Lack of games an issue as Bangladesh await uphill task

Overview

Winning the Under-19 World Cup title earlier this month has made big expectations a norm for cricket teams from Bangladesh. But closer to reality, the women’s team cannot be expected to be world-beaters, not just yet. They have had a barren couple of years in terms of international experience, despite the high of beating India in the 2018 Asia Cup final.

All Bangladesh teams have had this particular complaint – that once they are off the boil at the highest level, it takes them months to get back in the groove. It will be the same uphill battle for the women’s team who have mostly played against Thailand, Ireland, Netherlands, USA and PNG, apart from one tour to Pakistan last year.

Domestic cricket isn’t also up to the mark, so even for senior players like Salma Khatun, Rumana Ahmed, Jahanara Alam and Panna Ghosh, the World T20 in Australia could to be a difficult task. The only saving grace may be a longish camp in Brisbane although some of it has been affected by rain.

Squad

Salma Khatun (capt), Rumana Ahmed, Jahanara Alam, Shamima Sultana, Murshida Khatun, Ayasha Rahman, Nigar Sultana, Sanjida Islam, Khadija Tul Kubra, Panna Ghosh, Fargana Hoque, Nahida Akter, Fahima Khatun, Ritu Moni, Sobhana Mostary (Coach: Anju Jain)

Group fixtures

February 24: v India, Perth

February 27: v Australia, Canberra

February 29: v New Zealand, Melbourne

March 2: v Sri Lanka, Melbourne

T20 World Cup history

Bangladesh haven’t won any group stage matches since the 2014 Women’s World T20, when they beat Sri Lanka by three runs. After that, they won the ninth-place play-off against Ireland. They lost all games in the 2016 and 2018 tournaments.

Form guide

Bangladesh haven’t played a T20I this year, but won a women’s quadrangular tournament in India last month. There is very little form to talk about, as they have only played against Pakistan among major teams since the last World T20 event. On that tour, they lost all five games, including two ODIs.

Key players

All the responsibilities ultimately will fall on captain Salma Khatun and seamer Jahanara Alam. The return https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/28596598/rumana-ahmed-panna-ghosh-back-t20-world-cup of Rumana Ahmed will help the side, while Nigar Sultana has been the side’s most consistent batsman in the past two years, having made 309 runs at 44.14, with one century.

What would be a success at the tournament?

If they can be competitive against the likes of Australia, India and New Zealand, and at least beat Sri Lanka, the campaign should be a success. Given the team’s lack of recent experience against big teams, these appear to be the most realistic goals.

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