Will Tigers focus on strength or relative disadvantage?
Bangladesh's batting has been a major concern in the T20 World Cup so far and the question that has been asked most is whether their batting depth has paid dividends. On the other hand, the bowling has turned out to be game-changing for the Tigers, with their speedsters making the most of the pace, bounce and movement offered by Australian surfaces.
Bangladesh have so far gambled with an extra batter in the line-up, playing three seamers alongside Shakib Al Hasan as specialist bowlers, while Mosaddek Hossain and Soumya Sarkar have often been used to bowl any remaining overs.
Going into crucial fixtures against India and Pakistan with a semifinal berth still a reality, will Bangladesh now focus on strength and play freely or will they opt for a conservative approach?
It is a gamble not to play a fifth specialist bowler, especially when one of the specialists goes for runs and part-time options do not pan out. On the other hand, not going in with the cushion of an extra batsman is an alien concept to the team management despite the pacers' dominance in Australia.
Skipper Shakib had said after the Zimbabwe game that his side would be able to enjoy the rest of the games and play more freely.
"I think we can be free and enjoy two more games against India and Pakistan. They have very good teams but we can see some light in our performances. We will fight till the end. Obviously, this World Cup is very competitive in terms of both groups. No one knows who will play in the semifinals, that makes it more entertaining. So we will fight and see. I hope we get some wins under our belt and then you never know," Shakib had told Mike Atherton at the post-match presentation after the match against Zimbabwe.
Bangladesh's record in the T20I format against the two Asian giants does not make for good reading while Shakib's insistence that they will be more 'free' may just be about playing in a more relaxed frame of mind and not the tactical gamble of picking four seamers.
Pace-bowling spearhead Taskin Ahmed's haul of eight wickets from three games has made him the highest wicket-taker of the Super 12 stage. He has troubled batters with movement away from batters and, on occasion, has been able to bring the ball into the batters.
The pace unit seemingly has developed a good rapport under pace bowling coach Allan Donald, with Shoriful Islam and Ebadot Hossain waiting in the wings to make a case for themselves in the World Cup. Their only hiccup came when they were dismantled by South Africa in the second Super 12 match.
Coupled with a lack of form in the lower-middle order, particularly that of Nurul Hasan Sohan, it remains to be seen whether Shakib and the team management think outside the box and focus on their strength instead of plugging gaps in the batting unit.
Tigers reach Adelaide
Bangladesh reached Adelaide yesterday following a confidence-boosting win against Zimbabwe in Brisbane.
The Tigers will gear up for the Super 12 game against India to be played in Adelaide on Wednesday, hoping to cause an upset and knowing a win would put them two points above India. However, the forecast does not look promising.
Meanwhile, the team management opted to rest the players on Tuesday so they could recover from jet lag.
"The team management decided to give the players full rest tomorrow since they played a match a day ago. Today [Monday] it was a three-hour flight from Brisbane to Adelaide. The weather forecast is also not good for tomorrow. There is a possibility of rain," Bangladesh team manager Rabeed Imam told The Daily Star over phone yesterday.