Australia will host the eighth edition of the T20 format world cup in the October-November window. Like the previous edition, the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup 2022 will also feature 16 teams to compete for the trophy. Bangladesh will directly play in the Super 12 round as they don’t have to take part in the qualifier this time. They will face heavyweights India, Pakistan, and South Africa in the Super 12 phase in their quest for a semi-final berth. Considering the Australian conditions, the tournament will be a major challenge for the current Bangladesh T20 side. They need to fix some issues before heading to Australia to take part in the mega event.
Things Bangladesh T20 team needs to improve prior to the 2022 T20 World Cup
The Bangladesh team will take part in the Twenty20 World Cup 2022 under the leadership of Mahmudullah Riyad. With a little over three months left before the main event eventually kicks off, the Tigers T20 side needs to develop some areas in order to perform better against the strong opposition in the Super 12 round. The areas where the Bangladesh T20 team needs to improve are discussed in this article.
Finding an ideal opening pair
One of Bangladesh's main problems across all formats is finding a suitable opening pair. In the ODI format, Tamim Iqbal and Litton Das have given Bangladesh a solid opening slot. Together they have scored 1,254 runs in 32 innings with an average of 41.80. In contrast, Bangladesh’s opening pair scenario in the Twenty20 format has been substandard in recent times.
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By looking at Bangladesh’s opening pair history in the T20 format, it is very much apparent that the team has never found a stable pair in the opening slot. Bangladesh have so far played 125 T20I matches. Litton Das-Mohammad Naim and Tamim Iqbal-Soumya Sarkar have opened the most innings (17) for the Tigers.
Top four Bangladesh’s opening pairs in the T20 format
Litton Das and Mohammad Naim
Soumya Sarkar and Tamim Iqbal
Litton Das and Tamim Iqbal
Anamul Haque and Tamim Iqbal
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None of the opening pairs have a better than a 30 average in batting (at least 10 innings). So, Bangladesh need a viable and aggressive-minded opening pair who can give a solid platform in the innings.
The Tigers team management may pick Munim Shahriar and Anamul Haque to open the innings for Bangladesh in the West Indies series. Both the batters have a reputation for being aggressive. The pair can open the innings for Bangladesh in the forthcoming World Cup if they perform well in the West Indies series as well as the remaining T20I fixtures before the main event. Otherwise, Mohammad Naim, Litton Das, and others can be considered to fill the opening slot.
Boosting the pacers' efficiency
405 out of 601 wickets have been taken by the fast bowlers in the T20Is in Australia so far. This stat suggests how dominating and effective fast bowlers are in this region. Therefore, Bangladesh’s pacers need to be well-equipped with the Australian conditions so that they can thrive during the world cup.
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Traditionally, the spinners have had the most success in bowling, but as per stats, the fast bowlers have performed equally well in the T20 format. The pacers have taken 343 T20I wickets, while the spinners have scalped 344. The recent performance has also indicated that the fast bowlers are equally good as the spinners of Bangladesh. Both pace department and spin department have picked up 86 wickets each since January 2021.
With Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, and Shoriful Islam in the squad, Bangladesh’s pace department is better than ever. They just need to be well versed in the conditions in Australia. Thankfully, the tri-nation series in New Zealand just before the 2022 T20 World Cup will help the quick bowlers to be more well-informed about the conditions.
Learning the batting technique on a fast, bouncy pitch
Bangladesh batters have a problem thriving on fast and bouncy tracks. In Australia, they will face some of the fastest bowlers in the world right now. Facing these fearsome quick bowlers will be a real challenge for the tigers. They have to overcome their inner fear and learn the technique of dealing with the fast bowlers on bouncy wickets.
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In the Oceania region, Bangladesh have only played against New Zealand in the T20 format. In seven matches, only two batters have scored fifties. This stat indicates how difficult it will be for Bangladeshi batters to score runs in those conditions. The BCB needs to take the necessary actions to improve the efficiency of the batters for the Australian conditions.
Bangladesh's overall T20 batting figures in the Oceania region
Generating some real power hitters
A team needs two or three proper hard-hitters in the middle-order in the T20 format so that they can accelerate the run rates in the death overs. Bangladesh, unfortunately, don’t have any proper power hitters in the middle-order.
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Captain Mahmudullah Riyad is arguably the best hitter among the middle-order batters. Besides him, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Shamim Hossain, Afif Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, Soumya Sarkar, Mahadi Hasan, and a host of other notable players have been tested, but none of them has shown consistency on the international stage.
Those who bat fifth through eighth are mostly expected to play power hitting roles for the team. Among the active Bangladeshi players, those who have batted in those positions, none of them has a batting strike rate of 120 or more (at least 5 innings). Therefore, Bangladesh need to develop at least two genuine power hitters prior to the world cup in Australia.
Top five strike rates of Bangladesh's middle order (at No. 5 to 8) in T20I since January 2021 (at least 5 innings)
Overall improvement in fielding
Bangladesh have improved their ground fielding in recent times. But they still have issues with consistency and catching. Bangladesh's team has to be energetic and focused while fielding on the ground. Attention to details is one of the key areas the players have to improve prior to the ICC Twenty20 World Cup 2022. A good fielding side can inspire the bowlers to give their best in the contest. So, the improvement of the fielding of each player is a must in order to improve the overall team’s performance.
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Bangladesh do have some talented players in their T20 squad, but they need proper guidance and training to showcase their talents on the international stage. Playing against big opposition like India, Pakistan, and South Africa would be a real challenge for the Bangladesh team during the Twenty20 World Cup 2022. As per the current scenario of the team, Bangladesh don’t have any realistic chances against this opposition. But the Tigers have to win one or two matches against these teams if they do want to advance to the knockout round. Bangladesh will be able to put up a strong display against stronger opponents if they improve the aforementioned points prior to the mega ICC event.
Source: United News of Bangladesh