An impressive Asia Cup show, where they entered the final, before losing to India, will mean absolutely nothing if Bangladesh fail to come to the party in the ICC World T20 2016 qualifiers, starting with their match against the Netherlands in Dharamsala Wednesday. Bangladesh played outstanding cricket to beat heavyweights Sri Lanka and Pakistan in the Asia Cup T20 tournament in Mirpur, and they will come into this "Group stage" of the World T20 in confident mood.
Only one team will move into the Super 10 stage of the World T20 2016 from Group A, and with Ireland and Oman, apart from the Netherlands, also vying for that spot, it is going to be far from easy for Bangladesh.
Having said that, though, on form and on paper, they should have enough to see off the challenge of the three teams. The key will be making a good start, and to do that they must beat Holland at the HPCA Stadium Wednesday.
"I think it's has been great achievement as far as T20 is concerned," Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo. "We are growing up as a team. We did a good job in T20s last week. We have more challenges coming up."
One of those challenges will be the conditions in Dharamsala and the fact that Bangladesh have had little to no time to acclimatise to the new environment, having only landed in India on Monday, following the Asia Cup final in Mirpur Sunday.
"We haven't had much time to practice and adjust, but I guess we will take much confidence from the Asia Cup final," Mortaza added. "India is similar but here there is difference. You need to adjust to the breathing in particular.
"It was cold last night and we have to play two matches in night. We will have to adjust and play at our best."
Netherlands have been in solid form in the T20 format of late, and while Bangladesh have the more fancied players, they will be quietly confident of an upset. Netherlands have picked up plenty of big scalps in this World T20 in the past, and it will not be a big surprise if they manage to topple Bangladesh.
One of the factors that could determine the outcome of this match will be the fitness of Mustafizur Rahman, the left-arm medium-pacer, who has become so important for Bangladesh. If Mustafizur, who missed the latter part of the Asia Cup with a side strain, is fit, Netherlands will find him difficult to negotiate, even on the comes-on-nicely-to-the-bat pitch in Dharamsala. Mortaza said Bangladesh will take a late call on the youngster's inclusion.
Where to Watch Live
The ICC World T20 2016 match is scheduled for a 3 p.m. IST (9.30 a.m. GMT, 4.30 a.m. ET) start. Live TV coverage of Bangladesh vs Netherlands in India and the rest of the subcontinent will be on Star Sports 1, Star Sports HD1, Star Sports 2 and Star Sports HD2. Viewers can also watch all the WT20 action by live streaming online on Hotstar and Starsports.com.
Audience in Bangladesh will also be able to catch the match live on Bangladesh TV.
Viewers in South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa can watch the World T20 action live on SuperSport, with the online live stream option SuperSport Live Video.
Willow TV and Willow TV Online are the places to be to watch the WT20 game live in the US and Canada.