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Predicted Bangladesh XI for the 2016 T20 World Cup

Although he is not very consistent, Tami Iqbal is a match-winner
Umid Kumar Dey

Bangladesh will be hoping to replicate their 50-over form in the upcoming T20 World CupAs the T20 World Cup fast approaches, teams are beginning to figure out their best combination. It is a smash and run format where quick thinking and adaptation could lead to glorious victories. However, for that to happen, a flexible all-round team is a must.Bangladesh have been on the rise this year. In the 50-overs format, of course. The Test and T20 teams still need a lot of work as they seem befuddled whenever they step onto the field, but the ODI performances this year have filled the hearts of the fans with hopes that their beloved nation can improvise in the shorter format.And they do have the players for that. Bangladesh are blessed with a superb core of talents that can, if they play up to their potential, rip to shreds any team in the world. Another thing it provides is a perfect combination for a T20 game, which we will enlist here:

#1 Tamim Iqbal

Although he is not very consistent, Tami Iqbal is a match-winner

The obvious choice. Tamim Iqbal is the irreplaceable member of the team, even when he is not in form; so what to speak of when he is in? The Chittagongian man was once dropped from the team, which prompted his uncle Akram Khan to resign from his post which, in turn, impelled the Prime Minister of the country to ask the selectors to take him back in the team.

Anyway, without digressing any further, this man is in good form. Before the current glorious days, whenever Bangladesh had won a game, his contribution was the highest. He might not be among the most consistent players, but he is a match-winner – someone who can almost single-handedly win you games.

With an average of 26.40 and a strike-rate of 116.63, he has scored 2244 runs in 90 T20 innings, suggesting his fluency in the format.

#2 Soumya Sarkar

Bangladesh are yet to lose an ODI series featuring Sarkar

The Sun of the new dawn in Bangladesh cricket. Sarkar is somewhat of a lucky charm for the team as they are yet to lose an ODI series where he has featured. The lady luck, however, doesn’t appear in T20s though as Bangladesh's record in the shortest format of the international game still remains atrocious.

However, that doesn’t change the fact he remains the Tigers’ most devastating opener and if Bangladesh are to have any chance at the T20 World Cup. Although he doesn’t have much experience on the international front, his strike-rate of a bit over 157 is a testament to his flamboyant approach towards the game.

And that is the kind of explosiveness the team needs from the top.

#3 Litton Das

Litton Das has the ability to become an effective T20 batsman for Bangladesh

Soumya Sarkar might have won the most plaudits for his batting this year, but Litton Das has been going about his job quietly and effectively. While Sarkar, despite being tremendous on the international stage, didn’t impress for the A team’s tour of India, Das played a consistent role with his batting.

Like almost every other Bangladeshi batsmen, his T20 stats aren’t exemplary but it does give the impression of a player bursting with talent and ready to explode at any given time. With a strike-rate of 137 in all T20s, there is little doubt regarding his hitting abilities. But only time will tell whether he could put it to good use and play significant innings.

#4 Mahmudullah

Mahmudullah scored two centuries in the 2015 World Cup

The players in the middle order are the ones that should possess the skill to play the role of a sheet-anchor or blast his way through to the end, depending on the ask of the hour.

And there is none better suited to this role for Bangladesh than Mahmudullah Riyad. His craft when it comes to building innings was very apparent at the World Cup, where he got 2 centuries in match-winning encounters for Bangladesh.

It is this dependability that makes him one of the first names on the team sheets. His tricky off-spinners come in handy as well and captain Mashrafe relies a lot on him with the ball.

#5 Shakib Al Hasan

In Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh have the best all-rounder in the game

The greatest player that Bangladesh has ever produced, Shakib Al Hasan is the first name on the playing XI and why not? Currently, he is ranked as the best all-rounder in all 3 formats and is a player whose presence in the team is like playing 2 players in one.

He is Bangladesh’s most experienced player in this front, with 151 T20 games under his belt, playing for different countries from all around the world. A grand total of 184 wickets and 2497 runs with the ball and the bat, respectively, shows his class as a player. Couple that with a bowling average of under 20 and a batting strike-rate of 128.64 and he becomes one of the most revered players in the game.

