Bangladesh have to raise their game to do well in ICC World T20 2014 © Getty Images
Bangladesh have to raise their game to do well in ICC World T20 2014 © AFP

 

Bangladesh have a lot of pressure to deal as hosts of the tournament and have to deliver the results. Abhijit Banare analyses strength and weaknesses of the Bangladesh squad for ICC World T20 2014.

 

When expectations exceed more than the skills to match it, there’s only one result in the offing — crash of hope. India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan have all gone through this phase in the past and it’s now time for Bangladesh to bear the brunt of it. Few years down the line, this ICC World T20 2014 may not really haunt them, but Mushfiqur Rahim would be thinking of nothing other than living up to the expectations. A country hosting marquee tournaments is always tagged as favourites; a recent example being that of India and mostly the hosts have a team to live up to the hype. But for Bangladesh, the pressure multiplies with a team that is playing it’s cricket with fear of results than being on top of their performance.

 

After a win-less run in the Asia Cup, they do have to produce the results and this would be the best format where skills are overshadowed by the will-power to back yourself to win.

 

Team combination:

 

One look a the squad and you feel it’s packed with all-rounders. Three-dimensional players are an asset in Twenty20s (T20s), but the player should have at least one area of expertise to make an impact performance. And among all, Shakib Al Hasan is the only one with such a skill. One aspect which can be ignored is the absence of pace bowling all-rounder. Since the pitches are likely to assist spinners, the hosts can cash in on the advantage. They are filled with part-time spinners.

 

The big boost for Bangladesh is the return of Tamim Iqbal. Looking at the form of Anamul Haque, the two look set to form an explosive opening pair. In T20s, teams more often falter towards the end but a good start helps them to sail through. Bangladesh also have an experienced batsman at regular  intervals. After the openers, there’s Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan and then Mashrafe Mortaza can certainly swing a few.

 

In the bowling, Shakib and Abdur Razzaq can be stingy customers whereas Rubel Hossain will lead the pace attack with Mortaza. If they chose  to go for additional spinner in Sohag Gazi then Al Amin Hossain could miss out. There could be a toss-up between Mominul Haque and Mahmudullah in the middle-order. Both are good with their  batting and can be effective with their part-time bowling.

 

ICC World T20 2014 schedule: Match time table with venue details

 

The big boost for Bangladesh is the return of Tamim Iqbal. Looking at the form of Anamul Haque, the two look set to form an explosive opening pair.

 

Strengths and weakness

 

Despite a not so impressive run with the bat in the Asia Cup, it still continues to be their strength. With Tamim and Anamul, they have the potential to get going. With 20 overs, one can always count on the batsmen to survive if not manage to pull off aggressive innings. They are well-versed with the conditions as well.

 

Their bowling in the meanwhile is average with none managing to plug the flow  of runs. This is mainly because the so called middle overs (in T20s it can be 7-15 overs) are manned by the part-timers. Rolling over your arms is not going to do the trick even if the wicket is a turner. The pacers too have been erratic. Rubel too could go for runs even if he’s wicket-taking.

 

Overall it’s a squad which can optimise  its potential in run-chases more than setting targets. Apart from the skill, the batsmen are more adept at handling the pressure than the bowlers. And in big tournaments it’s the pressure which can get to teams and squander match-winning opportunities. This is going to be an exciting tournament for Bangladesh with all the excitement and focus on them. With a calm skipper in Mushfiqur Rahim, a lot will depend on how well they back themselves to push mighty oppositions.

 

As of now, they are stuck in the qualifying stages. There won’t be much doubt that they’ll get the better of Hong Kong and Nepal. But the first task is a tricky one, to beat a team against whom they surrendered in the Asia Cup — Afghanistan. The new Men in Blue are fearless and have the willpower to challenge them once again. Bangladesh have the team to get past this one, but a lot will depend on handling the pressure as mentioned earlier.

 

the advantage here is, they will get to gel as a team and absorb the momentum before they start the second round.

 

Squad:

 

Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim (c), Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque (wk), Shamsur Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Mominul Haque, Nasir Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Mohammad Mahmudullah, Abdur Razzak, Sohag Gazi, Mashrafe Mortaza, Farhad Reza, Rubel Hossain, Al-Amin Hossain.

 

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)