POST TIME: 13 June, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Tigers face tough equation in World Cup campaign

Tigers face tough equation 
in World Cup campaign

Team Bangladesh have fallen into a web of stiff equation at the ongoing ICC World Cup and there is not any easy way out of the situation, opined former national cricketers.

The veterans said the situation was created from the crunch match in Bristol, especially after the sharing of points with rivals Sri Lanka, who are struggling to fill the void created by the retirements of Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Tilkaratne Dilshan from international cricket.

Bangladesh’s pre-World Cup game plan was simple. The Tigers hoped to beat three lower-ranked teams coupled with two more top-notch teams to have a shot at a semi-final berth.

As per expectation, they made a flying start at the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup by thrashing the third-ranked ODI side, South Africa. The win over the Proteas cemented the thought that Bangladesh were advancing in the right direction.

But their hope of reaching the semi-finals was dented by the sharing of points with the 1996 World Cup champions, Sri Lanka. It was more damaging than the Tigers’ wafer-thin two-wicket loss to New Zealand in the second fixture of the tournament.

Regarding this, Tushar Imran, a veteran domestic campaigner, felt that it would have been better if they could carry the winning momentum of the opener. “We were all stunned to see the Bangladesh team’s performance in the World Cup opener. It would have been better had we won the second match against New Zealand,” said Tushar, who represented the country in five Tests and 41 ODIs.

“Then, we were supposed to triumph against Sri Lanka. But we had to share points with them due to rains. That was a great loss for us because we had calculated that we will beat them and pick the full points,” Tushar told The Independent.

“The next matches we have are all good sides. So it’ll be tough for us to win four more matches. Actually, the result of the encounter with Sri Lanka has pushed us into a precarious situation from where redemption will be very difficult,” he added.

The Tigers have already played four matches and five more outings remain at the league stage. Of them, two matches are against lower-ranked teams—the rejuvenated West Indies and the uprising Afghanistan.

As of now, the Tigers have to beat four teams among the remaining five to keep their semi-finals hope alive.

So far, Bangladesh has notched up just three points from their four outings, with a sole win over South Africa. So, they need Lady Luck with them to repeat their sterling performance at the 2016 ICC Champions Trophy in UK.

But before that, they need to humble one of the big fishes—India and Australia. They were beaten by this year’s World Cup favourites, England. Now, they need a win against either Australia or India, while winning against the likes of Pakistan, West Indies and Afghanistan.

Echoing the sentiment, former national pacer Dipu Rai Choudhury warned that the Tigers must not take Afghanistan lightly. The uprising Asian team has a world class bowling battery and some quality hard-hitting batsmen.