Asia Cup preview: Bangladesh

Bangladesh

Bangladesh cricket is a stop-start place lately, lined with the fragility of a captain who wears his heart on his sleeve – and a coach who isn't sure he wants the job for the long term.

<b>Captain:</b> Mushfiqur Rahim<br><b>Coach:</b> Shane Jurgensen<br><b>Asia Cup Best:</b> Losing finalists – 2012

<b>Overview</b><br>Bangladesh cricket is a stop-start place lately, lined with the fragility of a captain who wears his heart on his sleeve – and a coach who isn't sure he wants the job for the long term. Indeed, Rahim's public insistence that the squad is filled with "slow learners" and that the selectors should have consulted him before naming the Asia Cup 15 is justified. Former skipper Shakib Al Hasan's lewd gesture during the recent series against Sri Lanka, meanwhile, has ruled him out of the opening two fixtures.

<b>Key Batsman</b><br>The left-handed Tamim Iqbal has not been picked, instead nursing a neck injury amid a pressing bid to be ready for March's World Twenty20. This omission has left plenty resting on the shoulders of Bangladesh's temperamental top order, particularly the recalled <b>Imrul Kayes</b>. He hasn't played ODI cricket since December 2011, and will need to justify this questionable return quickly.

<b>Key Bowler</b><br>Shakib's two-game suspension and the rejection of fellow slow bowler Mohammad Mahmudullah has depleted the spin resources. The experience and insight of left-armer <b>Abdur Razzak</b> is not to be discounted, though. Razzak has emerged as somewhat of a limited-overs specialist, rightly so, as a relatively miserly economy rate through the so-called middle overs – and toward the death of the innings – reveal.

<b>Likely Benchwarmer</b><br>The 27-year-old <b>Arafat Sunny</b> is a worthy protege to Razzak, but probably won't challenge the first-choice left-armer for a berth in the XI. Should injury or illness prevail, though, Sunny is waiting in the wings.

<b>Cricket365's Prediction</b><br>2014 will not be as good to Bangladesh as 2012 was. The Tigers have lost ground, almost entirely, and might find themselves positioned lower than Ireland in the ICC ODI rankings soon enough. They'll <b>beat Afghanistan, at a push, but that's it</b>.

<b>They Said:</b> "I have to play with the team I am given. It is the selectors' duty to pick the 15-man squad. But I am unhappy that the selectors didn't consult me before making the team. In that sense, I am shocked. I wasn't aware of the inclusions and the exclusions." – captain <b>Mushfiqur Rahim</b>.

<b>Squad:</b> Mushfiqur Rahim (captain), Anamul Haque, Imrul Kayes, Shamsur Rahman, Naeem Islam, Mominul Haque, Nasir Hossain, Arafat Sunny, Ziaur Rahman, Abdur Razzak, Sohag Gazi, Mashrafe Mortaza, Rubel Hossain, Al-Amin Hossain, Shakib Al Hasan.

<b>Fixtures</b><br>26 February: v India, Fatullah<br>1 March: v Afghanistan, Fatullah<br>4 March: v Pakistan, Mirpur<br>6 March: v Sri Lanka, Mirpur

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