Bangladesh, the hosts of the Asia Cup T20 2016, which starts from Wednesday, Feb. 24, will have an added advantage when it comes to performing well in the tournament -- they know the conditions like the back of their hands.
But knowing the conditions will not be enough to reach the final of the Asia Cup, they will have to play their best cricket in order to outclass powerhouses like India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
They do have a lot of talent in their ranks. Soumya Sarkar and Imrul Kayes at the top of the batting order can get them off to fast starts, with the openers followed by Mahmudullah at No.3, who can also tonk the ball a long way.
The only issue with Mahmudullah is that he takes a little bit of time to settle down, before he is able to open up his arms consistently. The right-handed batsman will have to better his game in order to provide stability at the No.3 position, which is considered to be very crucial in any format of the international game.
Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib al Hasan are the two batsmen who can also hit the ball a fair distance. Considering the size of the Shere Bangla National Stadium, it will not be much of a problem for these two to clear the ropes. Shakib will add to the bowling attack as well. His experience will be crucial for this Bangladesh side if they want to win the Asia Cup for the first time in their history.
The Bangladesh team is filled with finishers like Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain and captain Mashrafe Mortaza. Their batting order, with all these names looks pretty good when it comes to playing in home conditions.
The bowling attack, however, lacks experience. Bangladesh will miss the services of Rubel Hossain, who has been ruled out of the Asia Cup 2016 because of injury.
The spotlight will be on Mustafizur Rahman, who has troubled all the teams in the limited-overs formats at home. He made a dream debut against India last year, leading Bangladesh to an historic series win. Mortaza, Taskin Ahmed and Abu Hider are the other bowlers in the seam department. No other bowler is as experienced as the captain, but he will have to step up to the occasion in order to yield positive results in Asia Cup 2016.
The spin department will be taken care of by Shakib, Nasir Hossain and Sabbir Rahman. Arafat Sunny is an all-rounder as well, who can chip in with a few wickets. But it is highly unlikely that he will replace any of Shakib, Rahman or Hossain in the playing XI.
Bangladesh's T20 record at home is not as great as the ODIs. The Bangla Tigers have managed to win only three matches, and that too against Zimbabwe.
Bangladesh Squad for Asia Cup 2016: Mashrafe Mortaza (C), Shakib Al Hasan, Imrul Kayes, Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Al-Amin Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Arafat Sunny, Abu Hider, Nurul Hasan.