Bangladesh backing star all-rounders to make T20 World Cup impact
As the top-ranking team in their group, Bangladesh go into the tournament as favourites to reach the Super 12 Stage but captain Mahmud Ullah knows they cannot take anything for granted.
“In any World Cup every match is important equally,” Mahmud said. “Each game is important. You have to be on the top from the first ball. You have to be in a frame of mind, focused on your team process so that you can win every game.”
Fuelling their campaign will be a core group of all-rounders, led by Shakib Al Hasan, who sits at the top of the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I all-rounder rankings.
Alongside Shakib’s all-round skills, Bangladesh boast a powerful batting order with the likes of Mahmud and Mushfiqur Rahim, a pace attack spearheaded by the in-form Mustafizur Rahman, and a plethora of cunning spinners.
Essentially, they should have all bases covered.
“Our strength has been our all-rounders and our bowling department. Having said that, our batting department is also very good. We have got a good balance in our team,” Mahmud said.
“We’ve got five or six all-rounders who can bowl and bat and our fast bowlers have been (doing) really well – they’re doing an incredible job at the moment.
"Our spinners are our strength as well. If they can put up their hands in a few matches, hopefully we’re going to have some good results.”
While Shakib stands alone as the jewel in the crown, Mahmud tipped a trio of youngsters to shine, praising all-rounders Afif Hossain and Shamim Hossain, and batter Nural Hasan.
“Shakib has been the No.1 all-rounder. He is the most valuable player in our team. Having said that Mushfiqur Rahim and Mustafizur Rahman are also very important and a few youngsters like Afif, Shamim and Sohan (Nural Hasan) are really keen to do well for themselves and for the team as well. I think those are the youngsters to look for.”
With a five-match T20I series against New Zealand locked in for next month and having just recently registered their first ever series win over Australia, the Tigers are looking to build as much momentum as possible before the tournament.
They start their campaign on 17 October against Scotland, before clashes against Oman (19 October) and Papua New Guinea (21 October).