World Cup 2019: An Analysis of Bangladesh's campaign
Bangladesh produced a few upsets in this World Cup but failed to take some of their opportunities when they were presented. They were unable to reproduce the form and magic that saw them progress to the knockout stage in the 2015 ODI World Cup.
In 2015 Bangladesh were able to pull off one of the greatest upsets by pipping England for a spot in the knockout stages by finishing fourth in their group. They played regional rivals India in the quarterfinals and as good a Cinderella story as Bangladesh making it to the knockout stages was, India was not likely to suffer the same fate as England.
2019 World Cup Squad
Bangladesh kept a core of six players from the team that reached the quarter-finals four years earlier, including the same leadership set-up with Mashrafe Mortaza and Shakib Al Hasan as captain and vice-captain respectively.
Amongst the newcomers were left-arm bowler Mustafizur, who had been decimating batting line-ups for the last few years. On the batting end, Liton Das was also included for Bangladesh after introducing himself to the national team in 2015 and cementing his spot in the top order in the last two years.
2019 World Cup Performance
Bangladesh came in with an outside chance of finishing in the top four and making the knockout stages, but it was always going to be an uphill battle and probably impossible without rain-affected results landing in their favor like it did in the Champions Trophy two years ago. After an upset victory against South Africa, Bangladesh went on to lose their next two games to New Zealand and England.
Their match against Sri Lanka, one that they marked as a potential victory opportunity, was rained-off, making their road to a knockout spot even harder. They then pulled off one of the biggest shocks of the tournament by beating the West Indies after chasing down the 322-run target, that the West Indies had set for them, with plenty of time to spare. An unsurprising loss to Australia and an easy victory against Afghanistan saw them needing to win their remaining games against India and Pakistan as well as results going their way.
Unfortunately, with England beating India and New Zealand and Bangladesh falling to India again any chance the Tigers had of making the knockout stages for the second time running was extinguished.
Standouts and discoveries
The world already knows the core of the Bangladesh team following their fantastic performances at the 2015 World Cup, the 2016 and 2018 Asian Cup and the 2017 Champions Trophy, as well as various impressive series performances against the likes of India, South Africa, Pakistan, and the West Indies.
However, vice-captain Shakib Al Hasan was seen in a new light and was the best all-rounder in the tournament and far and away Bangladesh's best player. Shakib, already the number-one ranked all-rounder in ODI cricket, scored 606 runs at an average of and took 11 wickets which left him near the top of both lists and outperformed some players that only had to do one of those two things.
The youngest member of the team, Mehedi Hasan Miraz, performed admirably keeping relatively tight figures while many of his compatriots went for runs. Hasan Miraz went for roughly 5 an over, which was tighter than every other Bangladeshi bowler including Shakib. Liton Das was also impressive as an attacking batsman.
After making the knockout stages at the last World Cup and the Champions Trophy, Bangladesh fans probably considered that they had an outside chance of getting through to the final four, given that many predicted that after England, India, and Australia, the fourth spot would be up for grabs.
Unfortunately, the rained-out match against Sri Lanka robbed a potential point away from Bangladesh and the inability to pick up a win against fellow top-four contenders Australia, India, New Zealand, and England hampered their chances. Outside of that, most of Bangladesh's matches were par for the course and it's important to remember how far Bangladesh has come in recent years; specially as a batting unit chasing big runs.
Reviews of other teams campaigns can be found below:
9th West Indies
Also read – World cup winners listPublished 07 Jul 2019, 10:34 IST