So far in this ICC Cricket World Cup, this will be the ‘toughest’ contest for the Bangladesh Tigers. Let me explain why I’m telling this as the toughest. Actually, it’s because of the expectation level. Defeat against other sides is considerable in many ways, but Bangladesh should not lose against Afghans in this stage of this Cricket World Cup.
Before this World Cup started, it was estimated that Afghanistan and Sri Lanka should be the must-win game for Bangladesh. But the story is a bit different now. Here, in the match against Afghanistan, the ‘must-win’ fact becomes much stronger for the Tigers to keep their hope alive for the semi-finals.
However, the way Tigers have played so far in this Cricket World Cup, they should not take any extra pressure against Afghanistan. Perhaps, they are not taking as well. But, surely team Bangladesh is extra careful against Afghans.
Bangladesh team has never been in Southampton in their entire cricket history. Literally, it’s such a big ground. Bangladesh team doesn’t have too many experiences to play on such big ground like this. This could affect their batting and fielding as well.
On the other hand, Afghanistan played their last game on this same venue against India on Saturday. They have played fantastically well. They were almost there to make a huge upset but that didn’t happen. Surely, that game boosted up their confidence level.
Another fact is tomorrow’s match will be played on the same wicket that was used in the last India-Afghan match. This suggests that the wicket will be on the slower side and the spinners will get some turns as well. That will favor the quality Afghan spin attack as well.
There is no doubt that most of the Bangladeshi batsmen are in great touch, they must concentrate on rotating the strick in such condition. Bangladesh has to be more careful on their ground fielding. So far, They have leaked a few more runs and missed some vital chance in their previous games. If they could reduce that sloppiness, the story could have been different for them.
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib AL Hasan, Musfiqur Rahim, Liton Das, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mosaddek Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehdy Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza, Mostafizur Rahman
Afghanistan: Hazratullah Zazai, Gulbadin Naib, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Nazibullah Zadran, Rashid Khan, Ikram Ali khil, Aftab Alam, Mujeeb Ur Rahman