CT 2017, Match 9, NZ v BAN: Bangladesh Predicted XI

CT 2017, Match 9, NZ v BAN: Bangladesh Predicted XI

One last opportunity for Bangladesh to create impact in the tournament

Bangladesh. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Bangladesh has had a topsy-turvy tournament until now and is somehow hanging in there in contention of a berth in the Champions Trophy. Therefore their fixture against the New Zealand today at Cardiff, Wales becomes a matter of utmost importance. New Zealand themselves are coming off a demoralising defeat against the English side.

Bangladesh faced the brunt of arguably the best batting lineup of the tournament and lost their match against England by a massive margin of 8 wickets even after posting a competitive total of 305 in front of the home side. Coming to their second match of the tournament against Australia, Bangladesh perhaps faced the best bowling line up and struggled to put bat to the ball against them.

But the rain gods showered their blessings on Bangladesh and their fans, as they still have an outside chance to secure a place in the semi-finals. They have to win their match tomorrow and hope that Australia loses to England in the final match of the group. Let us look at the predicted XI of the Bangladesh side tomorrow against the Black Caps.

Openers (Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar)

Looking at the line-up of Bangladesh in the last couple of matches, it is highly unlikely that they would want to tamper with the opening combination of Bangladesh. Tamim Iqbal stood out in both the innings as he scored a daddy hundred against England and a valuable 95 against a quality Australian attack which ripped apart the batting lineup of Bangladesh.

The only point of concern for the Bangladeshis is at the opposite end.  Soumya Sarkar needs to step up a notch against New Zealand to justify his selection into the side. Soumya Sarkar looked in a decent touch against Bangladesh but missed out against Australia. He would want to repeat his antics at Dublin against New Zealand where he scored a valuable 61 off 67 deliveries.

Middle-Order (Sabbir Rahman, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah)

Looking at the Imrul Kayes, who is essentially an opener, the southpaw doesn’t quite fit into the role of number three. On the other hand, Shabbir Rahman’s talent is being wasted in order to accommodate Kayes at number three. Also, with Kayes in that position, the top 3 in the line becomes one dimensional as all the batters are left handed.

Sabbir Rahman, who is the next big thing Bangladesh cricket, would bring in flair at the top of the order apart from the right-hand-left-hand combination. Also in recent history, Sabbir Rahman has done well against the Kiwis at number 3. He played a vital hand of 65 runs in their recent victory against the Kiwis in Ireland.

Mushfiqur Rahim would want to make amends after missing out against Australians at the number four position. He provides the much-needed solidarity in the batting lineup. He is still freshly off his dominating knock of 79 off 72 deliveries against the English side.

Also, a big finishing innings from Mahmudullah is due in the tournament. But Bangladesh is wasting a player of the pedigree of Mahmudullah who does not have enough overs to face, coming in at no. 7. Who can forget the unbeaten knock of 128 against the Kiwis at Hamilton back in 2015 World Cup, where he single-handedly took his side almost towards victory, coming in at no. 4.

All-rounder (Shakib Al Hasan, Mossadek Hossain, Mehedi Hasan)

The all-rounder department of Bangladesh becomes spin heavy, especially after accommodating Mossadak Hossain instead of Imrul Kayes. Shakib Al Hasan over the years has been a pillar of Bangladesh cricket with his number five position and 10 overs he bowls.

But his bowling was essentially flat against England and was not given an outing with the ball against Australia due to the wetness in the outfield in due to rain. With Mehedi Hasan and Mossadek Hossain in the side, we are looking at at least 10 cumulative overs apart from the increasing the depth in the batting order.

Bowlers (Mashrafe Mortaza, Rubel Husain, Mustafizur Rahman)

The pace department is expected to be handled by Captain Mortaza, and his associates by the names of Rubel Hussain and Mustafizur Rahman. The attack has lots of variety in pace as well as line and length. They would desperately want to create an impact in the tournament as they appeared flat against England.

When we look at the Bangladesh attack, Shakib, Mustafizur and Rubel Hussain should complete their quota of 10 overs. Due to fitness issues of Mortaza, Saikat and Mehedi Hasan should be able to fill in for Mortaza and if a bowler has an ordinary day.