Bangladesh in the T20 World Cup, by virtue of their world ranking are backed as favorites to top the qualifying group
Bangladesh are set to start their T20 World Cup showdown in Group B that looks set to be hotly contested with Scotland, Papua New Guinea and co-hosts Oman to be locked in battle to qualify for the Super 12 stage of the world event.
Bangladesh will play the opponents in the group in a round-robin format starting Sunday, taking on Scotland at Al Amerat Stadium in Muscat, with the top two advancing into the next stage.
The harsh middle eastern condition in Oman is alien to Bangladesh, added to the fact that they haven't had the best of preparation, which the team had aimed for.
Bangladesh started their camp in Oman and played Oman A team in a practice game.
The visitors had finished victorious, as expected against second string Oman, but the picture turned grim in the two official warm-up games – against Sri Lanka and Ireland.
Against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh went out to defend 147 runs but despite being in control in parts of the game, they lost eventually by four wickets.
As for the Ireland game, the performance bar deteriorated.
Bangladesh were all out for 144 chasing 178 and once again put the focus on the underperforming top-order.
Bangladesh in the T20 World Cup, by virtue of their world ranking are backed as favorites to top the group.
Whoever does so will join Afghanistan, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and the Group A runners-up in Group 2 at the Super 12 stage.
The team finishing second in Group B will meet Australia, England, South Africa, reigning champions West Indies and the Group A winners in Group 1.
Ever-presents at the T20 World Cup, Bangladesh have not yet topped their performance in the tournament, that had come in the very first edition in 2007 when they reached the Super 8s stage.
Hosting the tournament in 2014 did not bring a change in fortunes for Bangladesh.
This time however, they contain a promising mixture of youth and experience and reached the global tournament on the back of impressive sequence of series wins against Zimbabwe (2-1), Australia (4-1) and New Zealand (3-2) and captain Mahmadullah will hope for his men to continue when the action begins in Oman.
There was however eyebrows raised with the manner of victories – particularly which came against Australia and New Zealand.
These two series were supposed to be Bangladesh’s preparation for the world event with the games expected to have being played on similar conditions, likely to be in Oman and the UAE.
But instead Bangladesh chose to win, taking advantage of typical spinning tracks in Mirpur to corner the opponents.
Mahmudullah is one of several seasoned internationals in a Tigers squad which also includes Shakib al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar and Mushfiqur Rahim, though Tamim Iqbal made himself unavailable for selection in September.
The opener was the leading run scorer in the most recent T20 World Cup in 2016 but a desire to see the country’s young openers seize their opportunity on the world stage led to his withdrawal, with Mohammad Naim and Liton Das the men trusted to fill Tamim’s sizeable shoes at the top of the order.
With the ball, left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed has settled seamlessly into the international arena since making his T20I debut in March and seamer Mustafizur Rahman was the third highest wicket-taker at the 2019 50-over World Cup.
Shamim Hossain and Shariful Islam, meanwhile, were part of the squad which helped Bangladesh claim U-19 Cricket World Cup glory in early 2020.