by Rex Clementine
Bangladesh had a poor campaign in the recent Asia Cup tournament where they made a first round exit. There was knee-jerk reaction back home with wholesale changes to the T-20 set up and the Tigers have travelled to Australia for the World Cup with a new looks side.
They have made five changes to the side that failed to go beyond the group stages in the Asia Cup and the biggest casualty of them all is former captain Mohammad Mahmudullah.
Another former captain Mushfiqur Rahim realized the axing was on the cards and he announced his retirement from T-20 cricket after the Asia Cup.
Despite a new look side, Bangladesh have some proven performers in their ranks. Their key player is captain Shakib Al Hasan. The versatile all-rounder is heading into his eighth T-20 World Cup having featured in all tournaments starting in 2007 edition in South Africa.
Shakib is the most successful bowler in T-20 World Cups having taken 41 wickets at 17. His left-arm spin gives the side much needed balance while with the bat he plays the anchor role.
Having featured in over 100 T-20 Internationals, Shakib is one of the most experienced players in the game and Bangladesh depend on him heavily. He is also world’s number one ranked all-rounder.
Bangladesh arrived in Australia having played a tri-nation series in New Zealand also involving Pakistan and the experience will hold them in good stead.
In a batting line-up comprising fresh faces, along with Shakib, the likes of Litton Das and Soumya Sarkar are expected to do the job.
Mustafizur Rahman is their key bowler and he does a decent job with the new ball. He is also the go to man during death overs. Taskin Ahmed is Bangladesh’s fastest bowler and Australian conditions will be to his liking.
Bangladesh could have easily done rebuilding after the World Cup but they have made a statement that they want to be a force to be reckoned with by the time the next tournament is played in two years time and it remains to be seen how the young guns will fare.
Bangladesh Squad: Shakib Al Hasan (captain), Nurul Hasan, Afif Hossain, Ebadot Hossain, Hasan Mahmud, Litton Das, Mehidy Hassan Miraz, Mustafizur Rahman, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Shoriful Islam, Soumya Sarkar, Musaddek Hossain, Nasum Ahmed, Taskin Ahmed, Yasir Ali Chowdhury.