Despite their recent improvements in 50-over cricket, Bangladesh have a rotten record in the World T20 and have never beaten Pakistan in the premier tournament of cricket’s shortest format.
Who can do wonders for Pakistan?
When it comes to Pakistan, any player of the team can turn the tables on the opponent with a predictability tag eclipsing his talent, as we have seen in the past.
In view of the recent performances, Sarfaraz Ahmed will be a man to watch out for. His ability to attack bowling irrespective of their class, aggression in batting and consistency in rotating strikes will be something that is unusual of any Pakistani player in the current lot.
Since his return to the international cricket after a five-year spot fixing ban, Muhammad Amir is leaving a mark in every match with his pace prodigy.
Amir turned out to be a cynosure in India-Pakistan clash in Asia Cup when the lef-arm pacer sent shockwave in the Indian dugout with his terrifying first spell in which he got 3 wickets inside 10 runs.
Fans would be expecting a similar show this time around too, but conditions here in India are much different. Still Amir is able to rattle any batting given his current form and fitness.
The skipper may have been undergoing a bad patch, but he’s always an innings away from returning to dangerous form. Pakistani fans will expect their captain to fire today, especially in view of his good past performances against Bangladesh.
On his day, he can demolish any bowling line-up. And Bengal tigers will certainly try to contain him and send to pavilion as soon he makes his way to the crease.
Can he click with the bat today? Even Afridi doesn’t have answer to this million-dollar question.
Who can be a star for Bangaldesh?
Star batsman Tamim Iqbal is in the form of his life, scoring Bangladesh’s first ever international T20 century in Sunday’s victory over Oman after scores of 83 and 47 in the first two games.
He also smashed a century against Oman in the ongoing World T20. Pakistan pace attack is way better than that of Oman, but Tamim has played many matches against the Afridi-XI and he knows how to adapt to the requirement of his team.
Fans in the cricket-mad nation held impromptu street parties earlier this month when Bangladesh clinched a five-wicket win over Pakistan in Dhaka, sealing a place in the final of the Asia Cup which they lost to India.
His international debut, in April in a T20 against Pakistan, gave little evidence of his varied skills. But by the time he made his Test debut, against South Africa in July, he had evolved from being just a left-armer with wicked variations to one who could, at times, bowl at higher pace and make the ball move in the air sharply and subtly.
Among bowlers who have taken more than 30 international wickets in 2015, Mustafizur’s average and strike rate (19.5) are the best, though that’s also because he played only 16 matches.
He is able to rattle Pakistan batting line-up.
Shakib Al Hasan
Blessed with above-average cricketing skills – both with the bat and the ball, Shakib Al Hasan can’t be ruled out in turning the game upside down. He is able to hit big shots with smart adaptability in the available playing conditions.
Besides, he is also very handy with the ball. Spin-friendly conditions in India will help this man contribute to a challenge to inconsistent Pakistan batsmen.
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza’s side can expect strong support from their fellow Bengalis in what is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal.
Bangladesh (from): Mashrafe Mortaza (captain), Shakib Al Hasan, Abu Hider, Al-Amin Hossain, Arafat Sunny, Mahmudullah, Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mustafizur Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Nurul Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Soumya Sarkar, Tamim Iqbal, Taskin Ahmed
Pakistan (from): Shahid Afridi (captain), Anwar Ali, Imad Wasim, Khalid Latif, Khurram Manzoor, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Sami, Sarfraz Ahmed, Shoaib Malik, Sharjeel Khan, Umar Akmal, Wahab Riaz