The BCB named a 17-member squad for the upcoming Asia Cup 2022, which is to start on August 27 in the UAE. The ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has been selected as captain of Bangladesh for the tournament as well as for the forthcoming New Zealand tri-nation series and T20 World Cup in Australia. There have been a few surprises in the team Tigers squad. The SWOT analysis of the Bangladesh twenty20 team is discussed in this article.
SWOT Study of Bangladesh T20 Team for the 2022 Asia Cup Cricket
The BCB made some important decisions when picking players for the upcoming Asia Cup 2022 tournament. One of the key decisions was selecting a new captain for the game's shortest format.
Shakib Al Hasan's selection as Twenty20 skipper seemed all but assured after Bangladesh's series defeat to the West Indies in July. However, Shakib's appointment as captain had become complicated due to the player's commercial involvement with a betting site - BetWinner.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board has taken a firm stance that to get a chance in the national squad, Shakib has to revoke his deal with the betting company. The ace all-rounder eventually agreed with the BCB’s proposal and, subsequently, he was announced as the new T20 captain of Bangladesh for the next three series—the Asia Cup, Tri-Nation series in New Zealand and the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia on Saturday (August 13).
The selectors picked 17 players for the tournament. Sabbir Rahman, Mohammad Saifuddin, and Mushfiqur Rahim were recalled in the Twenty20 setup, while pacer Ebadot Hossain was included in place of Shoriful Islam.
Sabbir Rahman’s inclusion was a major surprise as he last featured for Bangladesh in a T20I match against Afghanistan back in September 2019. Sabbir’s inclusion was mainly due to his reputation as being an aggressive-minded batter. He is likely to play the role of power-hitter in the death overs.
All-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin hasn't played for Bangladesh in a T20 match this year due to injury. Saifuddin has reportedly made enough progress to be taken into consideration for the Asia Cup team.
Najmul Hossain Shanto, Munim Shahriar, and Shoriful Islam were not selected, and Litton Das was excluded because of a hamstring injury.
Bangladesh Squad for the 2022 Asia Cup
Shakib Al Hasan (captain), Anamul Haque, Parvez Hossain Emon, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad, Afif Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Nurul Hasan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mahedi Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Hasan Mahmud, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain, Nasum Ahmed
Let’s analyze the Bangladesh Asia Cup 2022 squad’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Strengths: The return of experienced players and the diversified bowling attack
The statistics make it clear that Bangladesh's performance has declined after the 2021 World Cup. As a result, the Tigers' expectations for the Asia Cup are relatively low this time. However, Bangladesh can manage to put up a strong show during the main event if the players overcome their shortcomings and make a proper strategy based on the opponents.
The return of Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim to the T20 squad will bolster confidence among the players. Both missed the last bilateral Twenty20 International series against Zimbabwe, which the Tigers lost 2-1. Shakib’s vast experience in the Twenty20 format and Mushfiqur Rahim’s solid presence in the middle-order will be key for Bangladesh during the tournament. Besides, former captain Mahmudullah Riyad could be a game-changing player if he finds his tune with the bat in the event.
The top three run scorers for Bangladesh against Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan are Shakib, Mushfiqur, and Mahmudullah. Sabbir Rahman, who scored the most runs for Bangladesh against India, is also in the team.
Most runs scorers in the T20 format by a Bangladeshi player against ICC full members from Asia (as on August 2, 2022)
|Shakib Al Hasan||Pakistan||9||292||84||41.71||127.51||3|
|Mushfiqur Rahim||Sri Lanka||10||296||72*||42.28||149.49||3|
Bangladesh’s bowling line-up has versatility and diversity, which is another important strength that can be effective during the tournament. They have five pacers, two left-arm orthodox spinners, two off-spinners, and three part-timers who have the ability to give a breakthrough when needed. All the players are well capable of putting up a strong display, especially in Asian conditions. They need to be fit and well-prepared in order to show their true potential in the main event.
