Bangladesh: Tigers need to leap over inconsistency, egos to roar in World Cup

New Delhi, Oct 3 (PTI) Bangladesh have always been a competitive side in the white ball formats but in this World Cup being merely competitive wouldn’t be enough for them.

Like some of their rivals, Bangladesh too would have liked to face that pleasant problem of plenty but right now they are dealing with plenty of problems from injuries to in-house fights.

It reflected in their ODI record for 2023 – 8 wins and 9 defeats from 20 matches with three no results.

Here’s a SWOT analysis of Bangladesh as they start their WC campaign against Afghanistan on October 7 at Dharamsala.

STRENGTH ======= Players such as captain Shakib Al Hasan, pacer Mustafizur Rahman, wicketkeeper batters Mushfiqur Rahim and Litton Das and all-rounder Mahmudullah have been around long enough to know how to handhold the team in a high-pressure event.

Younger players like Najmul Shanto, their highest run-maker this year with 698 runs, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam and Towhid Hridoy bring some vibrancy and balance into the squad.

But the real strength is their spin bowling unit made up of Shakib, Mehidy Miraz, Mahedi Hasan and Nasum Ahmed who have the skills to catch their opponents napping on helpful surfaces, which they might find in India.

Their pace unit led by veteran Mustafizur has some dangerous customers in Taskin, Shoriful and Hasan Mahmud, who can work up some good pace.

WEAKNESS ======== It is actually the most glaring among an array of them. For any critical situation in batting or bowling this team has only two firefighting options: A. Shakib. B. Shakib. It is good to have an inspirational cricketer in the team but if he is the lone source of inspiration then there is an issue.

They also have to decide who is going to partner Litton Das at the opening slot. In the recent past, they have tried Tanzid Hasan, Shanto and Mehidy as openers, and Bangladesh need to zero in on at the earliest on a steady second opener. Uncertainty at the pole position does not bode well for any World Cup-bound team.

Of course, the absence of Tamim Iqbal, opener and an admired leader in their set-up, will be felt. Injured pacer Ebadot Hossain too will be missed as he could have inflicted some damage upfront.

OPPORTUNITY ========= Bangladesh have nothing to lose, and that scenario should spur them to play some fearless cricket. Young players like Towhid, Tanzid and Shoriful should take this as a chance to make their mark on the big stage.

If they can complement seniors like Shakib, Mahmudullah and Mustafizur, Bangladesh can dream of bettering their quarterfinal appearance in the 2015 World Cup.

THREAT ===== Despite their talent, Bangladesh can be a volatile side from inside, ridden with petty egos. A quick rewind to the recent war of words between Shakib and Tamim will give an idea about it. The player-player relation is often a delicate subject in their team, and it can derail them any moment.

Then they also have to shed that minnows’ mindset, which pushes them into a shell when competing against big teams like India or England. At times, they break that barrier, but they need to do it more consistently to get a big trophy or two in their cabinet.

Source: PTI News


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