World Twenty20 2012

Super Eights a realistic target

Mohammad Isam

September 19, 2012

Comments: 38 | Text size: A | A


Shakib Al Hasan punches one through cover, Bangladesh v Pakistan, Asia Cup final, Mirpur, March 22, 2012
How Shakib Al Hasan fares in Sri Lanka could determine whether Bangladesh makes it past round one © AFP
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Series/Tournaments: ICC World Twenty20
Teams: Bangladesh

The World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka will be as much a test of Bangladesh's skills and preparation as a measure of their progress as an international side. They've been grouped with a team they crushed in ODIs two years ago, and the contest in Pallekele will be Bangladesh's first against New Zealand since that 4-0 result. The other, and more recent, source of confidence is their wins against India and Sri Lanka during this year's Asia Cup, when Bangladesh qualified for the final.

Even Bangladesh's poor record against their other Group D opponents should provide extra inspiration. They haven't beaten Pakistan in 13 years, though in their last two matches they showed the readiness to fight, especially in the Asia Cup final in March.

Bangladesh's performance in that tournament is now considered the marker by many, though expecting the players to take a step further in the World Twenty20, where one bad over or shot could see them knocked out of the group stages, might be asking too much. They're primarily focused on making it past the New Zealand game unscathed and hoping for a Super Eights berth. It is a realistic target for a team that played a quarter of all their Twenty20 internationals four months before the World Twenty20.

Key player

Shakib Al Hasan considers himself a leader in the team, and rightly so. He provides match-winning ability to a team that needs it, despite the presence of other talented players. Shakib's batting and bowling averages are substantially better in Bangladesh wins in the past six years, a measure of his contribution to the team's cause. He will be playing with a dodgy knee and will bat at No 3. The bowling attack will also revolve around his left-arm spin.

Surprise package

In Ziaur Rahman, Bangladesh finally have an end-over hitter who can clear his right leg and swing powerfully. After an awkward teething period in Zimbabwe, Rahman hit eleven sixes during the build-up tours and broadened his range from just midwicket. He can use his feet against the spinners but high pace will test him: when he encountered such bowling against South Africa in June, Rahman settled for boundaries and the odd nudge. A fast-bowling talent cut short due to injury, Rahman reinvented himself as the sort of a shock-value player Bangladesh has lacked since Mohammad Rafique's heyday.


Spin will test the Bangladesh batsmen, especially Pakistan's offspinners. They tend to play out overs, which is a flawed strategy in a Twenty20 game. Also, they can be inflexible when things don't go according to plan. A recent example of this was the middle-order collapses after Shakib's dismissal during the two practice games in Sri Lanka.

World T20 history

A surprise win over West Indies took them to the Super Eights in 2007, but they failed to make it past the group stages in 2009 and 2010.

Recent form

Bangladesh have won four games out of six in 2012, results that include the 3-0 series win over Ireland in July. That performance took Bangladesh all the way up to No. 4 in the Twenty20 rankings but they returned to ninth three days later, after an unflattering start to their series in the Netherlands, where they won once and lost twice. One of those defeats was against Scotland. During an off-season dedicated to Twenty20, Bangladesh also won unofficial matches against South Africa, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Barbados on either side of the Europe tour.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Bangladesh

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Shrikant25 on (September 21, 2012, 12:14 GMT)

Bangaladesg go back to home. Play some cricket with associate team .i think they will lose there also.

Posted by pitch_curator on (September 21, 2012, 11:22 GMT)

@ Satan -- Big words coming from the fan of a team who are playing in the big league purely because India wanted more votes in ICC. Check your so called Tigers record in the numerous matches they have played and you will know. Anyways, BD fans make this place lively. they come swarming before the match saying that their team is th best and after their first round thumpings, go into

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (September 21, 2012, 10:54 GMT)

BD fans are so sad because they cannot be the first side to fly back home as in the earlier series. :P Funny that BD fans claim themselves as big team. but in reality, they do not have the 4th place in Asia as Afgan already reached there.