Weaknesses: Shaky opening combination and lack of reliable power hitters
The BCB is in desperate need of a reliable opening pair after Tamim Iqbal decided not to play Twenty20 cricket last year. Since January 2021, the selectors have tried 10 players for the opening batter positions, but none of them have been able to permanently secure their spot on the team as opening batters. Therefore, Bangladesh’s main weakness in the tournament would be not having a solid opening pair.
Only two genuine openers have been picked for the upcoming tournament and they are Anamul Haque Bijoy and Parvez Hossain Emon. Anamul failed miserably in the Twenty20 format series against Zimbabwe, while Parvez played only one T20I match. Huge responsibilities will be on their shoulders as it seems both the players will open the innings for Bangladesh in all the matches. Will they be able to live up to the Tigers' high expectations?
Another major weakness for Bangladesh is that they don’t have any genuine power hitters in the squad. The veteran Mahmudullah Riyad is arguably the best hitter in the squad, but he is currently out of form. That is why the selectors have picked Sabbir Rahman to play the power hitting role in the death overs. Sabbir has a reputation for making big shots and can be an asset to the Tigers. Besides, Mosaddek Hossain, Afif Hossain, Nurul Hasan, and Mahedi Hasan can all play big shots but have failed to show their true potential on the international stage.
Bangladesh’s middle-order batting performance (between 4 and 8) in the T20 format since January 2022 (Top five)
Opportunities: Captain Shakib Al Hasan, two openers, Sabbir Rahman and Hasan Mahmud
The Asia Cup 2022 will be a great opportunity for newly appointed Captain Shakib Al Hasan to prove that he is the ideal person to lead the Bangladesh Twenty20 team. Shakib is a vastly experienced cricketer and knows what to do, especially in crisis moments. The ace all-rounder is expected to showcase his true potential as a leader in the main event.
The upcoming Asian Cup cricket competition is also important for the openers – Anamul Haque Bijoy and Parvez Hossain Emon. They will likely play all the games, and showing good performances with the bat will guarantee spots in the Twenty20 World Cup 2022. Therefore, both the top-order batters will be eager to display strong performances with the bat.
The competition is also important for middle-order batter Sabbir Rahman and right-arm pacer Hasan Mahmud. Sabbir will try to capitalize on his return to the Bangladesh national side after three years of absence, while Hasan Mahmud needs to display a strong performance with the ball in order to cement his place in the T20 setup. He had a nice international comeback in the series against Zimbabwe, picking up 3 wickets in two matches with a strike rate of 6.75.
Threats: Lack of form for Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman and Mahmudullah Riyad
Even though Taskin Ahmed and Mustafizur Rahman’s performances in the ODI format have been quite impressive this year, they haven’t been able to show the same form in Twenty20 cricket. Mustafizur Rahman has featured in all T20I matches for Bangladesh in the year 2022 but picked only 5 wickets with an economy rate of 8.25.
Taskin, on the other hand, has only played two matches. The right-handed bowler has an extremely high economy rate of 12.57 and no wickets to his credit. They are the front-line pace bowlers for Bangladesh and need to be in their best form in the tournament. Otherwise, the Tigers will be in danger of conceding too many runs, which potentially will lead to defeat.
Mahmudullah Riyad has received harsh criticism for not performing to the best of his ability in the recent international bilateral series. Riyad is a reliable batter, and his performance may aid Bangladesh in winning important games. No matter how viciously others may criticize him, experience is something you cannot buy. Therefore, Mahmudullah Riyad's inconsistent batting might pose yet another serious threat to the Tigers.
Bangladesh's recent performance in the Twenty20 format has been abysmal; they have won only two games out of eight so far this year. The Tigers' most recent Twenty20 International series loss to Zimbabwe raises questions about their ability in the game's shortest format.
Bangladesh's primary aim in the Asia Cup 2022 cricket competition is to reach the Super Four round. Will they be able to compete well in Group B against Sri Lanka and Afghanistan to qualify for the Super Four? The SWOT analysis of the Bangladesh twenty20 team predicts that Bangladesh are capable of winning their group and advancing to the next phase if the players carry out the game plan as planned on the field.