ODI World Cup 2023: Bangladesh performance review

Bangladesh won only two matches and finished eighth on the points table.

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Bangladesh Team
Bangladesh Team. (Photo Source: X(Twitter)

Going into the ODI World Cup 2023, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) made it clear that the team was not looking yo fight for the title but was looking to gain experience for the next edition. There was also a massive controversy regarding Tamim Iqbal, as he had a fallout with skipper Shakib Al Hasan, which resulted in him not getting a ticket to India. Leaving out a player of his calibre was probably a wrong decision as the batting unit looked mere average in the tournament.

The bowlers too were not at their best. They have a terrific record in ODIs at home but in similar conditions in India, they could not perform to their potential as the team finished eighth on the points table, with four points in nine matches. Courtesy of a win over Sri Lanka in their second last game of the campaign, the Shakib Al Hasan-led side managed to qualify for the Champions Trophy 2025.

However, there is a lot to improve before that. The bowlers lack confidence while the batters have the calibre but consistency remains an issue. Bangladesh started the season with a convincing six-wicket victory over Afghanistan in Dharamshala but could not build momentum after that. Some of their decisions were questionable as well. For instance, Shakib batting at number five made little sense. The commentators pointed out regularly, however, the skipper stated that he had to bat in the middle-order as it suited best for the team.

Overall, the team needs massive improvement. They have quality young players who can turn things around but before that, BCB need to make a few changes. The team needs to play more away matches to get accustomed to foreign conditions. Their track record away from home is not ideal and thus, the next generation should be ready for any challenge going ahead. Meanwhile, here’s how they have fared in ODI World Cup 2023:

The good, bad and not so pretty

The youngsters getting exposure was the biggest positive for Bangladesh in the tournament. The likes of Najmul Hossain Shanto, Towhid Hridoy and Shoriful Islam among a few others would now understand the value of crucial matches and the experience they got in the tournament would help them for bigger challenges.

On the other hand, it was once again Mahmudullah and Shakib Al Hasan who helped Bangladesh in the majority of the matches. Mahmudullah particularly was not in the scheme of things ahead of the tournament but the team management decided to bring him in at the last moment and the all-rounder was sensational throughout. He gave his all with the bat and played a massive role in them qualifying for the Champions Trophy.

However, others had to step up and that did not happen. Mustafizur Rahman has experience playing in Indian conditions but the pacer picked up only five wickets in eight matches. His partner Taskin Ahmed was bowled well but picked just five wickets in seven matches. Since their main strike bowlers were just average, Bangladesh could not make a mark in the competition.

The moment that mattered

Bangladesh’s win over Sri Lanka was extremely important as it sealed their fate for the Champions Trophy. In that match, skipper Shakib Al Hasan took a controversial decision as Angelo Mathews became the first cricketer in international cricket to be given time out. Notably, the veteran all-rounder had a helmet malfunction and called for a replacement. However, Shakib appealed for time our and the umpire ruled him out. Eventually, Bangladesh went on to win the match by three wickets.

Leaving the controversy aside, the Bangla Tigers put up a great show in Delhi that night. Youngster Tanzim Hasan Sakib picked up three wickets with the ball while skipper Shakib picked two wickets and also hit 82 runs with the bat. Najmul Shanto supported him well as the 25-year-old hit 90 to help Bangladesh cross the line.

Remember the name

The redemption story of Mahmudullah should give confidence to the upcoming stars of the game. A couple of months prior to the ODI World Cup, the all-rounder stated that he had no knowledge of why he was out of the team but he kept grinding and made it to the team at the very last moment and was arguably their best player in the tournament. 

Future fermentation

Bangladesh have the right mix of youth and experience in the team but a lot of senior cricketers including Shakib, Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur are expected to retire from the game before the 2027 edition. Thus, the team management needs to focus on how their ODI team will shape up in the future and make a pool of 25 cricketers and start preparing the right away.

The same can be applied in the other two formats as well. A lot of cricketers are coming into the limelight because of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) and the team management should prepare them for both home and away conditions to make a strong squad. They should also arrange more A tours to identify more talent.

Coming of age

The future looks bright for the team as they have enormous talent in the mix. However, BCB needs to work closely with them in order to make them world-class cricketers. Players like Shanto, Tanzim Sakib and Hridoy have got the talent but they need exposure to deliver on a consistent basis.

Shakib went on to become a match-winner after he started playing in foreign leagues as he gathered experience which helped his game. Bangladesh need to approve cricketers to play more franchise-based tournaments as it not only secures them financially but also prepares them well for high-octane clashes. 

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