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ICC World Cup, 2007

Bulletin

Bangladesh need a face lift in the remaining Super Eight matches

4 April 2007/ Khondaker Mirazur Rahman

Bangladesh is facing media limelight again but this time for wrong reasons. Bangladesh hit the media headlines after reaching super eights toppling "cricket powerhouse" India, everyone was praising the youth brigade of Bangladesh team for their fearless attitude.

Bangladesh's entry into the super eight also raised criticism about the format of the game and Bangladesh had lot to prove in their toughest encounters of cricket history. After suffering crushing defeats in their first two matches, questions again started to surface about the credential of Bangladesh team to participate in the super eights.

Bangladesh?s arrival in the super eight stage could not be any tougher as they face Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, countries ranked 2,3 & 1 in the current ICC one day team ranking. The start was made more dramatic by the torrential rain which is dominating the much of the proceedings of the world cup. First, they lost the toss and sent to bat to face world?s best bowling attack under overcast conditions. Bangladesh with the experience of only one Twenty20 experience failed to execute any game plan and the youth brigade succumbed to the Aussie might. 104 runs in a 22 over match was never enough and Australia cruised to victory by 10 wickets.

 Bangladesh need a face lift in remaining super eight matches.

Bangladesh need a face lift in remaining super eight matches ? Cricinfo

Next comes the match against New Zealand, a team which Bangladesh defeated in the warm up leading to the world cup. Bangladesh again .lost the toss and sent to bat, this time top order took an overcautious approach remembering their failure against Australia. A sedating opening partnership created the pressure in the middle order and Kiwi professionalism did the rest to seal the deal. Bangladesh got hammered again, this time by 9 wickets.

Bangladesh is enjoying no luck with tosses which is playing a vital role in this world cup. Unlike previous tournaments, teams winnings tosses are sending the opposition in to utilize the early moisture of Caribbean wicket. Steady interruption due to rain is making the decision making even easier. Bangladesh likes to chase as they have won matches against India and New Zealand (warm-up match) through chasing total and with young inexperienced side, it is always difficult to post a challenging score than chasing a certain total. Bangladesh?s bowling combination can be quite a handful to restrict opposition which they proved against India. Admitting that, Bangladesh must understand, a good team always performs regardless of situation and always poses threat to opposition, which Bangladesh lacked in first two matches.

Like Bangladesh's test status now critics have started asking questions about their super eight status, the difference is first one was awarded by ICC and the second one is earned by the Tigers. Bangladesh's next mission is against official world number 1 team South Africa. Considering current form, Bangladesh should get ready for another thumping defeat. If that happens, the noise that started to surface will be definitely converted into some bigger headlines.

Bangladesh has got only one way to prove critics wrong and that's consistency in performance which they did in the group stage matches barring the match against Sri Lanka. Captain Habibul Bashar is admitting the problem, "Either we are playing too many shots or we are getting bogged down. We have to do something in-between", now, finding that right balance is the key to sustain and succeed at top level of cricket.

Bangladesh must regroup and face remaining four matches with a proper game plan which can executable; they must rediscover their form which they showed against India. If Bangladesh learns from their mistakes of the first 3 games, they can effectively pose serious threats in the last 3 games against England, West Indies and Ireland which are deemed weaker than their first 3 opponents.

Bangladesh repeatedly showed their discontent to call them "minnow" and desperately want to shrug it off. Now, to get rid of the tag permanently they need some sort of facelift in the remaining four matches. They need to be more competitive if not winning the matches. Otherwise, their appearance in the super eight will remain questionable and will be considered as yet another upset in cricket history.

 
 

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