Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)-Bangladesh have not won a single ODI against top opposition in the year leading up to this World Cup, a competition that they worked hard to reach from 1979 before finally breaking through 20 years later.
Close calls, big defeats, unedifying collapses and player tantrums all played a part in their on-field troubles in 2014, reports ESPN cricinfo.com.
Bangladesh’s only performance of note over the last 12 months was the 5-0 sweep against Zimbabwe.
Otherwise, they have found different ways to lose: they made 326 against Pakistan, reduced Sri Lanka to 67 for 8, bowled India out for 105 and contrived to lose each of those games.
By mid-June, the team had undone the good work of the past two years and seemed to have returned to the dark days of 2011 when they suffered their last slump.
Bangladesh, who have not visited Australia or New Zealand in four years, are set to play Australia, Sri Lanka, England and New Zealand in the group stages.
Both host countries, as well as Sri Lanka, are strong contenders for the title, while England are expected to enter the knockouts.
It could leave Bangladesh with the task of simply beating Afghanistan and Scotland to salvage some pride.
Worryingly for Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Scotland have spent more than a month preparing for the tournament in Australia and New Zealand.
And Afghanistan even defeated them in the Asia Cup last year.
Still, Bangladesh can hope. They have a strong backbone of ODI specialists alongside a pace attack that could do well if the conditions suit them.
Overall, confidence has trickled through after the wins against Zimbabwe but to make themselves count in the World Cup, they would have to beat one of the higher-ranked sides in their group and have a chance for a quarter-final spot.
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