Bangladesh put on a strong face when they faced tough challenges at home and away in the last ODI Super League. They also set high goals for the upcoming ODI World Cup in 2023. Shakib Al Hasan, who just took over as captain of ODIs, said something similar a few days ago.
Since Shakib took over as leader from Tamim Iqbal, it will be up to him to make the team work at the right time and place. The team will be put to the test like never before at the Asia Cup at the end of this month and the World Cup in June.
“It’s a big task for our team to show how good we’ve gotten in the last four years. “The World Cup will be a great chance for us to do well.” During a Lankan Premier League game in Colombo, Shakib had said.
A team is only as good as its weakest member, and good opponents would try to take advantage of those weak spots. Bangladesh, on the other hand, is a team that does well when everyone works together and does their part. So, given the obvious flaws in the team’s profiles that the management will have to deal with, mental strength will be a key factor in reaching high goals.
From the Asia Cup on, people will be able to see how well they can handle obstacles. The task will be to focus on what they do well and deal with what they do poorly.
Here, we look at the hurdles the Tigers will face before the Asia Cup.
The first hole
Mohammad Naim and Tanzid Hasan are the other two starters on the team. They join Liton Das. The managers put both Naim and Tanzid in the Emerging Asia Cup, which just ended in Sri Lanka. They must have done this to see how they do, since they kept the same starting pair the whole time. Tanzid showed promise, but Naim didn’t live up to what he could have been. It would mean that Tanzid might be the best choice to team up with Liton up top. It takes time for a new starting pair to find their flow, but Tanzid could be the X-factor the team needs.
The third thing
Najmul Hosain Shakib used to have the job that Shanto now has. Recent white-ball games showed that he was strong against the new ball, though not always, and that he could take advantage of how the field was set up early on. The Asia Cup and the World Cup, on the other hand, will be much tougher. When facing good bowlers on a big stage, the hitter needs to bring something extra to the game. And Shanto’s work will be a big part of whether or not Bangladesh succeeds.
In the middle
Shakib is now further down the list. Even though he hasn’t done well with the new ball, his big hitting looks more dangerous now. Tawhid Hridoy now bats at number four, and it’s likely that he and Shakib will switch spots based on what’s going on in the game and to help the left-right hitting combos. But if their teams lose early, both of these hitters will have to face the new ball, which Hridoy hasn’t faced before. Mushfiqur Rahim, on the other hand, is a surprise at number six. He will be very important, and the team’s ability to get through tough times will rest a lot on how consistent he is.
The ones who win
In this area, the team has always done badly. Seventh or eighth place will go to Shamim Hossain, Afif Hossain, Mahedi Hasan, and Mehedi Hasan Miraz. Given that these roles are new and don’t have a lot of tools, the Asia Cup will be the true test of how the team can end its run on a high note.
The team’s strength is in its fast-paced attack, but their efforts have often been made in situations that are not their own. Allan Donald, the coach of fast bowlers, had said that reverse swing could change the game. But in modern cricket, you usually get two new balls from each end, which will make it hard to get that reverse swing. Taskin Ahmed and the others may have to do the most damage with the new ball.
Bangladesh doesn’t have any good wrist-spin bowlers, which is a big deal in current cricket. Also, Nasum Ahmed and Mehedi aren’t known for getting a lot of wickets, so it may be up to Shakib to add some variety.
Not having a sixth bowler
If Mahedi is in the team, he may be able to cover the sixth bowling option. Since there isn’t an all-rounder who can bowl fast, Mahedi’s part will be very important whenever he plays. It will be important for him to keep his cool.
Taking the field
Bangladesh has improved a lot on the field, and Shakib and head coach Chandika Hathurusingha will not give up on that.
Khaled Mahmud, who used to be the team head, said yesterday that the Tigers’ pace battery has made it easier for the team to win games. But at home, the same bowling outfit gave up runs against England. “If we want to win the championship, we have to beat the good teams,” he said. Since there isn’t much room to change the batting order right now, the Asia Cup will answer a lot of problems.