The 7th edition of the Twenty20 World Cup began on October 17. Bangladesh finished second in group B of the qualifications, qualifying for the Super 12s. They will play Sri Lanka, England, West Indies, South Africa, and Australia in Group 1 of the Super 12 Round. The top two teams will progress to the semifinals in this group. Tigers have a chance to go to the knockout phase in this year's competition. Let's take a look at how Bangladesh may advance to the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 semifinals.
Bangladesh's Overall T20 World Cup Record
Interestingly, Bangladesh's biggest success in the Twenty20 World Cup history came in the tournament's inaugural edition in 2007. Bangladesh upset the West Indies with a 6-wicket win. South Africa and Bangladesh both have qualified for the Super 8. The Tigers have been defeated in all of their matches in the Super 8 and ended last in the points standings.
The country’s World Cup performance in 2009 was hopeless. They were eliminated from the competition after losing both of their group-round matches against India and Ireland. Bangladesh were placed in a difficult group in 2010. As predicted, both of their matches against Pakistan and Australia ended in defeat.
Bangladesh had a difficult time in Sri Lanka at the 2012 T20 World Cup. They were unable to progress to the Super 8s after losing both of their matches against New Zealand and Pakistan.
The 2014 ICC Twenty20 World Cup was held in Bangladesh, where the team Tigers fared well in comparison to previous editions. The Tigers won the group stage and qualified for the Super 10s. However, Bangladesh lost all of their Super 10s matches and ended last in the points standings.
Bangladesh advanced to the Super 10s in the 2016 T20 World Cup after finishing first in group A of the qualifying phase. Unfortunately, they didn't win a single match in the Super 10 Round. It would be interesting to see if the Tigers can win a match in the Super Round for the first time in this ongoing competition.
Can Bangladesh reach T20 World Cup 2021’s Semifinal round?
According to cricket analysts, the country’s second-place finish in the qualifiers was a blessing in disguise. If Bangladesh played Group 2, they would have to face three strong Asian opponents. It would have been extremely tough to defeat Asia's best teams in Asian conditions. With this in mind, Bangladesh will have a fair chance in Group 2 against England and Australia.
Tigers will play two of its five Super 12 matches at Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, respectively. Dubai will host the other match.
According to statistics, the Sharjah pitch is no longer as batting-friendly as it once was. Slower bowlers have a significant edge here. One six was hit per 12 balls in the 2020 IPL. However, batters were able to knock one-six out of every 23 deliveries in the IPL 2021.
However, it's worth noting that pace bowlers have a far higher strike rate than spinners here. Among the pacers, those who can diversify their bowling skills are more likely to thrive on this ground. It is possible to defend 150 runs in this field if there are good quality slow bowlers. Bangladesh's spinners and left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman can be effective bowlers on this wicket. Tigers need to win both of their matches at Sharjah Cricket Ground In order to advance to the semifinals.
Bangladesh's Fixtures at Sharjah:
Bangladesh vs. Sri Lanka | Date: 24 October (Sunday) | Time: 4 pm (BST)
Bangladesh vs. West Indies | Date: 29 October (Friday) | Time: 4 pm (BST)
The pitch at Abu Dhabi is good for batsmen. On this wicket, batsmen have a high propensity to score runs. Spinners will not have an extra advantage here. Because spinners have a 33 average on this surface, while fast bowlers have a 29 average.
Bangladesh will play two matches here. They will have to put in a lot of effort and come on the field with the right strategy to win these two games. However, the Tigers must win at least one match in Abu Dhabi to advance to the semifinals.
Bangladesh's Fixtures at Abu Dhabi:
Bangladesh vs. England | Date: 27 October (Wednesday) | Time: 4 pm (BST)
Bangladesh vs. South Africa | Date: 2 November (Tuesday) | Time: 4 pm (BST)
The Dubai pitch hasn't altered much in the last two years. If we look at the statistics from the previous two seasons of the IPL, we can see that the average score is between 150 and 160. Pace bowlers are more successful here than spin bowlers. So, the fast bowlers of Bangladesh will be quite useful on the Dubai pitch due to their diversity of bowling tactics.
Bangladesh will meet Australia in their last Super 12 fixture on November 4 (Thursday) in Dubai (the match will start at 4 pm, BST). Bangladesh will be confident ahead of this fixture after winning the T20 series against Australia at home a few months ago.
The top two teams in Group 1 point standings are England and Australia as of October 23. These two teams look to be well-balanced and motivated to win the competition. On paper, the West Indies remain the strongest team, and they will certainly bounce back in their next four matches.
Bangladesh have to win at least three games in its group to qualify for the semifinals. Not to mention, Tiger's matches against Sri Lanka, the West Indies, and South Africa will be important in this regard. Bangladesh have a better recent record against Sri Lanka and the West Indies. On the other hand, South Africa have recently struggled on the international stage.
In such a scenario, the final few games of the group may be do-or-die affairs. Overall, the Super 12s of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 appears to be an intriguing round.