Sports desk :
Cricket has evolved significantly over years, from Tests to ODIs to T20s. The Bangladesh cricket team’s evolution over years can be compared to the evolution of cricket.
Starting off by becoming a Test-playing nation in 2000, Bangladesh have grown a lot as a side in the last 15 years to become a formidable ODI team. But the transformation from ODIs to T20Is has been tough for Bangladeshi cricket.
Bangladesh had a memorable 2015 in terms of ODIs: they reached the quarter-final of ICC World cup 2015 for the first time in history, and beat Pakistan (3-0), India (2-1), South Africa (2-1) and Zimbabwe (3-0), albeit all at home. This was the first team in the team’s history they went a year without losing an ODI series. Yet, all the positives from ODI format was unable to be converted into victories in T20Is.
However, if one looks beyond numbers, the Bangladeshi side should not fear much about their T20I results. The following 5 reasons should tell why they can transfer their good ODI form into results in T20.
1. Bowling attack: The current Bangladesh bowling line-up is one of the best in their history. The bowling has a mixture of pace and skill. They are marshalled by captain Mashrafe Mortaza, and include young and fiery Taskin Ahmed, the hardworking Al-Amin Hossain, a sensational Mustafizur Rahman and the ever-reliable Shakib Al Hasan. Their depth in bowling means that Rubel Hossain is around the cards in every match. On a given day, this bowling attack can contain the best batting teams.
2. Shakib Al Hasan: Over years Bangladesh have produced many talented players from Mohammad Ashraful to Habibul Bashar to Abdur Razzak, but Shakib has overshadowed all of them. A very rare find, Shakib is the near-perfect all-rounder. His exceptional abilities were noticed at international when he became the first player to be No. 1 all-rounder in ICC rankings in all formats of the game. Be it soaking pressure, clearing the boundary, or taking wickets, Shakib has it all in him.
3. Emergence of batsmen: Bangladesh have always produced good batsmen, but no one can deny the current lot of batsmen brings more hope for the fans than any in their history. The emergence of Sabbir Rahman, Soumya Sarkar and the experience of Tamim Iqbal can be very useful in coming times. Both Sabbir and Sarkar have showcased their abilities to guide their side to finals in the recent Asia Cup 2016.
4. Captaincy: Mortaza’s aggressive captaincy has been a welcome sign for the team. Of late, his aggressive approach of attacking the batsmen throughout the innings and innovative field placements has yielded results. In T20Is, it is necessary to build pressure from early on, and Mashrafe understands the need of early wickets.
5. Heath Streak: Streak has changed the bowling attack of Bangladesh significantly. Since his addition to the coaching staff, the bowling has found a lot of confidence with bowlers getting the ball at right areas at good pace. Under his coaching, the bowlers have learnt to deliver more yorkers, cutters, and good-length balls, which have earned them wickets in 2015.