Shakib Al Hasan
He has owned the World Cup with the bat, batting the best he has ever batted in ODI cricket. He is undoubtedly the best Bangladesh cricketer ever and has chosen the right stage to lift his game another notch.
Shakib has conquered English conditions by understanding and acknowledging the shots he is better off playing, and by not attempting shots that a lot of people think are necessary to play in order to succeed in these conditions.
While batting is indeed a side-on discipline, it is counterproductive if you get too side-on in your stance or after your trigger movement. Shakib's front-foot trigger movement is small, but since he only goes across, it closes the leading shoulder further. The problem with such a position is that it is very difficult to drive towards mid-off, because you end up slicing it squarer all the time. Also, there is a realistic chance of nicking often because you can't present the full face of the bat when the body is so closed. Shakib has understood the implications of his stance and hasn't tried to hit flowing drives; instead he has chosen to stay beside the line to create width whenever the length is a little short.
He is extremely strong through point, so it is wise to guard that area, with at least one fielder in a catching position. Shakib has also been picking the length of pace bowlers quite early, which has allowed him to get inside the line of attempted bouncers. While he has not been dismissed by bouncers, it might still be worth setting a short-ball trap for him.
Shakib the bowler is likely to come to the fore on the used Edgbaston pitch against India. He doesn't impart a lot of spin on the ball and relies heavily on varying the pace in the air to deceive the batsman. On a fresh flat pitch, you could look to play him through the long-on and midwicket region, but on a used pitch, the odd ball will grip and turn, so it is important to get to the pitch of the ball and turn the bat face really late if you are playing him through the on side.
He has been Bangladesh's standout batsman in the couple of years leading up to this World Cup, but while he has shown glimpses of good form in this tournament, he hasn't set the stage alight yet. He has been pushed back by a barrage of bouncers, which seemed to have shaken him up somewhat in the first part of the World Cup. While the Indian seamers can employ the same tactic, it is important not to get carried away with it because of the slowness of the used surface, and the short boundary on one side.
The best ball to Tamim is a really full but slightly wide one. He loves driving through the cover region and finds the full length irresistible, and that's when he gets lured into chasing wide ones too. Start with a couple of slips in place and use the bouncer sparingly to keep him honest, but look to pick his wicket up with a full-ish ball.
He is someone who knows his style of play inside out and relishes contests against India. Like most diminutive batsmen, he prefers the ball to be a little short, especially outside off. His working area against pace is from third man to deep point, and since he is short, bowlers need to alter their lengths slightly.
The best ploy against him is to bowl a length that forces him to drive off the front foot through covers. The full length to a taller batsman is a ball he will defend comfortably, so you must pitch it a foot fuller to him, to force the drive.
Against spin, he will use different varieties of the sweep shot to disturb the line and length. And like with pace, it is best if the spinners too avoid bowling short and wide to him, since he also likes cutting them. Whenever a spinner is bowling within the stumps, the ideal length to him would be one that is either too full or too short to sweep, and whenever the bowler goes wide, it's important to bowl the length that makes Mushfiqur drive.
This is a World Cup of left-arm fast bowlers - Mitchell Starc, Trent Boult, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz and Mustafizur.
Mustafizur is likely to bowl in three short spells. With the new ball, he will try to bring it back into the right-hand Indian top order, but the flat pitch might force him to abandon that plan quickly. His go-to plan on unfavourable pitches is to take the ball away from the right-hand batsmen with the angle, and by rolling his fingers over the ball once in a while. I won't be surprised if he starts bowling cutters in the first or second over against India.
In the middle overs, Mustafizur will bowl the odd bouncer. He might also try bowling yorkers, but his stock ball will be variations of his offcutter: some will be really slow and a few will be bowled at around the 120kph-mark.
In the death overs, his tactics will change somewhat - with a lot of balls aimed at the toes.
The use of the short ball is dependent on which end a bowler bowls from at Edgbaston, because of the short boundary on one side of the ground. It's important to factor that into your plans, because the areas you will want to target will change radically depending on the bowling end.