Let’s hope Bangladesh perform at the World Cup otherwise the 42 match group stage threatens be the most futile preliminary round of any competition since Australia played American Samoa in a World Cup qualifier in 2001. The good news is that the Tigers steady improvement in ODI went into hyperspace with the recent 4-0 home triumph over New Zealand - ok it was only New Zealand, but even so. If Shakib can inspire his troops to reach similar heights then both West Indies and even England could be vulnerable to a shock exit at the group stage.
Playing at home is a huge advantage and if the team does well support will be vociferous. Tamim Iqbal and Shakib would get into the XI of pretty much every other team in the competition whilst conditions should suit Bangladesh’s array of spinners.
Despite the win over New Zealand, Bangladesh is hardly used to winning and as such invariably fall short when the finish line is near. Other than Tamim, their batting lacks class and depth, and players habitually get out between 20 and 50 without pushing on to the hundreds that are needed to win matches. The bowling, although strong in the spin department, severely lacks quality seamers especially with the absence of the clever Mortaza.
Tamim Iqbal is the left-handed Sehwag and could light up the competition. And can Mohammad Ashraful finally deliver on his promise? Probably not.
Look out for…
An all spin attack – Bangladesh is so lacking in international class quicks that desperate measures may well be required.
Victory over the West Indies gets them through to the quarter finals where Bangladesh will be walloped by Sri Lanka.
Graduates from the Sehwag School for Batting announced - featuring Tamim Iqbal
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