Bangladesh has been a rising force in ODI cricket in recent times, with a largely settled squad and some big series scalps under their belt.
However, captain Tamim Iqbal’s recent injury concerns and the subsequent step down has hindered the harmony somewhat. Who fills the opening slot along with the ever present “who bats no.7” are the two problems Bangladesh face.
- 1 Bangladesh's Asia Cup Squad
- 2 Batters
- 3 All-rounders
- 4 Bowlers
- 5 Bangladesh' probable playing XI
- 6 1. Liton Das
- 7 2. Zakir Hasan
- 8 3. Najmul Hossain Shanto
- 9 4. Shakib al Hasan (c)
- 10 5. Towhid Hridoy
- 11 6. Mushfiqur Rahim (wk)
- 12 7. Mehidy Hasan Miraz
- 13 8. Taskin Ahmed
- 14 9. Hasan Mahmud
- 15 10. Mustafizur Rahman
- 16 11. Shoriful Islam
- 17 Final Thoughts
Bangladesh's Asia Cup Squad
Shakib al Hasan (c), Liton Das, Naim Sheikh, Tanzid Hasan Tamim, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Towhid Hridoy, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Afif Hossain, Shamim Hossain, Mahedi Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Hasan Mahmud, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam, Tanzim Hasan Sakib, Nasum Ahmed.
Liton Das and Najmul Hossain Shanto both have been remarkable in 2022 and 2023 respectively. This has bolstered a top-order that was previously a problem position.
Bangladesh have a reliable and consistent middle order, with newcomer Towhid Hridoy and veteran Mushfiqur Rahim both in sublime form. The big question however, has been who opens with Liton in absence of former captain Tamim and we have gone with Tanzid Hasan Tamim.
Arguably ODI cricket’s greatest ever all-rounder, Shakib will also be expected to take the reins of the team as Tamim has stepped down.
Miraz has come of age, especially with the bat and he is one of the best spinners in the world especially in Asian conditions. Soumya and Afif are included as multi-functional cricketers who are both capable of filling in as openers and at no.7, the two problem positions in the team.
Traditionally Bangladesh was home to left-arm spinners, they still produce them, but there has been a pace bowling revolution of sorts in the recent past. Taskin Ahmed has been the leader of the attack, with his transformation in the recent past.
The mercurial Mustafizur Rahman is still a match winner, although not at his mysterious best of 2015/16. Hasan Mahmud, Tanzim Hasan Sakib and Shoriful Islam all offer different skill-sets to this potent pace attack. Nasum Ahmed has been picked ahead of Taijul Islam as the left-arm spinner.
Bangladesh' probable playing XI
Especially with the wealth of bowling options at their disposal, Bangladesh are likely to make changes to their XI, as we saw their rotation of the seamers in the Afghanistan series. They have the option and resources to go with 3 or 4 seamers depending on the conditions.
The opening spot and no.7 slot are up for grabs as well, so this XI is more about what we think Bangladesh should do.
1. Liton Das
Considered the best batting talent the country has seen perhaps since Mohammad Ashraful, he had a terrific 2022, averaging over 52 in the ODI format. Effortless, Elegant and possessing every stroke on the book, he can make batting look so easy when on song.
He is having a subpar 2023 so far, but in the absence of Tamim Iqbal he will need to step up as the senior opener of this side.
2. Zakir Hasan
With Tamim Iqbal withdrawing, this is perhaps the most debated position in the entire Asia Cup. Anamul and Naim could be in contention with their domestic exploits, but as they have shown their limited footwork makes them a liability in the international arena.
We go with Tamim's namesake, Tanzid Hasan Tamim, who has already shown his worth with some attacking batting in Emerging Asia Cup against quality bowling line-ups.
3. Najmul Hossain Shanto
After years of supporters trolling and selectors showing faith, Shanto has finally shown consistent signs of becoming the batsman everyone at age levels thought he would be. His rise perhaps started in the T20 world cup where he was Bangladesh's top scorer and he hasn’t looked back since. An absolutely gun fielder as well as being a handy off-spinner, Bangladesh trust Shanto as their no.3, and he will need to continue his recent form in the Asia Cup to drive Bangladesh’s success.
