In spite of having gained Test status back in 2000, Bangladesh haven't progressed as well in international cricket as they ought to. Most of their success actually has been tasted at home. In the World Cup, they have had their moments. They defeated neighbours Pakistan in the 1999 edition. After struggling in 2003, they shocked India and South Africa in 2007 as they reached the Super Eights and registered their best performance in the World Cup. In 2011, the edition Bangladesh co-hosted, they got the better of England, but faltered against the other bigger sides.
If you look back at Bangladesh's performance in recent years, their fans would definitely be worried. Their only performance of note has come against Zimbabwe, whom they defeated 5-0. One of their biggest lows came when they lost to rookies Afghanistan in the Asia Cup. The conditions in Australia and New Zealand will not suit Bangladesh's style of play, which is more convenient for sub-continent cricket. It won't help that they haven't been to this part of the world in recent years. In this year's World Cup, they would be keen to get the better of Afghanistan and Scotland, and will hope they can shock England, among major teams.
Shakib Al Hasan: Without doubt, Shakib has been Bangladesh's most valuable player in the last decade. The former captain is a high-quality all-rounder, who can stake claim to being among the best in the world. He can play versatile knocks with the bat, and has the knack of picking up wickets at crucial junctures. As always, Bangladesh's fortunes would rest heavily on Shakib turns out in the event.
Mushfiqur Rahim: After Shakib, he is the most valuable performer in the team. Another former captain, who played a key role in Bangladesh's impressive World Cup campaign back in 2007, Rahim is highly consistent with the bat, and has proved his mettle against the best in the business. Bangladesh would need his experience to guide them in the middle order.
Mashrafe Mortaza: The current skipper of the team, Mortaza hasn't developed as well as many expected him to. Still, he is Bangladesh's best bowler. On his day, he can unsettle opponents with his pace, and in case he generates moment off the pitch, he can be even more dangerous. In recent times, Mortaza has improved his batting as well, making him even more effective.
Tamim Iqbal: The smashing Bangladesh opener will have to get the side off to quick starts, taking advantage of the field restrictions. The left-hander has the ability without doubt, but his temperament has often been called into question. It remains to be seen which Iqbal turns out at the World Cup.
Squad: Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Soumya Sarkar, Mominul Haque, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Nasir Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Al-Amin Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Arafat Sunny, Taijul Islam
February 18 vs Afghanistan at Canberra
February 21 vs Australia at Brisbane
February 26 vs Sri Lanka at Melbourne
March 5 vs Scotland at Nelson
March 9 vs England at Adelaide
March 13 vs New Zealand at Hamilton
--By A Cricket Analyst