The 15 member squad of Bangladesh was announced recently for the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. The team will begin their tournament in the round one qualifiers and would be looking to replicate their recent form and reach as far as possible in the mega event. Bangladesh’s cricket has improved immensely in the last decade, and they have been reaching the later stages of many ICC tournaments lately.
In this piece, we look at the form of the team going into the tournament and other stats highlighting the most important players.
Bangladesh defeated both Australia and New Zealand in a 5 match T20I series back to back within the span of 40 days. They dominated Australia by beating them 4-1 and then won the series against New Zealand 3-2.
There is no better way to prepare for a world event than having a winning momentum and a side who has belief in itself. M. Rahman and Nasun Ahmed are the in-form bowlers with 18 wickets each to their name in T20Is in 2021. A lot will be relying on Rahman who was also their highest wicket-taker in the previous editions. His cutters at the end of an innings will be crucial given the condition in UAE.
In the absence of the regular opener, Tamim Iqbal the responsibility to get Bangladesh off to a great start will be on M. Naim’s shoulder who has been their highest run-getter in 2021. L Das, the other opener, is struggling for form and the experienced duo of Shakib would be again needed to stabilize the middle order when needed. Mahmudullah and M.Rahim will be the batsman providing the finishing touches to the innings.
Just like some other teams are going to miss their big players, Faf Du Plessis for South Africa, Ben Stokes for England, the same is the case with Bangladesh.
Tamim Iqbal, one of Bangladesh’s best batsmen, and certainly the best opening batsman in their cricketing history opted out of the tournament due to lack of match practice as he is recovering from a knee injury.
It was the right call by the experienced player, as he knows he may probably take time in getting his batting rhythm back and you don’t have that luxury in such a tournament format. He is confident about getting fit before the tournament but states that it would not be fair on the current players who have been playing together as a unit in the last 2-3 series. He was their top run-scorer in the last edition of the tournament ( 295 runs @ 73.75).
Role of Shakib Al Hasan
The number one T20I all-rounder in the world, Shakib Al Hasan will be the most crucial player for Bangladesh in the tournament. His experience will be needed in crunch situations and might even have to deliver both with the bat and the bowl in one single game to make sure his side crosses the line.
He has been the highest run-scorer and the highest wicket-taker for Bangladesh in this tournament’s history. Bangladesh to date has won 41 matches in their T20I history. Shakib has been a part of 35 of them. In the 24 matches, Bangladesh has played without him, they have only managed to win 6.
Shakib batted at no.3 in the ICC WC 2019, and he use to build the innings from start instead of doing the repair work at the back end. Such a tactic can be seen in the upcoming event. The more percentage of balls your best batsman will play, the higher the chances of putting on a good score.
Bangladesh will be playing the qualifying rounds in Group B alongside Oman, Papa New Guinea( PNG) & Scotland. The first match is against Scotland on 17th October. It will be followed by Oman on the 19th and PNG on the 21st. Assuming they top the group they will join Afghanistan, India, New Zealand, and Pakistan in Group 2 and if they manage to secure the 2nd spot in the qualification round they will join Australia, England, South Africa & West Indies in Group 1. Bangladesh will like to carry on their form and join the teams in the Super 12 and perform much better in that stage, as they fail to do so the last time around, losing all the four matches in the Super 10.
If Bangladesh is able to hold on to their nerves at the crucial moments and play their style of cricket they have good chances to progress to the knockout stages. The team will be relying on experienced players and would wish the youngsters to show up well on the big stage. Bangladesh can be considered a dark horse in this tournament.