DHAKA: Bangladesh so far have played three against major oppositions South Africa, New Zealand and England. All three are higher ranked than Bangladesh, possess much stronger in pace bowling resources.
Bangladesh won against South Africa, narrowly lost against New Zealand and badly lost against host England. In the tournament of 10 teams each would play 9 matches. Bangladesh still would play against Australia, India, Pakistan, West Indies, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. West Indies, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan are below Bangladesh in ranking and Pakistan is marginally ahead .Bangladesh need winning at least 5 of the 6 matches for a berth among top four. 4 wins even create situation for a qualification if they have good run rate. Winning even 4 of the 6 would require Bangladesh playing to their potential and selecting horses for the courses.
Hope team think tank has learned lessons from the past 3 matches. Sri Lanka, Afghanistan may be relatively softer opponents. Australia and India would be difficult team to beat. Bangladesh must play exceedingly well to beat West Indies and Pakistan.
Next match of Bangladesh is against Sri Lanka tomorrow. Of the 15 players in the squad Rubel, Liton, Sabbir and Jayed did not have a match yet. Soumya played well in matches against ordinary opposition. But his poor technique against top quality fast bowling got exposed in the matches against New Zealand and England. We would not suggest dropping him yet against Sri Lanka. But in form Liton has much better defensive skills. He should be playing in place of Mithun who has not looked useful in three matches so far. Bangladesh must also explore options for playing Rubel.
Mashrafe, Mustafiz and Saifuddin played all three matches. Saifuddin got wickets in all matches, Mustafiz remained wicket less in the match against England. Mashrafe got just one wicket. Bangladesh desperately needs Rubel playing even if that means playing with one less batsman or captain Mashrafe opting out for few matches. Sabbir should also be considered as an option in place of Miraz against Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. One good innings of Sabbir will improve run rate a great deal.
Few people are concerned about Tamim. He is a great player and quality batsman. A good long innings from him is just round the corner. He is too good a player to be judged by two three matches.
We must bear in mind that golden generation of Bangladesh cricket must not last till next world cup in 2023. Mashrafe retirement is in sight. He has served Bangladesh exceedingly well and deserved great respect. One feels sad seeing him struggle. At this moment Rubel is far better option in English condition. Even Abu Jayed can be tried if match day has swinging condition.
For the match tomorrow against Sri Lanka would suggest the flowing playing eleven:
Tamim, Soumya, Shakib (Captain), Mushfiq, Mahmudullah, Liton, Mosaddek, Miraz, Saifuddin, Rubel and Mustafiz
Bangladesh is in better position than few teams having played against three major oppositions. They must target winning against Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Pakistan and West Indies. Beating Australia and India is difficult but not impossible. We will have no complain if Bangladesh plays to its potential with right team. No individual ego or past reputation should prevail over form and fitness.
BDST: 1647 HRS, JUN 10, 2019