Bangladesh cricket in recent times winning three series on a trot must be oozing in confidence. Does not matter whatever is the composition or strength of the opposition or whatever wickets or conditions the matches are played consistent wins always give confidence. But such confidence alone may not be enough for sustaining a team in global tournament against much better prepared quality opposition on different playing surfaces.
Bangladesh winning big (4-1) against weakened Australian team and still proving better (3-2) against relatively better and well-organized New Zealand team will have reality check in the ensuing ICC T20 World Cup 2021 starting at Oman and UAE in late October 2021. Bangladesh has to quality for Super 12 competing against Scotland, Papua New Guinea and Oman. It will not be easy adjusting to sporting surfaces and entirely different conditions after playing on slow low, gripping and turning surfaces. Neither the batsmen nor the bowlers had appropriate preparation at all. There are potentials but the task would not be easy specially considering that the squad comprises of as many as 7 new players. World cup is not a stage for experimenting. All other teams have experienced T20 specialist. It is not reality understood what relay led Bangladesh to gambling. Hope this does not boomerang upon Bangladesh.
Bangladesh did really well winning series in three different formats in Zimbabwe playing on true surfaces. Bangladesh required winning against Australia and New Zealand for improving their rankings for a guaranteed direct access to main round of ICC T20 Championship in 2022. In our opinion it was not really essential preparing ranked unsuitable slow low, gripping and turning surfaces for trapping under strength Australia and New Zealand teams. Bangladesh mission ICC Ranking improvement was achieved. But it did not prepare the team at all for the World cup. Now it is up to the players to prove us wrong and the team management justifying that the team formation is all right.
Bangladesh squad for T20 World Cup
Mahmudullah Raid (Captain) Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Kumar Das, Mohammad Naeem Sheikh, Taskin Ahmed, Shariful Islam, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mustafizur Rahman, Shamim Hossain, Sheikh Mehedi Hasan and Nasum Ahmed, Shakib Al Hasan, Afif Hossain, Soumya Sarkar, Nurul Hasan Sohan (wicket-keeper).
Standby: Aminul Islam Biplob and Rubel Hossain.
Looking at the squad the first question that comes to mind,” Is Bangladesh going to get experience or achieving something? “If achieving anything is a plan, how a 15-member squad can be formed for a tournament where all others have picked experienced T20 specialist players? No one would agree that the squad is best choice at this moment. Why management could not choose a Vice Captain while most other teams did? Why Bangladesh has only two reserve players while most others have three and even some have four reserves.
Bangladesh squad is very lean in batting. Off course star opening batsman Tamim Iqbal opting out a t the very last minute created some issues. It was known to team management for a while that something was brewing. Why they did not intercept. Top order is a huge suspect. If Shakib, Mushfique and Mahmudullah do not regularly contribute the team would struggle producing competitive scores. How could Mosaddeq and Taijul excluded without giving them any match? Apart from Shakib and Mustafiz and to some extent Mushfique and Mahmudullah there are no proven T20 specialist in the squad. Hope Liton, Soumya Taskin, Saifuddin, Shoriful, Afif, Sohan and Shamim prove me wrong. But that would be extremely challenging. Still, we hope Bangladesh advances to Super 12 being champions in their qualifying round and win at least 3 matches in the super 12 at least.
Mustafiz and Shakib would take wickets against any opposition on any wicket. But Mehedi and Nasum may not find wickets to their likings. Hope Taskin, Shoriful and Saifuddin deliver. Hope Liton, Soumyo and Naim give good start. Hope Afif, Sohan and Shamim finish well.
Would insist that BCB did not have a plan for World Cup. Their plan was trapping touring teams on turning surfaces and winning. That did neither prepare the batsmen nor the bowlers.
It will be a reality check for the team tigers. Best wishes to Riad and his tiger Squad.
BDST: 1212 HRS, SEP 20, 2021