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Golden Opportunity for Team Tigers

January 8th, 2016 | by admin
Golden Opportunity for Team Tigers
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The ensuing Asia Cup to be played for the first time in T20 format in Bangladesh presents a unique opportunity for winning a major international tournament for the first time. The closest that Bangladesh went was in 2012. Bangladesh narrowly lost to Pakistan in the final after prevailing over Sri Lanka and India. That tournament was played on ODI basis. From now on Asia cup will alternate between ODI and T20.

T20 is the forte of Bangladesh mainly because lack of playing opportunities of International T20. But in ODI Bangladesh has achieved enviable successes in 2015 winning bilateral series against Pakistan, India and South Africa on home soil. Many Bangladeshi players played exceptionally well in the recent BPL 3 version of T20 tournament. The top players are in peak form and few exceptional new talents have emerged. Bengal tigers are in great shape for a crack at the top honor. There is great prospect of winning the trophy this time we believe if only the team can play to potential.

The series against Zimbabwe preceding the Asia cup will be ideal preparation for Bangladesh to try and make experiment for setting up ideal combination .Few areas will need some ironing for fixing winning combination.

Zimbabwe lost a closely fought ODI is travelling to Bangladesh next week for playing 4 T20 matches. All matches will be played at Sheikh Naser Cricket Stadium in Khulna. Winning or losing this bilateral T20 series will matter less .Bangladesh has chosen this series as an ideal opportunity for fine tuning the team combination. It needs to fix few batting positions, need a pinch hitter who can float around. It has now abundance of talented cricketer to choose from. It has to choose horses for the courses. For the first two T20s it has given opportunities to a few new players based on their recent performances resting few others who have already proved their abilities. The nucleus of the team however remains unaltered.

This writer is not an admirer of T20 version of the game. For a maturing team like Bangladesh T20 is not yet in its grasp. Young players are not yet fine-tuned because of lack of playing against quality opposition .But there is no dearth of talent as appeared in the recently concluded BPL 2015.

The nature of the game is such that a team has to play consistently well throughout the 20 overs. A poor over of a bowler can spoil the days hard work. Any batsman will 20 runs in an over can change the course of a match .Any bowler bowling a tight over at the crucial stage can reverse the situation. At least four teams including Bangladesh will be ideal match .For the first time in many years any of the four can win the trophy because of the nature of the game. India and Bangladesh are more settled sides .Pakistan and Sri Lanka are in the process of rebuilding.

Sri Lanka is the reigning champion. But the team is in the rebuilding process following the retirement of two of their iconic players Kumara Sangakkara and Mahela Jayewardene.We are not very sure also whether Lasith Malinga will be available as well. With a new looks team it may not be easy for Sri Lanka retaining the trophy. But they still have some quality players and will definitely be competitive.

Pakistan in recent visit to Bangladesh was compressively white washed in both T20 and ODI series. The team is also in rebuilding process. The bowling with the inclusion of talented Mohammad Amir and return of Umar Gul looks very strong though the drug abuse suspension of leg spinner Yasir Shah will tilt their balance significantly. But batting and fielding do not look like championship potential. There are some impact players like Afridi and Wahab Riaz who can change the course of a T20 match.
India in sub continental condition is always very strong and is always considered favorites in any international team. They also lost the ODI series against Bangladesh last year .But with players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni, Ashwin and Jadeja they will be the top challenger for any team in the ensuing Asia Cup.

Bangladesh is blessed with a mover and shaker captain Mashrafee inspiring a wonderful group of highly motivated talented players. The “ Can do “ and “never to die “ attitude has changed the team to winning orbit .Emergence of highly talented Mustafiz , Soumya and maturing of Shabbir and Nasir alongside of established stars Tamim, Shakib ,Mushfiqur , Mahamudullah, Arafat Sunny and off course Mashrafee has turned Bangladesh into a team of strength. New budding talents like Abu Haidar and Al Amin have given depth and diversity. BCB is experimenting with Nurul Hasan, Abu Haidar and Shubhagato in few matches against Zimbabwe. By the time the Asia cup will start hopefully tigers will be ready for the hunt. Taskin, Shahid and Saqlain Sajib will be waiting in the wings. Rubel is nursing his wounds. We think Bangladesh should have given opportunity to Jubair to mature as well. It was not good overlooking a rare species like Jubair in BPL .Leg spinners win matches in all formats.

Bangladesh has credible potential for winning the Asia Cup for the first time .If that happens that will add tonic to Bangladesh mission T20 world Cup soon to be played in India where Bangladesh will first play in the qualifying round and onwards in the group of death alongside Australia, New Zealand, India and Pakistan.

Source: banglanews24.com

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