2010-10-13 17:30

Captain: Mashrafe Mortaza

Number of World Cup Participations: 3

ODI Ranking (November 2010) : 9th

Coach: Jamie Siddons

World Cup Champions: Not yet

Just over 10 years ago, The Tigers remained a relatively unknown force in world cricket. Highly ambitious, and undoubtedly with talent amongst their ranks in players like Habibul Bashar, Mohammad Ashraful, and former world number one allrounder Shakib-al-Hasan, Bangladesh has had runs of brilliance inbetween bouts of poor consistency. Despite this, they have become a force with which to be reckoned, with wins over Pakistan in the 1999 World Cup, Australia in a Natwest series match in 2006 where the Tigers knocked off Australia's 249/5 with four balls to spare. (Mohammad Ashraful scored 100 runs off 101 balls, his first one-day century), and New Zealand in 2008 and 2010 ODIs. They have yet to win a major ODI series, but the signs are there that their plans to improve their overall standards are taking shape.

They tend to rely heavily on star players like Mortaza, Shakib-al-Hasan, Mohammad Ashraful and spinner Mushfiqur Rahim. Batting collapses can ensue under pressure, but it should be noted that Bangladesh regularly scores in excess of 250 in ODIs and is certainly capable of knocking off big scores as the Australians discovered.

2010 has been a poor year for the Tigers, with just 3 wins in 20 ODIs. There is much room for improvement, and Bangladesh are in a very tough Group B, in which the 'minnow' teams include Ireland and the Netherlands, both of which could easily defeat the Tigers should they not produce the goods on the night. That said, Bangladesh has a deserved reputation as a giant-killer, and big teams need to be on their guard against this sub-continental team.

Home ground advantage and fervent supporters will also have a role to play if they are to have any success, as will the bowling conditions in particular, which may provide assistance in an area that has been a strong point for the Tigers.

The Tigers celebrate another New Zealand wicket. (AFP)


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