Here are five talking points from the Tigers’ performance in the qualifiers round
Bangladesh have qualified for the Super 12 stage as Group B runner-up, and placed in Group 1 where they will face Australia, England, West Indies, South Africa and Group A champion from the qualifiers. Despite losing against Scotland, Bangladesh managed a hard-fought win against hosts Oman and thrashed Papua New Guinea in the first round. Here are five talking points from the Tigers’ performance in the qualifiers round:
Shakib back in business, on time
Shakib al Hasan, one of the world’s best all-rounders in this format, came back to his near best in the last two qualifiers, and the timing was spot on for the man himself and for the Tigers. Since his return to international cricket last year, Shakib has not performed to his usual high standards in T20s, be it in domestic tournaments or the Indian Premier League or T20Is for the Tigers. He even struggled with the bat in the first game against Scotland. But the star all-rounder turned around superbly in the next two matches with brilliant all-round display, and was adjudged man of the match on both occasions with contributions with both bat and ball. Shakib has taken nine wickets already in three games and totaled 108 runs and it looks like Shakib has started this world event like the one in 2019 where he had a splendid tournament.
Mahedi’s useful off-spin
Mahedi Hasan has been one of the standout performers for Bangladesh in the qualifiers. The off-spinning all-rounder has become a crucial part in the Tigers' T20I set-up. He is bowling the full complement of four overs with economical spells and also taking crucial wickets at important times. In the must win game against Oman when Bangladesh were defending 153, Mahedi bowled a superb spell which helped the Tigers to come back in the game and checked the home team's run rate significantly. The right arm spinner also bowled well in the last match and has the ability to score some quick runs as well which gives the Tigers a good batting option as well.
Nurul's energetic keeping
Nurul Hasan has been considered as one of the best wicket-keepers in the country for the last few years. But the right-hander was unable to make it into the playing XI as Bangladesh had Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das for the shorter formats. Since Mushifq and Liton both gave up keeping, Nurul has performed the duty in 16 T20Is for the Tigers. The wicketkeeper-batsman produced two stunning catches against Oman and PNG in back to back matches and also kept wickets well with high energy in the qualifiers. His big hitting abilities in the slog overs also adds batting depth for the Tigers.
Taskin’s good pace
Taskin Ahmed’s gradual return to the national team across formats is an ideal example for all cricketers out there on how to come back strongly in the national side. When the right arm pacer was picked in the T20 World Cup squad, a few questions were raised as Taskin’s T20 form is not that great. Bangladesh had tried left-arm pacer Shariful Islam in the home series' against New Zealand and Australia and it was thought Shariful will be picked ahead of Taskin in the first round. But Taskin bowled well in the warm-up games and got the opportunity. He put in a good opening spell against Scotland, which Bangladesh eventually lost. Taskin also bowled well against Oman and PNG and the significant thing is he showed good pace. He will be key for Bangladesh in the coming games.
Saifuddin with ball and bat
All-rounder Saifuddin is a key member in Bangladesh’s pace bowling unit as he often opens the bowling. He has the ability to swing the ball early in the innings, which gives him extra advantage. His two overs at the death against Oman was also important as his brilliant bowling along with Mahedi’s off-spin brought Bangladesh back into the game. Saifuddin is often labeled as one of the big hitters in the squad as he has the ability to score boundaries in quick time in the slog overs. The left-handed batsman showed his skills against PNG blasting 19 off just six balls with two huge sixes and a boundary in the last over. Saifuddin’s all-round display is also a good finding for the Tigers from the qualifiers.