4. Shakib al Hasan (c)
Taking up the no.4 spot will be Bangladesh's leader and talisman Shakib al Hasan, who many wanted as the captain even before the Tamim saga. His attacking batting has been criticized as careless in the past, but Bangladesh as a team seem to have taken up the fearless approach.
A cunning spinner who bowls with his brain, Shakib is effective anywhere in the world, but particularly deadly in asian conditions.
Adversity and big tournaments seem to bring out the best in the great man, like it did in the 2019, and Bangladesh fans would be expecting another masterclass from their main man.
5. Towhid Hridoy
Another BPL product, the former U-19 world cup has taken to international cricket like fish to water. He has made the no.5 position his own, scoring 3 half-centuries in 9 games already.
The most impressive trait Hridoy has is his ability to rotate strike and keep the scoreboard ticking with minimum fuss, making him the ideal middle-order batter. Another brilliant fielder, he also packs a punch and can really step on the gas if necessary. He has to be Bangladesh’s find of the year and walks straight into this playing XI.
6. Mushfiqur Rahim (wk)
At a time when they were struggling to find someone who can fulfill the challenging no.6 role, sending veteran wicket-keeper Mushfiqur there has been a tactical masterclass from coach Hathurusingha. He ha
s averaged 53 in that position in 2023; Mushfiq has the capacity to guard against any potential collapse, while possessing the 360 degree game suited for slog overs. His experience and know-how will be key in navigating a phase that the tigers have struggled to deal with in the past.
7. Mehidy Hasan Miraz
No.7 has been a perennial problem position for Bangladesh. A lot of combinations have been tried but we believe the answer lies with Miraz, the next great all-round talent. Named in the ICC ODI team of the year, 2022 has been a coming-of-age year for Miraz, particularly with the bat.
He almost single handedly won the series against India, with a marvelous hundred and another last wicket miracle innings. His batting talent is wasted any lower and at no.7 enables Bangladesh to an extra bowling option.
8. Taskin Ahmed
Bangladesh’s premier fast bowler, Taskin Ahmed has scripted a fairytale comeback story and inspired a pace bowling revolution. He returned fitter and with a point to prove after several injuries and a bowling action change.
Taskin was the MVP as Bangladesh won their first ever series against South Africa in South Africa. He is now one of the most threatening bowlers in the world, and the star of Bangladesh’s plethora of pace bowling options. Taskin is a handy batter as well, expect him to slog some big ones in this Asia Cup.
9. Hasan Mahmud
Another pacer who has been plagued by injuries early in his career, Hasan has now established himself as an invaluable member of Bangladesh's fiery fast bowling unit.
Capable of swinging the ball both ways, he is a threat in the powerplay as his exploits in the Ireland series showed. He can also bowl a pinpoint yorker, which makes him crucial to Bangladesh’s bowling arsenal as the designated death bowler.
He will face competition from Shoriful Islam, who brings a different challenge with his height.
10. Mustafizur Rahman
Bangladesh’s most experienced fast bowler, the Fizz will be under scrutiny and pressure due to his recent performance. He had lost some of his venom after the shoulder surgery which particularly affected his primary weapon, the cutter.
However the recent competition has seemed to push him, as he has developed the inswinger to the right hander. Bangladesh fans will be hoping that the Fizz will be back to his best because despite the recent struggles, he can be a match winner on his day.
11. Shoriful Islam
We have gone with the bold option of playing 4 seamers in this playing XI for Bangladesh, partly because of the luxury Miraz and Shakib offers as spin-bowling all-rounders as well as Shanto’s ability to bowl off-spin.
It is also very difficult to leave out any of the pace bowlers who have done so well in the recent past. Shoriful gets the nod ahead of new comer Tanzim due to his height and ability to take wickets in the middle overs, something Bangladesh otherwise lack due to the absence of a leg spinner.
Bangladesh are an up and coming force in world cricket and their recent shift towards a more expansive approach under coach Hathurusingha means they will be a force to be reckoned with in this Asia Cup.
They still have the wounds of losing 3 Asia Cup finals and would like to finally cross the final hurdle. Despite some problems like not having a power-hitting no.7 or a leg spinner, Bangladesh are a formidable side and they will have their eyes on the prize.
We already did our predicted line-up pieces on Pakistan and India for this Asia Cup, stay tuned for more Asia Cup content in the coming days.