing very well that they are the only ones who can offer a threat. The fast bowling duties are expected to be shared between RubelHossain and the experienced MashrafeMortaza. Not much is expected of them apart from a couple of decent overs and some bonus wickets.
It is crucial for their cricket well being, that Bangladesh qualifies for the main event, else questions will once again be raised about their ability to play the big boys. To achieve this Bangladeshi players must forget all the past differences and play as a united team and as a team sensible enough to use the advantage of playing in their home conditions rather than fearing the pressure of playing at home.
Bangladesh Team: Mushfiqur Rahim (captain), Al-Amin Hossain, AnamulHaque, Farhad Reza, Mahmudullah, MashrafeMortaza, MominulHaque, NasirHossain, AbdurRazzak, RubelHossain, SabbirRahman, ShamsurRahman, Shakib Al Hasan, SohagGazi, TamimIqbal
SportzCosmos prediction: Bangladesh will qualify for the main event.