Team Bangladesh for ICC World Cup 2011
There used to be a time when Bangladesh were well and truly a ‘minnow’ side for World Cup which would pleasantly surprise not only the nation but also itself with a rare win in a match out of ten. Fortunately for the tigers, the circumstances are very different from what they used to be nearly a decade ago.
Without doubt, Bangladesh was a team that knocked over the World Cup finalists, Pakistan in a match in 1999. However, the allegations of match fixing back then seemed to taint a glorious triumph that Bangladesh achieved. The side also shook a gigantic team India by surprise in World Cup 2007 when they completed a 5-wicket win over the all-experienced Indian team.
This tale of world cup upsets was also observed in T20 world cup series when Bangladesh defeated a stronger West Indies team; therefore, team Bangla has been more of a surprise factor when it comes to competition in the World Cup games. Of course, a series win against New Zealand just recently also did the side a world of good.
Bangladesh cricket has produced some good all-round players as well as some fine batsmen courtesy of their domestic cricket tournaments. Hannan Sarkar, Khaled Mahmud, Javed Omer, Rajin Saleh, Alok Kapali, Mehrab Hussain, Enamul Haque, Rafique ul Islam and Habib ul Bashar are some of the stars from the side who lifted Bangladesh team and set a foundation for the upcoming players.
Speaking of the current players in the side, there are lots of names to talk about. Generally, the main strength of the Bangladesh team lies in their ability to gel together and execute a devised plan as a whole. Although, the team does not exactly rely on a single figurehead, but the team is at its best when each one of the players pitches in with something substantial.
The opening slot is features two good opening batsman in Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes. Both batsmen can place their shots well and possess the ability to make use of the Power Play Overs as an opener should. Tamim is more of an aggressor out of the two, though. Middle order is packed with three experienced campaigners in form of Junaid Siddique, Shakib Al Hassan and Mohammad Ashraful. While Mohammad Ashraful needs to find some form, the other two batsman click in crucial situations and put on some good partnerships more often than not. Shahriar Nafees is a good enough player to earn a spot in the final line-up and his moderate batting methodology does qualify him for the no. 5 and 6 spot. Mushfiqur Rahim, the enthusiastic Bangladesh wicket-keeper then follows who can very well score his runs in the death overs and help his side post a good total. Off spinner, Mahmudullah is not only above average with his runs in the death overs but he offers good support to his skipper, Shakib Al Hassan while the two off-spinners bowl at the opposition in tandem. Abdur Razzaq is probably the most experienced of the lot when it comes to the bowling department and the left-arm off-spinner can prove lethal on pitches laid in his home grounds as well as the ones the team would play on in Sri Lanka and India. Shafiul Islam and Rubel Hussain have shown good steady improvement, especially in the absence of Masrafe Mortaza and would be required to work up their pace in order to clean up batsmen once more.
Henceforth, some might think that Bangladesh are playing as the under dogs in World Cup once more and will face a heavy defeat while others would be wondering if India would have to face yet another upset at the hands of the Bangladesh Tigers. Well, Bangladesh would love that for sure and the team is up and spirited alright. Whether that does come to pass or not, only time will tell.
Bangladesh 15-man Squad
Tamim Iqbal (vice captain)
Shakib Al Hassan (captain)