Bangladesh has always pulled up surprises at the big stages. In the past few years, they have improved to a level that they can't be tagged as minnows anymore. Their record post-2015 world cup is so impressive that some experts ranked them above West Indies and Pakistan at the world cup. If you look at their record post-2015 world cup, they have a better Win/Loss ratio than Pakistan, Sri Lanka and West Indies. So the expectations were high from the Bangla tigers and looking at the fact that they made it to the Asia Cup finals last year, the experts believed that they might just pip out a team to make it to the semifinals.
Where they finished?
With three victories and a washed-out game out of 9, they finished 8th on the points table at the end of league phase with 7 points. They held their position in the middle of the table for most of the tournament only to lose steam in the backstages of it.
What went wrong?
Throughout the tournament, they played much better cricket than what their standings reveal on the points table. They started the tournament by beating mighty South Africa by 21 runs. In the next game, they had New Zealand against the Wall in a chase of 244 but Mushfiqur Rahim missed easiest of the run-out as he deflected the stumps off his hands even before the ball arrived. Taylor escaped a run out soon after and a better throw would have had him too. Bangladesh lost the game by two wickets in the end. They gunned down 322 in just 41 overs against West Indies after being thrashed by England with a heavy margin of 108 runs. The victory against West Indies didn't just boost their confidence, but the run rate too. In the next game, they produced another brilliant performance with the bat but 381 was too much for them against Aussie pacers. In fact, that's too much for any team against any bowling lineup. After beating Afghanistan comfortably, they looked like making it to the knockouts but an inspiring late resurgence of Pakistan and England pushed them behind in the race. Despite showing a lot of promise throughout the tournament they failed to nail down the key moments. Bowling and fielding remained their key concerns.
Player who disappointed the most
Mashrafe Mortaza is the most experienced cricketer not just in the Bangladesh squad, but across the 10 teams. Along with Chris Gayle, he is the only cricketers who have played all the cricket world cups of this century. He made his debut in 2001 and is one of the oldest, most experienced players of the tournament and unfortunately, he is the one who disappointed the most as well. Over the past two decades, he has established himself as a Bangladeshi legend and the Tigers had a lot of expectations from him. Mortaza could collect just one wicket in 8 games for Bangladesh and he was more of a liability than a hero at this world cup for them. He leaked runs at 6.44 which never allowed other bowlers to keep things tight in the middle. Mortaza might be a legend, a wonderful human being but at 35, cricket has died in him. Probably it's time for him to allow new faces to take over the reign.
Mustafizur Rahman collected 20 wickets at 24.20 and he is just behind Mitchell Starc on the leading wicket taker's tally. 'The Fizz' has made his name all across the world with his fiery Yorkers and clever cutters. He entered the International cricket just after the 2015 world cup against India and now he exhibited his talent at the highest stage 4 years later. Since we are talking about a player who made his debut just after a world cup and then went on to showcase his magic at next, we must talk about Litton Das too. Das finished the world cup with 184 runs at 46. His strike rate of 110 was one of the best among those who played 100 or more balls. These two have what it takes to go ahead and lead Bangladesh for the next 10-15 years.
What's next for them?
With Mashrafe Mortaza and Shakib Al Hassan moving into the twilight of their career, it's time for the youngsters like Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Mithun, and Sabbir Rahman to carry forward the legacy. The tigers have a great bunch of young cricketers and don't be surprised if you see them doing what Kiwis are doing these days. As Pakistan is lacking the ability to host home games, Bangladesh is the second-best cricketing market for the investors in Asia these days hence the Tigers won't be short of resources for sure.
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An excellent review from the author. Bangladesh fared very well and did much better than what was expected of them. I watched their match against India. India had to struggle very hard and they won with a very small margin. This speaks about the talent of the team. After England, this is one team which has given a tough match to India.
Mustafizur Rahman is an asset to the team and he is an excellent bowler for Bangladesh. Now Bangladesh should start working for the next world cup and they should bring in promising young players and train them to face the big tournament. If they plan to start working in that direction they will be having a very bright future.
A very nice exploration of the Bangladesh team and their achievements in the cricketing world. They have come a long way and has shown their capability in the format with disciplined batting, bowling and fielding. Even though Bangladesh had more youngsters, they were a tough team and played very well.
Their bowling and batting line-up were good and helped them to be a good contender in this world cup series. Shakib Al Hasan was a perfect man to watch in the middle. His way of batting and rotating strike even when under pressure is commendable and every middle-order batsmen need to learn from him.
The other person whom I noticed was Das who could hit the ball and change the game. At times he looked dangerous. We missed a player like him to accelerate the score under pressure.