CT 2017, Game 1, ENG V BAN- Bangladesh Predicted XI

CT 2017, Game 1, ENG V BAN- Bangladesh Predicted XI

Bangladesh have beaten England the last time they were up against each other in a major ICC tournament. Since then, though, England have mastered the art of playing the ODI format.

Bangladesh Mustafizur Rahman
Bangladesh. (Photo by PAUL MCERLANE/AFP/Getty Images)

Bangladesh are up against a power-packed England side in the eight-nation tournament’s curtain raiser. Bangladesh are no pushovers anymore as they have risen the bar in the last 2 years, especially in ODI cricket. They have tremendous self-belief but need to deliver in a tournament where the stakes are at an all-time high.

The Tigers are making a comeback to the ICC Champions Trophy after missing the previous two editions. After treading water for a number of years in international cricket, Bangladesh have harbingered themselves as a fine ODI team. They won home ODI series against powerful Asian sides India and Pakistan in 2015 and have since then gone on to become a decent ODI side, culminating into a 6th ranked ODI team. It remains to be seen how they go about their business in a multi-country tournament.

They have been in the UK for a month now and participated in a tri-series in Ireland where they won 2 out of 3 completed games. A decent performance against Pakistan in their first warm-up games followed a poor outing against a strong Indian side which served as a caveat going into the tournament and caused them to ruminate upon their strategy. Facing the hosts, who have been in red-hot form over the past 18 months, will be a tough proposition. If Bangladesh play to their potential, they can give a scare to the mighty English.

We bring you the Predicted XI of Bangladesh for their first Champions Trophy game in 11 years:

Openers (Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar)

Tamim Iqbal might be just 28 but he has played international cricket for a decade now. He is the leading run scorer for Bangladesh in Test and ODI cricket. He has racked up 8 hundreds in ODIs which, again, is a Bangladesh record for most hundreds. Tamim warmed up for the tournament by scoring a classy hundred against Pakistan. He was prolific in the tri-series too, scoring 199 runs in 4 innings at 66.33. The explosive left-hander needs to show the same kind of form in this curtain-raiser and take the attack to the English bowlers. He is a stroke player and can set the tone at the top of the order.

Soumya Sarkar is your modern day ODI cricketer having a striker rate of 99.67 after 27 games. He struck two fifties in the tri-series in Ireland to show that he is capable of handling the conditions. Sarkar and Tamim are two out and out attacking batsmen but need to get their eye in before they can launch an attack on the bowlers.

Middle Order (Sabbir Rahman, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah)

Sabbir has been the incumbent No. 3 for Bangladesh for a while. He is again an attacking batsman and was amongst the runs in Ireland. This will be a great learning curve for Sabbir who is aged 25. Bangladesh has entrusted in Sabbir a lot and it is time to repay that faith.

Mushfiqur is technically the best batsman from Bangladesh to handle the seaming conditions in England. He has a sound game and can impress with his batsmanship. He may be short in stature but can pack a punch if the ball is in his half. Having made his debut in 2006, Musfiqur has never played in a Champions Trophy but has 21 appearances in World Cups where he has amassed 510 runs. He is generally very chirpy behind the stumps which can put pressure on opposition batsmen.

Mahmudullah can seek inspiration from his outstanding century against England in the 2015 World Cup which knocked out England. Mahmudullah’s average of 33.91 in ODI cricket is on the rise in the past two years as he has racked up runs consistently. He can be promoted to bat at No. 4, a position he made his own during the World Cup in 2015

All-rounders (Shakib Al Hasan and Mosaddek Hossain)

Shakib hasn’t been in the best of forms which was one of the reasons of him playing just one game for KKR in the IPL 2017. His numbers with bat and ball in the ODI arena can match the best in the world but the left-hander has had a quiet year. A big tournament might provide the right motivation to perform up to his lofty standards. The 30-year old is a crucial cog in Bangladesh’s wheels and need to put his hand up at the big stage.

Mosaddek is a 21-year old lad who boasts of an average of 67.73 in first-class cricket. He has quality and that is the reason why Bangladesh is backing him. Players like him should be groomed and allowed to flourish at the international level at their own pace. He can chip in with some overs with his occasional off-spin.

Bowlers (Mehedi Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza, Rubel Hossain and Mustafizur Rahim)

Off-spinner Mehedi Hassan produced a gutsy performance against the mighty Indians in the warm-up clash. A batting line-up who is known to raze spinners, Mehedi went for just 39 runs in his 9 overs. His bowling was not all about darts. He gave the ball a fair bit of air and mixed it up nicely with variations in pace. His knock of 24 at No. 8 showed that he has the ability to handle the bat.

Skipper Mortaza has time and again underlined the potential his squad has. He has emphasised on playing fearless cricket and not get intimated by big sides. Mortaza is the leader of the Bangladesh attack and must provide bright starts with the ball. He leads his side well and can be useful with the bat lower down the order.

Rubel Hossain is remembered for his famous altercation with Virat Kohli in the 2011 World Cup. Since then he has gone on from being a pedestrian international bowler to a canny and smart operator in ODIs. His 3/50 against India in the warm-up was a timely reminder of his abilities with the new and old ball. The 27-year old has perfected the art of bowling immaculate yorkers at the death and is hard to get away with.

Mustafizur will play an important role with the ball for the Tigers. He flummoxed the cricketing world when he arrived at the international scene in 2015. The 21-year old has astounding 43 wickets from a mere 18 games. He bowls off-cutters, which are not only well disguised but comes at a very good pace. His yorkers at the end of the innings are hard to put away. The ‘Fizz’ can swing it into the right-handers when the ball is new and will relish bowling in the English conditions.