#6 Mushfiqur Rahim (Wicketkeeper)

Mushfiqur Rahim has been instrumental in finishing games off for Bangladesh

Over the years, his hard work and diligence have made him one of the finest wicketkeeper-batsmen in the game. The little shy boy is now a man and a very important one at that.

He is the first Bangladeshi to score a double hundred in Tests and fans look to him in the hour of need. When it comes to reliability in finishing off games, there is none better in the team than the former captain.

A healthy average of 27.59 coupled with a respectable strike-rate of 126.59 makes him, statistically at least, the second best T20 batsman in the team.

#7 Sabbir Rahman

Sabbir Rahman will hope to live up to his expectations in the World Cup

Sabbir Rahman is one of the highly rated young stars of the Bangladesh team. His hard hitting swashbuckling approach has gladdened the fans and media alike and it is for this reason why he is chosen over the highly talented Mominul Haque for the limited over edition.

His average in T20s is a very commendable 31.21 after 46 innings at a strike rate of 125.76, making him the best batsman, statistically, in the team for T20s. With youthful zealousness and a strong temperament, he is the finisher that Bangladesh have always been looking for. However, he hasn’t stepped up in the grand way that is expected of him.

And the World Cup might just be the place to do so.

#8 Nasir Hossain

Nasir Hossain is an all-round player with a lot of potential to get better

He is somewhat of an enigma in the team. The amount of talent that he possesses is of an incredible level, yet his numbers don’t do sufficient justice to it. Consistency has been the main problem for the young talent as he explodes in patches.

However, his superb all-round performances of late, especially in India for the A team, makes him an essential exponent in the XI. His bowling has improved a lot recently and having him in the team effectively removes the need for a slot to be reserved for a genuine spinner.

Finally, despite his small stature, he can hit the ball over long distances and that is an absolute necessity for a lower order batsman.

#9 Mashrafe Mortaza (Captain)

Mashrafe leads the team from the front with aggression

The captain of the team. The man who is overseeing the new wave of dominance that the Bangladesh cricket team are enjoying now. He might not have the best of stats, to show for his true ability, but it is his tight bowling that allows the others, name Mustafizur Rahman and Rubel Hossain, to get wickets.

What stands out about him is his ability to lead the team from the front. He has the aggression that a team like Bangladesh, which is filled with great potential, need in order to become a force to be reckoned. His leadership could be compared to the great Sourav Ganguly, whose fiery nature roared India to the top from a seemingly depthless abyss.

And it is because of this that the Bangladesh fans are hoping for a great World Cup.

#10 Rubel Hossain

Rubel Hossain was instrumental in Bangladesh's World Cup performance

It took a lot of thinking to choose between him and the young Taskin Ahmed, but Rubel’s recent upsurge under Heath Streak and Taskin’s relative inexperience gives the fiery pacer the edge.

Rubel was once the most enigmatic bowler in the team. He would bowl well in the opening stages but then go on to bowl inscrutable over-pitched deliveries in the death overs to seep runs like blood from an open wound, becoming the cause of an irrevocable fatality.

However, the World Cup 2015 showed us another Rubel, someone who knew where and how to pitch the ball according to the circumstances of the game. And it took Bangladesh to the quarter-final of the tournament.

With 39 wickets in 36 T20 games with an average of 23.69, he shows good reason as to why Bangladesh should select him as their third pacer after Mashrafe Mortaza and…

#11 Mustafizur Rahman

The young bowler has showed a lot of promise in the matches he has playe

The star of 2015. Only a handful of players have arrived at the scene with the bang that he provided. His raw talent was always apparent whenever he played in the underage categories, but when he was called up to represent the national team for their T20Is against Pakistan, it was a bit of a gamble as the kid hadn’t played a single significant T20.

And it paid off. He might have only played 3 T20 games, but 3 wickets with an economy rate of 7, which is respectable in this format, and an average of 28 is enough for him to warrant a place in the team. Added to that, his slower ones are deadly and batsmen often fail to pick them, leading him to become almost unplayable at times.

It is his uncanny features that make him a must-have in the XI and he is sure to carry a lot of expectations next year.

Edited by Staff Editor

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