06 February 2015
BANGLADESH ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP 2015 TOURNAMENT PREVIEW & GUIDE
Confident after the clean sweep against Zimbabwe at home, Bangladesh will be the team to watch out for in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
Bangladesh registered a memorable win against England in the 2011 World Cup in front of its home crowd by two wickets.
The ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 provides a great opportunity for Bangladesh to make strides in its performance in Australia and New Zealand. Bangladesh has played 12 One-Day Internationals combined in both countries, without tasting victory so far. The fact that its yet to win a match in any of the host nations could work in Bangladesh’s favour though, with players hungrier than ever to register a first win.
Led by Mashrafe Mortaza, a veteran of 144 ODIs who has a wealth of experience spanning over 13 years in international cricket, Bangladesh also boasts of a very experienced think-tank in Shakib-al-Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Tamin Iqbal, all of whom have played well over a hundred ODIs.
"Some are anxious but I feel it is possible for Bangladesh to do well in those conditions. I think we may see a couple of Bangladeshi batsmen among the top five batsmen at this World Cup. We are preparing for it, now we are bracing to implement it in the matches. Our target will be to do something special."
Past World Cup performances
Bangladesh started its World Cup journey in 1999 against New Zealand at the County Ground in Chelmsford, in England. It didn’t have to wait too long for first World Cup win as it defeated Scotland in its third match of the tournament by 22 runs. However, it caused the biggest upset of the 1999 edition when it defeated Pakistan by 62 runs in Northampton.
Bangladesh had to wait for a while before its next World Cup win, going win-less in 2003, but when victory did arrive, it was nothing short of a dream start to its 2007 campaign. Bangladesh put it across India in what was the first match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 for both sides, winning by five wickets to earn a passage to the Super Eights stage. That remains the only occasion Bangladesh moved past the first round of a World Cup.
Bangladesh was a dark horse for making it to the quarter-finals of the 2011 World Cup too, but although it registered wins against Ireland and the Netherlands, and beat a third Test playing nation at a World Cup by clinching a thriller against England, the team narrowly missed out on progressing beyond the first round.
Pool: Bangladesh is in Pool A, with New Zealand, Australia, England, Sri Lanka, Scotland and Afghanistan.
Captain: Mashrafe Mortaza
Coach: Chandika Hathurusinghe
One of the factors that could work well for Bangladesh is its unpredictability. On his day Shakib-al-Hasan can turn a match on its head with either bat or ball. Bangladesh will also bank on Tamim Iqbal for a brisk start, and will hope the likes of Mominul Haque, Tamim, and Mushfiqur Rahim can build the innings. If the batsmen fire, the bowling is more than capable of running through sides on its day.
The Bangladesh batting is going to revolve around Rahim, who has been in good touch in 2014, scoring 704 runs at an impressive average of 44.00 and also has a century to his name, which came against India in the Asia Cup. Both Shakib and Mashrafe Mortaza are going to be vital cogs in Bangladesh’s wheel to get wins in the tournament. Shakib was Bangladesh’s leading wicket-taker in ODIs in 2014 with 21 victims, while Mortaza was second with 18 sticks from 13 matches.
Strengths: That the selectors have relieved Rahim from his captaincy duties could work in its favour, allowing him to focus on his batting. The diminutive wicketkeeper-batsman is a classy bat with strokes all around the wicket, and can pack a punch when required too.
Shakib, the top ranked all-rounder in ODIs, will be a vital contributor. As for Bangladesh’s bowling, the talented young Taskin Ahmed started his career with impressive performances against India at home, while Taijul Islam, the left-arm spinner, recently became the first bowler to claim a hat-trick on ODI debut.
Bangladesh began 2014 searching for a win for the longest time, but as its recent 5-0 rout of Zimbabwe at home shows, the signs were there of the side coming together well. It played 18 ODIs in 2014, winning five, losing 12 and with one match against India in Dhaka abandoned due to rain.
Star Player: Shakib-al-Hasan
A left-hand batsman and left-arm spinner, Shakib will be playing his third World Cup. He has been the team’s mainstay in both batting and bowling, and is ranked as the ICC’s top all-rounder with good reason. If Bangladesh are to progress, the man who will have to provide the star turn will be Shakib. Besides, he is the only one to have experienced Australian conditions recently, having participated in the Big Bash League Twenty20 tournament. In the last 12 matches he has scored 289 runs, including a century, but more importantly he as picked up 21 wickets at an impressive average of 16.80.
One to watch out for: Tajiul Islam
Left-arm spinner Tajiul Islam made his ODI debut against Zimbabwe in Mirpul on December 2014. The 22-year-old shot to fame in his very first match, becoming the first bowler to claim a hat-trick on ODI debut. He played a key role in cleaning up the tail, ending with figures of 4 for 11 in a match that Bangladesh won by five wickets. He was also adjudged the Man of the Match.
Tamim Iqbal - In 2011 he was named as one of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack four Cricketers of the Year.
Anamul Haque – He was the leading run scorer at the 2012 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup.
Shakib Al Hasan - The first player ever to top the ICC all-rounder ranking in all 3 formats at the same time.
Mushfiqur Rahim – He made his international debut when he was just 16 years old.
Bangladesh will start its campaign against Afghanistan at the Manuka Oval in Canberra. Both teams have played each other just once in an ODI, where Afghanistan emerged victorious by 32 runs at Fatullah during the Asia Cup in 2014.
Bangladesh will want to not only avenge that loss, but also being its campaign on a winning note. Up against strong teams, every win and all points on offer are precious, and victory against Afghanistan will also put the side on firmer footing before taking on the likes of Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
“Three wins give you a chance, but if we win four games, we will probably make sure that we qualify for the quarterfinals. I think the Brisbane stint as well as four matches over there will give us a good indication about where we are.” - Chandika Hathurusinghe, the Bangladesh coach.
“Obviously we want to go to the second round. But it’s a tough job. We really need a good start in the tournament. If we can start well, we will be confident against every other side.” - Mashrafe Mortaza, the Bangladesh captain.
“We can definitely cause an upset and get to that quarterfinal stage, that's our big goal. But to guarantee that we have to upset two big teams. We also have to make sure we beat Scotland and Afghanistan, who we can't take lightly. It's a big ask and it will be tough to beat Australia and New Zealand in their home conditions. But we've got players, and if they perform on a certain day, they can be match winners.” Heath Streak, the Bangladesh bowling coach.
Scott Styris’s Prediction: Bangladesh: Group Stage
Predicting where Bangladesh will finish is relatively easy based solely on where the tournament is played. In the subcontinent they're a force and a certainty to knock over a top 8 opponent. Down in the southern hemisphere they will struggle with the extra bounce and lack of spin. This tournament will teams will rely on their pace bowlers and with a dearth of quality options I think they will be chasing big scores more often than not.
Squad: Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Mominul Haque, Shakib Al Hasan (vice-capt), Mahmudullah Riaz, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Nasir Hossain, Taijul Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Al-Amin Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman, Arafat Sunny.
Feb 18: v Afghanistan, Manuka Oval, Canberra
Feb 21: v Australia, the Gabba, Brisbane
Feb 26: v Sri Lanka, MCG, Melbourne
Mar 05: v Scotland, Saxton Oval, Nelson
Mar 09: v England, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
Mar 13: v New Zealand, Seddon Park, Hamilton