After a forgettable recent series against Sri Lanka, Tigers will seek to rectify all the wrongs and put on their best show at home. However, the absence of two experienced players, Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan, will surely dent the Tigers’ likelihood of repeating their brilliant performance in the previous edition. Bangladesh did not risk an injured Tamim for the tournament with the aim of having him fit for World T20. However, Shakib will be available for selection after the first two games to complete a 3-match ban imposed by BCB. The selectors recalled Ziaur Rahman and Imrul Kayes to the squad while Mahmudullah has been dropped following poor form in recent matches. Ziaur, who last played against New Zealand in November, had recently struck 167 in a first class game and is expected to fill in the No.7 slot in the order, strengthening the batting depth. On the other hand, Imrul Kayes hit a century on his comeback in the second test against Sri Lanka after a two year absence.
Bangladesh will commence their campaign against a familiar foe – India. A prolific run scorer in Bangladeshi soils, Virat Kohi, will lead the Indian side after MS Dhoni was ruled out due to side strain. The exclusions of Ishant Sharma and Suresh Raina are the two other changes to the India squad from the one that featured in New Zealand. Both have been dropped because of poor form in two consecutive series. Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishwar Pandey have been named as their replacements.
Even though India has an intimidating batting line-up, their bowling has misfired badly in the recent past. In addition, India might as well be quite low in confidence after losing two successive series to South Africa and New Zealand respectively. Tigers certainly sniff a chance of trouncing India at their den.
Ifaz Khorshed Hassan