Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara feels that Bangladesh’s ICC Champions Trophy campaign was reminiscent of the Sri Lankan team which won the World Cup in 1996.
Bangladesh cricket have grown in leaps and bound and often the only thing lacking is the mental strength to face big games with clarity of purpose.
Sangakkara wrote in his column for Firstpost that the Asian teams have adapted to the conditions better than others in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
Sangakkara wrote in his column: “In this game, Bangladesh was ultimately outplayed in all departments, but it can return to Dhaka for the next series against Australia with its heads held high.
“In the last few years, aided by the shrewd coaching of Chandika Hathurasinghe, a supportive cricket board and a clutch of quality senior players led by Shakib Al Hasan, it has made huge progress.
“It has now reached the knock-out stages in the last two major ICC events and can start planning for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 with real hope of being a contender.”
Bangladesh Captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza has already talked about trying to do well in the 2019 World Cup when the team landed in Dhaka on Saturday morning.
Sangakkara feels that Bangladesh’s approach was courageous and he saw elements that bore similarity to the great Sri Lanka side of 1996.
Kumar wrote: “Bangladesh has proven to be resilient and strong. Having survived against Australia because of rain, its courageous approach against New Zealand was reminiscent of the 1996 World Cup-winning Sri Lanka team: minnows on the cusp of metamorphosing into heroes.”
He felt that Bangladesh needed more big game experience as their innings faltered after being in a strong position.
Bangladesh were at one point 154 for two – with the in-form Tamim Iqbal in the middle along with Mushfiqur Rahim.
“The game turned emphatically towards India with a smart move by skipper Kohli bringing Kedar Jadhav into the attack. His off-breaks accounted for a restless Tamin Iqbal (70) and Mushfiqur Rahim (61). The only explanation is that maybe Bangladesh, fearing the India batting, wanted to have a score in excess of 300. That thought may have encouraged its batters to go too hard too early rather than building towards that by having wickets in hand for the final push,” Sangakkara wrote.
The legendary cricketer thinks that Bangladesh should be proud of its achievements and that there are plenty to look forward to.
“Bangladesh can be proud of its achievements, but it will have to find more variety and bite in its bowling if it is to return to England in pursuit of a World Cup. It has a great core around which they have to build a team that can have sustained success, both at home and abroad. There are exciting times ahead,” the classy Sri Lankan wrote.