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ICC Champions Trophy: Bangladesh, not to be taken lightly

Bangladesh cricket team has had an incredible run after the 2015 ICC World Cup, recording consecutive series victories against five teams, including India, Pakistan and South Africa. The team doesn’t lack confidence and could push any time at the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.

icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: May 25, 2017 17:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Champions Trophy 2017,ICC Champions Trophy,Bangladesh cricket team
Mustafizur Rahman (centre), who has played just 14 ODIs for Bangaldesh cricket team, has the knack to pick up critical wickets and will be key for the Mashrafe Mortaza-led side at the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in England. (Getty Images)

If there’s one team that has slowly crawled out of the tag of underdogs to giant killers, to be a force to be reckoned with, it has to be Bangladesh. They had been on an impressive run since the 2015 World Cup; winning five consecutive ODI series, including teams like Pakistan, India and South Africa.

  • Current ICC ODI ranking: 7
  • ODI performance 2016-17: Played 12, Won 4, Lost 7, NR 1 (Since Jan 2016)

In the past one year, that record has slightly lost colour with the Tigers managing to win just one series (2-1 against Afghanistan at home) out of the four they have played. They lost 1-2 against England and 0-3 to New Zealand. The last tour against Sri Lanka ended in a 1-1 draw with the second game of the three-match series washed out after Sri Lanka scored 311. For the record, no score of over 300 has ever been chased down in the island country.

Champions Trophy track record

Played: 8; Win: 1, Losses: 7

Bangladesh were hosts of the first edition of the ICC Champions Trophy, then known as ICC Knockout Trophy, but couldn’t participate as they were not a Test-playing nation then. In their four appearances, Bangladesh have never gone past the group stages.

They will take part in the tournament for the first time since 2006, after failing to make the cut in the two previous editions because of their rankings. They qualified for the upcoming tournament after the 1-1 series draw against Sri Lanka.

Key players

Shakib Al Hasan: Ranked as the best ODI all-rounder in the world at the moment, Shakib is one of the key players in the side. His ability to bat lower down the order along with his spin bowling prowess has seen him emerge as a perfect all-rounder for the shorter formats. Although he had picked just two wickets in his side’s last tour against Sri Lanka, Shakib’s contribution of 126 runs with the bat in two innings played a vital role in them coming back undefeated.

Mustafizur Rahman: He might have played just 14 ODIs till date, but Rahman’s ability to take wickets with the infamous ‘cutters’ has seen him emerge as a fine prospect for Bangladesh. He picked up two five-wicket hauls in his first two international matches against India to make an early impact and has been on song ever since. With a wide range of deliveries, Mustafizur could be a real threat in English conditions.

Mushfiqur Rahim: Ever smiling and never complaining, Mushfiqur Rahim is Bangladesh’s pocket-sized dynamite. His ODI form isn’t very consistent (average of 31.44 in 168 matches) but he can be depended to produce some gems when the situations call for it. Mushfiqur’s recent domestic form, with scores of 41, 44, 26, 134 and 75* in the last five matches however will give Bangladesh some hope in the Champions Trophy.

Squad: Mashrafe Mortaza (Captain), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Shafiul Islam, Shakib Al Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Sunzamul Islam, Mehedi Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim

First Published: May 22, 2017 22:01 IST