Posted by hisnulhasfan on (September 21, 2012, 10:01 GMT)

Australia will beat West Indians

Posted by hisnulhasfan on (September 21, 2012, 10:00 GMT)

Australia will win the tournement

Posted by Buckers410 on (September 21, 2012, 9:43 GMT)

New Zealand best test XI: 1.Guptill 2.B McCullum (vc) 3.Williamson 4.Taylor (c) 5.Watling 6.Vettori 7.van Wyk (wk) 8.Bracewell 9.Southee 10.Boult 11.Patel

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 9:05 GMT)

I expect Bangladesh would give a scare to the Black Caps today.NZ batsmen have to work really hard to overcome the BD's slow bowlers as Pallekele offers more tun.

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 8:45 GMT)

I expect Bangladesh would give a scare to the Black Caps today.NZ batsmen have to work really hard to overcome the BD's slow bowlers as Pallekele offers more tun.

Posted by CricketMaan on (September 21, 2012, 8:00 GMT)

I wonder why not group Afghan, Ireland, Zim in one group and let one get into super 8, the only glitch there is one of the so called top 8 will miss out, so be it, at leas taht will give these teams a chance to do something special rather than exit after the preliminaries, that said both Afgan and Ireland still have chances..

Posted by Shrikant25 on (September 21, 2012, 7:25 GMT)

Irish team is better than bangaladesh. Team like zim.and bangaladesh shouldnot be given direct entry to w.cup.they have to play with associate team then top 4 team should be in competition.if this happen in future it is difficult to bangaladesh and zim. To gain entry in w.cup.

Posted by colombo_SL on (September 21, 2012, 6:30 GMT)

Congratulation for both teams. This group is the interesting group for me. I hope some kind of surprise from this group in this tour. Bangladesh have a really good side, specially for T20. I'm waiting to see how Shakib manage at No.3 spot & interesting on Tamim Iqbal tooooo. NZ can be dangerous, if they can show a collective effort. Whish both teams success.

Posted by TheBlackMonk on (September 21, 2012, 5:25 GMT)

@Fast_Track_Bully - Do you even watch cricket? Zim are already in the airport before even BD played a match! and speaking of crashing out, feel lucky that this time BD wasn't in your group, Afg almost gave you that scare, don't know what would happen if BD were there! @wonderstar1 - It's the same India I can remember crying out for a player like Shakib/Mash time to time for their team! Perhaps these low profiled ordinary players what they need most or India itself is ordinary, who knows!?! So, BD never wins on their own, turns out others play "Bad" and make the day for BD! Now I should think about that for Ind-Afg match! Anyway, hope these times around other teams play really bad!

Posted by ashani_sl on (September 21, 2012, 4:55 GMT)

mohammed mohammed......we like Nakoula better!

Posted by Jawwad123 on (September 21, 2012, 4:19 GMT)

Wish Rubel Hossain was fit for playing> Hope none of you have forgotten Bangladesh's fastest bowler??

Posted by sayedsam on (September 21, 2012, 2:26 GMT)

sayedsam: best luck of bangladesh. i wish bd will win this match today and they beat pak next match...

Posted by AMAZINGFAN on (September 21, 2012, 1:03 GMT)

nz will beat bd for sure since palekele is not a turning pitch,iy helps seamers and bd don't have great seamers.

Posted by Quddus-Mamu on (September 20, 2012, 23:14 GMT)

Bangladesh best XI: 1.Tamim, 2. Ash, 3. Shakib, 4. Mushfiq, 5.Mahmudullah, 6.Nasir, 7. Zia, 8. Sunny, 9.Mash 10.Razzak, 11. Shafiul or Abul.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 21:16 GMT)

@Waheed Ahmad...Actually old Pakistan will take early flight tickets but I hope Pakistan as a whole is okay all the best :))

Posted by The_Ashes on (September 20, 2012, 17:47 GMT)

Its true Bangladesh aren't favourites at all but there's no excuse for them progressing this time around at least to the super 8s and if they do manage to get there then they have nothing to lose what happens next good luck!!!!!!

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 17:37 GMT)

I think Bangladesh is a ok team pivoted on two main players, and the rest is really below average. If the team can have couple more players like shakib, the team has a brighter future. I saw Afghanistan play yesterday and I must admit five years from now, Afghan will have a much better team than the BD team. They got serious raw talent.

