Where teams stand before the 2019 World Cup: Afghanistan and Bangladesh
With only five months to go for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, all participating teams have started identifying their respective potential squads for the tournament and are working to fill in any gaps they might have.
While some teams are working to identify their opening combination, other sides are honing in on their key bowlers. As all sides have limited game time to finalize their squads. Let us now examine how each team stands and what areas they need to sharpen for the next year's World Cup.
Afghanistan has developed into a confident team this year, winning the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier after coming close to early elimination, and pushing several teams at the Asia Cup a few months ago, notably tying against India during the Super Four stage.
Asghar Afghan, Rahmat Shah, Mohammad Shahzad, and Hashmatullah Shahidi make up the batting core. Shahzad provides aggression at the start of the innings, while Asghar and Hashmatullah provide stability towards the later end of the innings.
Much is expected of Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, and Mujeeb ur Rahman, with their experience in playing in various T20 leagues and in different conditions.
Gulbadan Naib and Aftab Alam are their primary pace bowlers, complementing the spin trio of Nabi, Rashid, and Mujeeb.
Afghanistan could consider looking into a third seamer for English conditions, with Wafadar Momand and Sayed Shirzad in contention.
Bangladesh has had a good last few years in ODI cricket, winning series against India, Pakistan, and South Africa, knocking England out of the 2015 World Cup and reaching the semi-final of the 2017 Champions Trophy.
2018 saw them reach the Asia Cup final (losing to India) and win ODI series against Zimbabwe and West Indies (twice).
At present, the Bangladesh team is unsure of who will open the innings alongside Tamim Iqbal, with Imrul Kayes and Liton Das in contention.
Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, and Mahmudullah provide experience and stability to the batting, with Shakib and Mahmudullah providing bowling options.
Mashrafe Mortaza, Rubel Hossain, and Mustafizur Rahman are the bowling core, with much expected of Mustafizur and his bowling skills with the new ball and at the end of an innings.
Backup options include Nazmul Islam, Mossadek Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mominul Haque, and Taskin Ahmed among others.
This is the last in a series of articles examining how each team stands before the World Cup.
Australia and South Africa: https://www.sportskeeda.com/cricket/where-teams-stand-before-the-2019-world-cup-australia-and-south-africa
Sri Lanka and West Indies: https://www.sportskeeda.com/cricket/where-teams-stand-before-the-2019-world-cup-sri-lanka-and-west-indies