New Delhi, India (BBN)-From being the perennial underdogs to world beaters, Bangladesh’s dramatic turnaround in the last couple of years has taken the world by storm.
Bangladesh are no longer a minnow now. Their progress as a one-day international side in the 2015-16 season has been exceptional, and the Tigers would be hoping to carry their momentum in the game’s shortest format, with a good showing in the ICC World Twenty20 2016, reports the IBN Live.
Surprising many, Bangladesh knocked out a star-studded England in the 2015 World Cup and earned a place in the quarter-finals for the first time in the tournament’s history.
They continued in the same manner with ODI series victory over Pakistan, India, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
However, despite their success at ODI cricket, Bangladesh somehow were not able to turn that into T20 arena.
But, they didn’t take much time to get into the groove and changed the statement quickly.
Bangladesh stormed into the Asia Cup T20 final after defeating the United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Though they lost to India in the summit clash, the series of wins would definitely give Mashrafe Mortaza and Co. a big boost going into the World Twenty20’s Super 10 stage.
Bangladesh were placed in Group A alongside Ireland, Netherlands and Oman.
Out of the three matches they played, Bangladesh managed to register two wins to qualify for the main stage of the event.
One of their match was abandoned due to heavy rain in Dharamsala.
Bangladesh played just three T20Is before coming into the inaugural edition of World T20 in 2007, but they stunned everyone with their performance.
They showed West Indies the exit door after beating them by six wickets and that win also helped them advance into the Super 8 stage, where they lost all three matches to get knocked out.
They didn’t have a good run in 2009, 2010 and 2012.
However, in the 2014 edition, they defeated Afghanistan and Nepal in the group stage to enter the Super 10 stage comfortably.
Bangladesh suffered defeats in all their four matches and finished tenth among 16 teams in the tournament.
In this edition, the team is placed in Group 2, alongside Australia, India, New Zealand and Pakistan.
Bangladesh will be relying on the experience of Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mashrafe Mortaza.
Gone are the days when Bangladesh used to rely on one batsman or one bowler to turn the game in their favour.
The young brigade of Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman, Al-Amin Hossain and Taskin Ahmed, who are all in tremendous forms, have not left a single stone unturned to make Bangladesh a tough side to beat, especially in the subcontinent conditions.
The best example of that was seen when Bangladesh’s batsmen and bowlers fired in unison and pulled three back-to-back victories to set up Asia Cup final clash with India.
Bangladesh are looking strong but have had hiccups too.
Their fast bowler Taskin and left-arm spinner Arafat Sunny have been reported for suspect bowling actions during their side’s World T20 qualifying match against the Netherlands.
They are required to clear their actions in a week’s time until which they can continue to bowl.
If things didn’t go Bangladesh’s way, the team will be in deep trouble in the mega event.
Sunny, who made his T20I debut against Sri Lanka in 2014, had so far claimed 66 wickets in 62 T20 matches.
Another weapon in Bangladesh’s arsenal will be Mustafizur Rahman.
The left-arm pacer hogged the limelight when he picked up successive five-wicket hauls in his first two ODIs and helped his team secure their first bilateral series win over India.
The 20-year-old has played 10 T20Is and has 13 scalps to his name.
Currently, Mustafizur is recuperating from a side strain that he sustained during the Asia Cup, and Bangladesh would hope the youngster to be fully fit in time for World T20.
Known for his attractive stroke-making and hitting big sixes, opener Soumya Sarkar has cemented his place in the side in a short period of time.
His match-winning 48-run knock against Pakistan in the Asia Cup has been proved as a positive for the team ahead of the mega event.
The one thing where Bangladesh can experiment is to send their hard-hitting allrounder Mahmudullah to bat up the order.
He has been the found of T20Is for Bangladesh and the team should make a full use of him in the mega event. His 33 off just 13 balls in the Asia Cup final against India helped Bangladesh reach 120 in 15 overs.
He hit two sixes and two boundaries in his knock.
Considering their current form, the Bangladesh side may pose a threat to the top teams in the World T20.
COACH: Chandika Hathurusingha
STRENGTH: Fast bowling.
WEAKNESS: Inconsistent batting.
CHANCES: Considering their recent performances against the top teams in the limited-overs cricket, it won’t be a surprise to see Bangladesh go beyond the Super 10 stage.
SQUAD: Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim, Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Al-Amin Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Arafat Sunny, Abu Hider, Nurul Hasan.
March 16: Pakistan vs Bangladesh
March 21: Australia vs Bangladesh
March 23: India vs Bangladesh
March 26: Bangladesh vs New Zealand