Maybe impelled by the strained historical ties, Bangladesh tended to have produced that rare streak of dazzle against Pakistan, especially in the shorter versions. But for this tattered Bangladesh side, beating Pakistan is as improbable as it can ring. They are the dead horses waiting to be whipped.
It’s not to deny that their efforts were much more credible against India — doubtlessly an improvement on their abjectness against West Indies and Nepal — but at no juncture they portended any promise that would materialise into an upset. Pakistan, even by their inglorious propensity to underwhelm, shouldn’t be overly bothered.
On the other hand, Pakistan have their own stakes and agenda, their own little gremlins that necessitates rectification. Like extracting more runs in the poweplay overs. In their two matches, they have managed only 36 (Australia) and 34 (India). Hence, they have been reliant on Umar Akmal to provide the thrust. The 23-year-old, who has hitherto threatened to fizzle out, has belatedly shown the promise of translating his immense potential to game-defining consistency.
He was Pakistan’s top-scorer in both the games, and would aspire to sustain his rich vein of form. His brother Kamran, too, has emitted signs of validating his return to the side. But apart from the brothers, they have seemed quite jumpy. Not that they are out-of-touch, but they haven’t configured their best batting order. This lack of clarity could hurt them.
Some of them are, it seems, quite unsure of their role. Shoaib Malik is a case in point. He is a utilitarian than match-winning all-rounder, but Pakistan seems to have lost faith in his bowling skills. Malik, on the hand, seems to have lost belief in his batting.
Bowling too hasn’t quite peaked. Not often do they concede scores in excess of 170. Whereas as they have sufficient depth and variety in the spin department, they are unusually splitting hair for their second seamer.