Tamim Iqbal will be the key player for Bangladesh in this game © AFP
Tamim Iqbal will be the key player for Bangladesh in this game © AFP

Bangladesh were completely dominant in the qualification round of the T20 World Cup 2016, entering the Group 2 ‘of death’ of the competition ahead of the likes of the Netherlands, Oman and Ireland. Bangladesh will take on Pakistan at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Wednesday afternoon, and will aim to maintain their domination against Shahid Afridi’s men as well. Bangladesh have won as many as five matches on the trot in limited-overs cricket against Pakistan (yes, you have read that right), and their current form speaks volumes on why they are likely to win the T20 World Cup 2016 match as well. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: Pakistan vs Bangladesh,14th T20 Match, Super 10 Group 2, ICC T20 World Cup 2016

Pakistan have been based in Kolkata, a venue which they feel will be safest for them in India apart from Mohali. But a crowd strength of 66,000 and more at the Eden Gardens may turn against India’s arch rivals, and it will be interesting if Bangladeshis get support from people across the borders who speak the same language. ALSO READ: Pakistan vs Bangladesh, T20 World Cup 2016, Match 14 at Eden Gardens: Mohammad Aamer vs Tamim Iqbal and other Key Battles

There is no confirmation on Mustafizur Rahman’s presence. Bangladesh have kept their cards close to their chests and we will have to wait and watch if the left-arm bowler turns up for the clash against Pakistan. Otherwise, Bangladesh have an excellent squad capable of shooting down the strongest of teams, if they play to their potential. Let us take what possible likely XI Bangladesh can field against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup 2016 match at Kolkata:

Top-order: Tamim Iqbal has been in form. He struck a dazzling century against Oman in the qualifying round. Bangladesh will need him to be on the top of his game, which will definitely be ominous for Pakistan. Alongside him is the richly talented Soumya Sarkar, followed by another in-form batsman Sabbir Rahman. Sabbir finished as Man of the Tournament in Asia Cup T20 2016, and with the top three firing all cylinders, Bangladesh have a strong chance against Pakistan.

Middle-order: Bangladesh have enough strength in this section too. They have the likes of Shakib Al Hasan, the experienced and resolute Mushfiqur Rahim, and an excellent batsman in Mahmudullah. These three provide enough strength and capability to score big runs, and Bangladesh would want their senior men to keep performing in the same manner they have been so far. The mysteriously underrated Mahmudullah proved his throughout Asia Cup 2016 (even with ball), and his hitting prowess is expected to haunt Pakistan in their T20 World Cup 2016 match.

Lower-order and bowlers: Bangladesh have a gem in form of Mashrafe Mortaza, who at times, bats ahead of Mahmudullah and co. Mortaza can strike the ball long and hard, and his contribution with the bat becomes very crucial since Bangladesh do not have enough batting left in their ranks following their skipper. It depends whether they pick Nasir Hossain ahead of left-arm seamer Abu Hider (who may still play, depending on Mustafizur’s fitness), but the logic says that Bangladesh should ideally pick a slower bowler as the pitch at the Eden Gardens has been traditionally supportive to the batsmen and the slow bowlers.

If Mustafizur does not play, a lot of hope will rest on the Al-Amin Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, as well as Mortaza, Shakib, Mahmudullah, Nasir and even Sabbir.

Bangladesh likely XI: Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Nasir Hossain, Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Al-Amin Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman (if fit)/Abu Hider.

(Devarchit Varma is senior writer with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)