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World Cup 2023: Topsy-turvy Bangladesh seeks consistency from veteran campaigners

ICC Cricket World Cup 2023: Bangladesh World Cup squad complete analysis. Strengths & weakness of Bangladesh side in World Cup 2023

Bangladesh Cricket team during practice match ahead of ODI World Cup 2023 | Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©bcbtigers_Twitter)
Bangladesh team during practice match ahead of CWC (Photo: ©bcbtigers/Twitter)

If the performance of Bangladesh in the history of the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup tournaments could be presented ironically, then they are one of the most consistent teams - having won three games each in the last three editions- 2011, 2015 and 2019.

Even in their last three-match ODI series at home, which was played ahead of World Cup 2023, New Zealand defeated them by 2-0 margin.

Bangladesh arrive in India with all hell breaking loose

With potential and promise, Bangladesh arrived in India with a mixture of youth and experience. Leading up to the marquee event, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) had an internal tussle with Tamim Iqbal- their leading run getter in the 50-over format.

The senior batter recently retired from the format before taking a u-turn just 24 hours later and was forced to undo his decision, only to be dropped again from the squad for the ODI World Cup 2023.

It was mostly because the BCB and captain Shakib Al Hasan wanted him to bat lower down the order - which Tamim declined to do and made his decision clear on social media.

Shakib, on the other hand, in a TV interview stated that the captaincy was forced onto him in a tough situation. So even before the beginning of the tournament, there is growing unrest and chaos in the camp.

Nevertheless, Bangladesh decided to bring back the veteran Mahmudullah Riyad, besides adding a couple of exciting young players like Tanzid Hasan and Towhid Hridoy, to form a well-balanced side suited for Indian conditions.

Bangladesh squad for the ODI World Cup 2023

Shakib Al Hasan (c), Najmul Hossain Shanto (vc), Liton Das, Tanzid Hasan Tamim, Towhid Hridoy, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mehidy Hasan, Mahedi Hasan, Tanzim Sakib, Nasum Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Hasan Mahmud, Taskin Ahmed, Mushfiqur Rahman.

Let’s assess their strengths in all the departments ahead of World Cup 2023 in India

Asia Cup 2023, Group B, Bangladesh vs Afghanistan_ Najmul Hossain Shanto scored hi 2nd ODI ton & helped BAN beat AFG _ Walking wicket (Images_ ©therealpcb_Twitter)
Bangladesh will like to capitalise on Shanto's form (Images: ©therealpcb/Twitter)
Liton needs to fire to carry the inexperienced but exciting top order

The top order of Bangladesh is one of the youngest among all the ten teams in the tournament. Their wicket-keeping batter Litton Das hasn’t been in prime touch with the bat - having smashed just 338 runs in 16 innings in the ongoing year 2023 at an average of 24.1 and strike rate of 87.8 including just three fifties.

Litton seems to have a problem against pacers and he hasn’t been able to give a good start to his team in the ODI format in 2023. Young Tanzid has taken part in just one ODI game, but during Bangladesh’s two warm up games against Sri Lanka and England, he showed his caliber by scoring 84 and 45, respectively.

Their most in-form player in the top order is Vice-captain Najmul Hossain Santo, who has accumulated 698 ODI runs in 14 ODI innings in 2023 at an average of 49.9 and strike rate of 86.9 - with five fifties and two centuries to his name. Even during the recently concluded Asia Cup 2023, the left-hander managed 193 runs in two innings before being ruled out of the campaign due to an injury.

Asia Cup 2023, IND vs BAN, Super 4_ Shakib Al Hasan, Towhid Hridoy added 101 for 5th wicket; BAN beat India_ Walking wicket (Images_ ©bcbtigers_Twitter)
CWC 2023 could be Shakib's last ODI WC (Images: ©bcbtigers/Twitter)
Shakib, Rahim & Mahmudullah will be key for Bangladesh’s middle order

Bangladesh came to the competition with a flexible middle order axis of Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad.

Leader Shakib was impressive for the Tigers in the 2019 World Cup, he was third-highest run scorer of the tournament with 606 runs in eight innings at an average of 86.57 and strike rate of 96.03, including five half-centuries and two hundreds. He is also the highest run getter for Bangladesh in ODI World Cups - with 1146 runs in 29 innings at an average of 45.84 and strike rate of 82.26 with 10 fifties and two centuries.

Shakib has been in decent touch in 2023 ODIs with 549 runs in 15 innings at an average of 39.2 and strike rate of 92.7 with five fifties. He will be ably supported by another experienced all-rounder- Mushfiqur Rahim. Rahim too made a valuable contribution with 367 runs in eight innings at an average of 52.42 and strike rate of 92.67 in the 2019 World Cup. He has also scored 599 runs in 15 ODI innings in 2023.

Mahmudullah Riyad can add value to the side with his fire-power after returning from injury. Hridoy, youngest among these four, has the best strike rate of the lot in the format (86.33) and has shown good character against both pace and spin in his brief 17-game ODI career.

One of Bangladesh’s upcoming stars in this format in the last one-and-a-half years has been Mehidy Hasan Miraz, who has even opened for the side in the 50-over games. He has scored 290 runs in 13 innings at an average of 24.2, which includes a lone century.

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Super 12, Group 2, Bangladesh v Netherlands_ Taskin Ahmed took 4-25 as Bangladesh beat Netherlands; Bangladesh top Group 2 Points Table _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©ICC_Twitter)
Taskin and Mustafizur ko handle the pace department for BAN (Photo: ©ICC/Twitter)
Taskin and Mustafizur need to play various tricks along with various spin options

Bangladesh have also packed a punch in the pace department with Taskin Ahmed - who has been consistently taking wickets with the new ball and then comes back to haunt batters again in the death overs. The speedster has bagged 21 ODI wickets in 10 innings at an average of 16.90 and economy of 4.29 in 2023.

They also have Shoriful Islam and Hasan Mahmud - both of whom bowl with pace and aggression. The left-arm pacer Shoriful has 16 scalps in just eight innings in 2023, which have come at an average of 18 and economy of 4.97.

Mustafizur too will look to make the best use of the tracks with his slow balls using his IPL experiences.

The spin department will be led by Shakib and Miraz. The left-arm spinner has raked up 14 wickets in 13 innings during 2023, at an average of 34.8 and economy of 4.37. Mehidy has collected 12 wickets in 13 innings at an average of 38.7 and economy of 5.16. Even Nasum Ahmed has been decent with both bat and ball and he can prove to be a decent backup option.

Lack of experience & unity are threats for Bangladesh

Apart from four to five players, the Bangladesh squad is quite young and it remains to be seen how the youngsters will react in crunch situations.

They haven’t played many matches together, owing to injuries or some players taking breaks from certain games.

In the recently concluded Asia Cup 2023, they were shaky starters with the bat, often losing early wickets which led to sub-par totals at the end, which is difficult to defend in the modern era of power hitting.

With many players from the Bangladesh side likely making their last World Cup appearance in 2023, they would be looking to improve their record.

Bangladesh will begin their World Cup campaign 2023 on October 07 with the match against Afghanistan at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamshala.


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