Posted by reyme on (September 20, 2012, 17:25 GMT)

@ wonderstar1: Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but please, dont make yourself look silly! Hopefully BD will play well as a unit and come out as the winner! They have all the talents and potential, but on a gameday, they need to execute. The coaching staff must come up with a solid gameplan and guide the captain to execute that plan in the field.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 17:15 GMT)

Bangladesh will take early flight tickets INSHALLAH

Posted by M_Rakibul_Islam on (September 20, 2012, 17:01 GMT)

@ Fast_Track_Bully: lol.... Already Zimbabwe has been the 1st team to crash out 4m WT20 after losing to SA. Who r next? BD or NZ? 45-55 chance, I think.

Posted by braindead_rocker on (September 20, 2012, 16:42 GMT)

Their best chance is against NZ as Pakistan will be harder. Best of luck from an Indian fan.

Posted by Forgettable on (September 20, 2012, 15:59 GMT)

Goodluck Bangladesh. They should prove why they are better than NZ.

Posted by JOY04 on (September 20, 2012, 15:46 GMT)

@Fast_Track_Bully--haha very funny reply mate..u already proved wrong cz zim will b the frst team out of the wt20.. bdw try to reply like this as long as u can but the story will be inverse what u r thinking now... keep doing like mate....:-)

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 15:22 GMT)

New Zealand (probable) 1 Rob Nicol, 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Brendon McCullum (wk), 4 Kane Williamson, 5 Ross Taylor (capt), 6 Jacob Oram, 7 James Franklin, 8 Daniel Vettori, 9 Nathan McCullum, 10 Tim Southee/Doug Bracewell, 11 Kyle Mills/Adam Milne

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 14:44 GMT)

Fast Track Bully.. BD cannot be the first team to crash out of WT20. Zim will be the first one and Tomorrow Afghanistan may be the second :) BD have improved alot and they can surprise NZ or Pakistan. They can chase brlliantly and also NZ will find it very difficult to chase any good target because of Quality spinners in the team. I shall call NZ vs BD an even contest.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 14:44 GMT)

@Slow_Track_Bully..."First team to crash out"??? hehe First get the basics right because Zimbabwe were the first team to get knocked out good luck next time. Also read the headline of the article PROPERLY its not like they said Bangladesh will win it or something. Jealousy is not a virtue hope India play well well in their next game didn't look like World Champions to me cheers! :D

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 14:40 GMT)

Shakib Al Hasan is enough to beat New Zeland.

Posted by ExtremeSpeed on (September 20, 2012, 13:57 GMT)

@ Fast_Track_Bully - Don't get too carried away mate because I remember you before saying Ireland will win 3-0 but turned out to be completely wrong lool. You might be right but might 'again' be wrong hope you're ready to eat your words again best of wishes! ;)"

Posted by habib99 on (September 20, 2012, 13:51 GMT)

@ wonderstar1 - we will see about that, you already showing the signs of weaknesses and you know it, Bangladesh is no pushover these days.

Posted by 777aditya on (September 20, 2012, 13:41 GMT)

I would be mighty surprised if Bangla tigers dont march into the super 8s. Pakistan and New Zealand will be wary of the Bangladeshi carefree way of playing cricket, its a mixture of calypso and Sri Lankan cricket of Jayasurya days. Good spin attack, sprightly fielding, and unpredictable batting make Bangladesh strong contenders for a semis spot at least.

Posted by Tokai69 on (September 20, 2012, 13:18 GMT)

It's not in my wish list anymore. They are basically within 8th position in all the format. Now it's time to prove that just beating NZ in their first game. Good Luck tigers! Fight to your bones as the game is yours!!

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 12:44 GMT)

Good luck BD. In-shah-Allah we will won. keep strong confident. Don't be upset. Tiger never look behind, tiger always look forward. Roar. Tiger is new terror. Be aware tigers everyone are coming.

Posted by mgr125128 on (September 20, 2012, 12:31 GMT)

NZ will qualify for super 8. If Bangladesh remember the Asia cup final and put in little bit effort they could just about sneak into super 8.

Posted by wonderstar1 on (September 20, 2012, 12:27 GMT)

Bangladesh is just an ordinary side with low profile players who wont even fit in Pak A or Ind A team. sure they will be hammered by Pak and NZ. It will almost be a cakewalk for both pak and NZ. they cant make super eights unless pak or ny play very badly.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (September 20, 2012, 12:13 GMT)

No realistic hope. BD will be the first team to crash out from WT20.

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