National stalwarts Shakib Al Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman will once again lead Bangladesh’s spin and pace bowling departments in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup while the Tigers also have the chance to rely on their other bowlers after many years considering their recent performance in this format.
Both Shakib and Mustafizur have been Bangladesh’s torchbearers across the world as they are the common faces in franchise-based T20 tournaments such as IPL, CPL, Big Bash and PSL.
Shakib has been one of the leading T20 all-rounders for many years and he is just one wicket shy of Sri Lankan pace legend Lasith Malinga to become the highest wicket-taker in T20 internationals.
The 34-year old has taken 106 wickets so far in 88 matches and he is likely to surpass Malinga’s current record of taking the highest 107 wickets during the upcoming World Cup in the UAE and Oman this month.
Mustafizur isn’t very far away in the top bowlers’ list as the 26-year old is currently placed eighth in all-time highest wicket-takers list with 76 wickets in just 52 T20Is.
Since the 2016 ICC T20 World Cup in India, those two had played enormous roles in Bangladesh’s success in this format as Shakib and Mustafizur claimed 41 and 54 wickets respectively – the most number of wickets by any other Bangladeshi bowler.
Although the majority of bowling successes came through these two seasoned campaigners, there are some other bowlers who also did a decent job in recent times that made the bowling unit look capable of achieving big things.
Off-spinner Mahedi Hasan has recently become a regular face on Bangladesh T20 side but he has been consistently doing his job perfectly by giving Bangladesh early breakthroughs in the power-play.
All-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin has been the second most successful pacer for Bangladesh after Mustafizur since the last World Cup while U-19 World Cup-winning team member pacer Shoriful Islam also made his mark in the national team quickly.
Apart from them, Bangladesh also got few other part-time options in the likes of Soumya Sarkar, Afif Hossain, Shamim Hossain and Mahmudullah along with in-form pacer Taskin Ahmed which made Bangladesh’s bowling unit a really strong one for the World Cup, believed many experts.
“It’s quite relieving that there are some other bowlers like Mahedi, Nasum and Saifuddin who are consistently bowling really well and giving good support to Shakib and Mustafizur. I think not only these two but also others will play important roles in the World Cup,” former national spin-bowling coach Sohel Islam told The Daily Sun on Friday.
“I think we have come out from the over-dependency on Shakib and Mustafizur in recent times. Taskin is also in good rhythm and it’s a plus point for us. I think the whole bowling group is in a good shape and we expect great contributions from them,” he added.
Sohel claimed that Bangladeshi spinners can be really threatening in the UAE wickets and was optimistic to get handy support from their batting department also during the World Cup.
“If I count the wickets of the ongoing IPL, I believe the spinners will get good support from those wickets during the World Cup. I think those who performed for us in the recent series, can contribute well in the upcoming meet,” he said.
“Cricket is not about bowling. Batting is also a very big factor here. I think our batsmen will get into form when they get sporting wickets there. And if they can provide good support I believe we have a great chance of doing well in the World Cup,” Sohel concluded.