The latest edition of the ICC T20 World Cup is all set to commence from Sunday in Oman. On the first day of the event, Bangladesh will take on Scotland at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground, also known as Oman Cricket Academy ground, on Sunday at 8:00pm Bangladesh time.
The match will be telecast in Bangladesh by Gtv, T Sports, and BTV while Rabbithole will telecast through YouTube, reports UNB.
Ahead of the first match, Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah Riyad said they will focus more on skilled batting instead of power-hitting which is more popular in the shortest format of international cricket.
“We know we don’t have power-hitting batters like other teams do, but we are confident in our skilled hitting ability. We will focus more on this skill in the World Cup,” Mahmudullah told in the pre-event press conference on Saturday in Muscat.
As a cricketer, you can go through a bad patch at any moment, and at the same time, you can get out of it at any moment. I believe Mushfiqur needs only a good match to get back to form
Bangladesh lost both of their warm-up matches in the UAE against Sri Lanka and Ireland. The skipper, however, believes it won’t be doing anything to damage the confidence of the players.
He also thinks that the underperforming Mushfiqur Rahim is only one good innings away from finding his old form back.
“Mushfiqur is a batter who has the ability to turn the contest our way at any moment,” Mahmudullah said. “As a cricketer, you can go through a bad patch at any moment, and at the same time, you can get out of it at any moment. I believe Mushfiqur needs only a good match to get back to form. We are not bothered about him. He can do well tomorrow (Sunday).”
Along with Mushfiqur, Shakib Al Hasan’s patchy form may also be a point of concern for Bangladesh who has been going through a bad patch as well. Shakib was out of his best form during his IPL stint for the Kolkata Knight Riders. He only scored 47 runs in six innings and bagged four wickets in eight innings. He joined the Tigers squad on Saturday after completing his duties in the IPL with Kolkata Knight Riders .
“Shakib joined the team this morning (Saturday). He is good and doing well. He is a bit tired of travelling much in IPL, but we believe he will be available for all games in the World Cup,” Mahmudullah added.
The Bangladesh team management is sweating over the opening partnership after the veteran opener Tamim Iqbal opted to stay out of this event, and possibly the format for good. Till now though, no-one has stepped up to make even one of the opening slots his own.
Mahmudullah has said they will rely on any two of Mohammad Naim, Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar. Among them, Liton has been going through a bad time for a while now. But the captain said the bad patch will keep Liton out of their plan.
“Liton is a classy batter. He is able to score ample runs when he is in a good touch. You cannot expect any batter to score big runs in every match. Liton did well for Bangladesh previously and he is capable of doing that again in the World Cup,” the Bangladesh captain said.
Mahmudullah hinted that they will not be experimenting with the squad much
To ensure a Super 12 berth, Bangladesh will have to finish in the top two in their group (B). The Round 1 group phase will act as a qualifier for the main draw of the World Cup. Apart from Scotland, the other two teams Bangladesh will face in the qualifier are Oman and Papua New Guinea.
The coach of Scotland, Bangladesh’s opponent in the first match, Shane Burger said they are taking all of Bangladesh, Oman and Papua New Guinea the same as the opponents. He said they can beat any team if they play their best cricket.
In response to Burger’s comment Mahmudullah said, “We are not thinking much about what someone said about us. We only focus on our game, and we are planning to play our best cricket. This is the first World Cup after the pandemic. We are eager to make it memorable. Everyone in the team is thinking the same. And to us, all of our opponents are the same, and we would like to respect them as well. At the same time, we would like to be down to the earth.”
The Tigers have won only one match in the main rounds of the T20 World Cups before. So the challenge to Mahmudullah’s team is to better the performance this time.
Mahmudullah hinted that they will not be experimenting with the squad much. He also hinted that the team might go as they did in the series against Australia and New Zealand -- the Tigers won both the series.
Subsequently Bangladesh will take on Oman and Papua New Guinea respectively, in their second and third matches of Round 1 on 19 and 21 October at the same venue.
Bangladesh’s probable XI in the first match: Liton Das, Mohammad Naim, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad, Afif Hossain, Nurul Hasan, Mahedi Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Taskin Ahmed and Mustafizur Rahman.