T20I humbling offers scope for introspection
Yet another disappointing performance from Bangladesh on Thursday saw the visitors lose the three-match T20I series against the West Indies 2-0 after a five-wicket defeat in the third and final T20I in Guyana.
Bangladesh's inability to adapt to the shortest format of the game has seen questions raised about a lack of power-hitting, which is proving the biggest concern ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup, scheduled for later this year in Australia.
The three-match T20I series in West Indies was expected to be the start of the build-up to the mega-event for Bangladesh, with the team management expressing hopes of forming a balanced squad.
After a disastrous T20 World Cup campaign last year, there was plenty of talk about reforming the Tigers' T20 approach. But things do not look to be in good shape overall. A failure to have an impact in the Powerplay overs is another major concern, as is the team's search for a stable opening duo.
While Tamim Iqbal's future in the format is still in limbo, the Bangladesh Cricket Board, selectors, T20I skipper Mahmudullah and head coach Russell Domingo need to come up with a solution in order to improve the Tigers' fortunes, especially at the top.
There are questions over the lack of power-hitting towards the latter stages of innings as well, which keeps Bangladesh from getting quick runs and crucial momentum. There are also questions regarding Mahmudullah's capabilities as a batter and also as captain.
The experienced cricketer has been unable to lead the side from the front since the last World Cup and, with Bangladesh scheduled to play at least 12 games before the T20 World Cup this year, it will be important to settle those questions.
It has been a difficult Caribbean sojourn for the visitors so far. Bangladesh lost the two-match Test series comprehensively prior to the T20I series defeat. However, the visitors can take some positives heading into their favoured 50-over format, with the first of three ODIs scheduled for July 10 in Providence.
Bangladesh won the first ODI in the same venue during their last tour in 2018 and went on to win the series 2-1. Bangladesh's performance in the ODI format under Tamim this year has been remarkable. They won a historic ODI series in South Africa in March this year after winning a series against Afghanistan at home to begin the year.
However, it will be important for Bangladesh to gain confidence, which at the moment seems very low. In the absence of veterans like Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim, the ODI series is expected to pose a tough challenge for the visitors.