With the love and expectations of a blossoming nation trying to find their foot step in global context, the Bangladesh World Cup squad is heading for ICC’s premier 50-over tournament in England this summer. From the perspective of World Cup preparation, this has been an ideal World Cup for Bangladesh. A Tri-nation win, for it’s first multi-nation tournament trophy, must be a moral boasting effect on a team which has very little past success. Being outwitted by their opponents almost always away from home, the Tigers in Green is heading towards the 2019 Cricket World Cup with the sweet memory of reaching the Champions Trophy Semi-Final in the same country couple of years back. Still, the question on everyone's minds is, will Bangladesh’s 'Green Tigers' rise to the challenge and finally get rid of the minnow tag? The stage is set for Bangladesh to announce itself in the cricket landscape, let’s take a little walk in the path of Bangladesh’s upcoming World Cup journey.
India have been one of the best teams in the world over the last few years in limited overs format. They have been lagging behind the world number one ranked England side and have done extremely well against all the opponents during that time. The ICC tournaments invariably has the Indian team as the favourites for some time now due to their consistent performances over the years and the two-time champions were the semi-finalists the last time in 2015. The Indian team has always been a batting heavy team but now armed with a potent bowling attack as well they are one of the teams to watch out for.
A year ago, Australia were in a serious crisis. They had lost their two best players in David Warner and Steven Smith. Many at that point had predicted them to bow out in the group stage of the 2019 World Cup. This view was reinforced by their abysmal ODI form between June 2017 and March 2019 which consisted of only 4 wins out of 26. But people had forgotten that this was the Aussie team they were talking about. They have won the World Cup title five times, and this is a team which thrives in challenging environments and relishes the big occasion. True to their reputation, the Australians picked themselves up and in the last few months, managed huge triumphs over India and Pakistan. In those series, they were able to fill some gaps in their squad left by absence of their two main players. Now with the return of Steve Smith, David Warner as well as Mitchell Starc, Australia look as strong as ever and are arguably the most balanced team in the World Cup. This has also serves as a reminder for the whole world, if it needed reminding that Australia are and have always been serious contenders for the World Cup.
Also rans, always there, there and there abouts – some of the tags that have accompanied the South Africa side throughout their World Cup participation history. It does indeed defy belief that a side which has boasted the likes of Jacques Kallis, Lance Kluesner, Jonty Rhodes, Allan Donald and Ab de Villiers is yet to win the World Cup. But could 2019 be the year when the Proteas finally defy the 'chokers' tag?