Bangladesh have now won 10 ODIs in a row after winning the 2nd ODI by six wickets © AFP
Bangladesh have now won 10 ODIs in a row after winning the 2nd ODI by six wickets © AFP

Bangladesh have now won 10 ODIs in a row at home, having beaten Zimbabwe, Pakistan, and India. They have won three successive ODI series in the process. In doing so, Shiamak Unwalla feels that they have shown tremendous depth in quality.

Bangladesh have been threatening to break free of the “minnows” tag for some time now. There have been brief flashes of brilliance enveloped by extended periods of mediocrity. Since ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, though, they have been a force to be reckoned with.

The story of their renaissance starts right at the top: Tamim Iqbal has graduated the class of unfulfilled promise, and is now knocking on the doors of Ivy League batsmanship. At the other end, Soumya Sarkar is shaping up to be an artist who can paint a vivid picture with his bat. Sunil Gavaskar had compared his strokeplay with that of Sourav Ganguly, and this comparison is not too far off. READ: Bangladesh clinch first-ever series win against India with six-wicket victory

Mahmudullah, the man who scored back-to-back centuries in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, was not even a part of the line-up against India, and Bangladesh still won! Once he returns, he will probably continue at the pivotal No. 3 position.

The top order is impressive enough. The middle order might actually be one of the most versatile in the game right now. Mushfiqur Rahim is the original pocket dynamite, and given that he keeps wickets as well, Bangladesh are allowed the luxury of playing an extra all-rounder. Following him is Shakib Al Hasan, by far the best cricketer Bangladesh have ever produced. READ: What is so special about Bangladesh?

Then come the young hard-hitting all-rounders. Nasir Hossain is nearly 50 ODIs old, and he has already become a mainstay in the batting line-up. He is capable of unfurling the big hits, but he can also be called upon to play a long hand. He is an ideal person to come in at No. 6 and play the role Bangladesh need him to.

Sabbir Rahman is still a fledgling in international cricket, but he has shown a lot of potential. He might not have the ability to play a long innings, but a quick 40 or 50 can be expected at any given time. He currently averages nearly 35 at a strike rate of well over 100. READ: Bangladesh qualify for ICC Champions Trophy 2017

Then there are the batsmen who are on the bench: Mominul Haque, Anamul Haque, Imrul Kayes, and Litton Das. They may not have the numbers to back it up, but their talent is unquestionable.

On the bowling front, Taskin Ahmed and Rubel Hossain lead the way. Both men are quick, have the ability to move the ball, and when on song can be destructive. Mashrafe Mortaza is on his last legs, but he is usually a consistent performer. And then there is the man who has taken 11 wickets in two games, Mustafizur Rahman. The spin attack is rich in talent, led by Arafat Sunny, Taijul Islam, and Shakib, and backed up by Mahmudullah, Sabbir, Nasir, and so many more.

This is no longer a team anyone can afford to take lightly. India and Pakistan have seen first-hand what they are capable of. The rest of the world will be in Bangladesh’s crosshairs, but their real challenge will be to perform consistently overseas as well.

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek who loves cricket more than cricketers. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)