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Bangladesh

Perfect hosts: Bangladesh will play all their group matches on home soil

Perfect hosts: Bangladesh will play all their group matches on home soil

Bangladesh squad
Shakib Al Hasan (capt)
Tamim Iqbal
Imrul Kayes
Junaid Siddique
Shahriar Nafees
Raqibul Hasan
Mohammad Ashraful
Mushfiqur Rahim
Naeem Islam
Mahmudullah
Abdur Razzak
Rubel Hossain
Shafiul Islam
Nazmul Hossain
Suhrawadi Shuvo

Overview

A World Cup in their own conditions provides Bangladesh with a golden opportunity to finally come good on their long-heralded potential.

The Tigers, full members of the International Cricket Council since 200, will play all of their Group B fixtures on home soil as they bid to reach the knockout phase for the first time.

They have featured in the last three World Cups, making their debut in England in 1999 when they went out at the first group stage despite victories over Pakistan and Scotland.

A disappointing 2003 event in South Africa saw them fail to win a game and suffer humiliating losses to Canada and Kenya but they finally showed their talent on the big stage in the Caribbean four years ago with a famous triumph over India - and followed up by adding the scalp of South Africa during the Super Eights.

In the intervening period Bangladesh have won 28 of their 80 ODIs, albeit only 10 of those victories have come against full ICC members.

Victory over England in Bristol last July means they have now beaten all of their fellow Test-playing countries in the 50-over format.

But perhaps the most promising result was a 4-0 series whitewash of New Zealand at home last October.

Shakib Al Hasan leads a squad that, while young in terms of age, has plenty of experience in the 50-over format.

The one disappointment is the decision to leave out Mashrafe Mortaza - once the ICC's top-ranked one-day all-rounder - due to a knee injury.

Strengths

Appealing: Shakib captains a youthful squad

Spin bowling is the strongest area of the squad, both in terms of quantity and variety.

Left-arm spinners Abdur Razzak and Shakib Al Hasan are the main weapons and both have excellent ODI records.

Razzak heads into the tournament at third in the ICC bowling rankings, with his captain Shakib three places behind - as well as being the top-ranked all-rounder.

They are backed up by off-spinners Naeem Islam and Mahmudullah, plus rookie left-armer Suhrawadi Shuvo.

Bangladesh's top order is filled with stroke makers, most notably Tamim Iqbal who has scored three one-day centuries.

Weaknesses

Keeping order: Mushfiqur

Seam bowling has been Bangladesh's Achilles heel since their elevation to the top table of international cricket.

Mortaza is the only true international class paceman to have emerged, which is not altogether that surprising given the country's slow, grassless wickets and hot, humid climate.

The injury-enforced absence of Mortaza leaves the onus on Shafiul Islam, Nazmul Hossain, Rubel Hossain and Syed Rasel to step up to the plate.

Despite the squad having an average age of 23, fielding is not a strong point and neither is wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim's glovework.

There are also question marks over the on-field leadership. Shakib, the team's key all-rounder, was thrust into the role due to Mortaza's injuries and has often appeared to struggle with the additional responsibility.

Six-hitter - Tamim Iqbal

Flying start: Tamim doesn't hang around

Tamim is not only Bangladesh's best batsman, he is also among the most powerful in a line-up not overly blessed with big hitters.

The left-hander has a full range of strokes and is not afraid to use them right from the first ball, often taking advantage of the early fielding restrictions via the aerial route.

He has hit 41 sixes in his 89 ODIs to date, the most by a Bangladeshi.

Strike bowler - Abdur Razzak

Positive spin: Razzak has an impressive ODI record

Razzak is Bangladesh's leading wicket taker in ODIs with 162 in 111 appearances.

Those scalps have come at an average of 26.90 and strike rate of 36.3 - numbers that explain his position of third in the ICC's one-day bowling rankings.

The 28-year-old, who twice had to remodel his action earlier in his career after being reported for throwing, provides a threat in the middle of the innings, where he often operates in tandem with another spinner.

Look out for...Mahmudullah

Dual threat: Mahmudullah is an impact player

At 25, Mahmudullah is already the fourth oldest player in Bangladesh's squad and has become one of their key players during the last two years.

He offers a hard-hitting presence in the middle-order, where he averages 28.91 in 61 ODIs - including four half-centuries.

And, as if that wasn't enough, Mahmudullah also provides a useful back-up spin option with his off breaks, which could prove a handful in his home conditions.

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