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Bangladesh: The leaders of the pack

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Bangladesh_cricket_Pakistan_whitewash_ODI_T20IThe tigers are finally leaders of the pack after they recorded a 3-0 series whitewash against Pakistan. With a good balance between bat and ball, Bangladesh was able to record their first series win.

Let it not be said that Bangladesh won because Pakistan no longer have the likes of Misbah-ul-Haq and Shahid Afridi, but because they keep getting better and better, and got the better of Pakistan. Pakistan chose to field a captain who hadn’t played a One Day International in over 2 years. Mohammad Hafeez didn’t bowl in the first ODI due to his bowling action while Saeed Ajmal returned to the team after suspension with an altered action. All Bangladesh had to do was exploit Pakistan’s weaknesses, and that’s what they did.

 

It’s no secret that Bangladesh are peaking, and they are doing it in style with an element of consistency in their matches. In their line up, Bangladesh has cricketers peaking at exactly the right time and who knows, they may be able to move Bangladesh from 9th place on the ICC ODI rankings, especially after gaining 5 ratings points.

Cricketers like Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah may not be major run scorers but the runs they do score keep Bangladesh going. It’s these runs which have placed them as the leading run scorers for Bangladesh. These are the men who are leading and will continue to lead the Bangladeshi charge if they play good cricket for as long as they can.

Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah are Bangladesh’s go to guys. They make solid starts at the top and lay the foundation for the rest of the team to build on and take the team home. Now, they have young Soumya Sarkar added to the mix and he’ll grow in that role as a top order batsman.

With Mushfiqur behind the stumps, Bangladesh is in safe hands. He has blossomed into a world class wicket keeper and one of their best batsmen.

Bangladesh has the likes of Shakib Al Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Arafat Sunny and Mashrafe Mortaza in their bowling line up. With this attack, they have been able to restrict their opponents and play their part before or after their batsmen work on the score.

As skipper, Mashrafe has been able to take them further than people have given them credit of reaching. He is also the right man to lead Bangladesh to greatness.

Thanks to Mashrafe’s leadership, Bangladesh has been awash with whitewashes. Either they are inflicting pain or having pain is inflicted upon them. Although they suffered a whitewash loss to the West Indies, they managed to record two whitewash victories against Zimbabwe and most recently, Pakistan.

It’s all about improving and Bangladesh has been doing just that, though improvement is a slow journey. The team that managed one of their lowest totals of 58 runs against India last year is the same team which recorded their highest team total of 329-6 against Pakistan just the other day.

Looking back, they lost 2-0 against India as the last match ended in a no result. However, the last ODI could have been a victory for Bangladesh after restricting India to 119-9 in 34.2 overs.

Bangladesh suffered a 3-0 whitewash against the West Indies but redeemed themselves with a 5-0 whitewash win over Zimbabwe.

Bangladesh started their World Cup campaign by losing their warm up matches, so they didn’t think they would reach their first ever quarterfinals. Following their journey was a rollercoaster ride: they went from winning to losing match after match. They won against Afghanistan, lost to Sri Lanka, added misery to a helpless Scotland, kicked England out of the World Cup, lost to New Zealand and finally were dumped out by India in the quarterfinals.

Bangladesh is on their way to the top if they continue playing the way they do. Who knows, maybe the team Bangladesh are building today will be able to challenge an ageing South African team at home in the series in July.



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Thobeka ‘Beks’ Ngema. A cricket and football blogger who fell in love with both sports but event...

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