The Tigers will hope to be given a flying start by the cavalier Tamim Iqbal
Once the whipping boys of international cricket, Bangladesh have now unbelievably surpassed the once mighty West Indies and hold eighth place in the current one-day international rankings.
Their first international was in 1986 and 12 years and 23 matches went by before their maiden win, which was against fellow minnows Kenya. Their first win over an established cricketing nation was against Pakistan at the 1999 World Cup, while in 2005 they famously beat Australia in a one-dayer in England.
More recently they recorded their first victory against England, their latest two series have seen 4-0 and 3-1 home wins over New Zealand and Zimbabwe respectively and they currently have two bowlers in the ODI world top five.
WORLD CUP RECORD
The Tigers made their World Cup debut in England in 1999, where despite victories over Scotland and Pakistan they failed to progress beyond the opening group stages, while 2003 was a disastrous campaign in which they lost five group matches including games against Canada and Kenya, with the sixth washed out. In 2007 Bangladesh beat India and finished above them in Group B before bowing out of the marathon event at the unpopular Super Eight phase after only one win, which came against South Africa.
An effective slow left-arm bowler and middle-order batsman, Shakib Al Hasan became Bangladesh's youngest captain when he took command aged 22 in 2009. Having relinquished the job the following year to focus on his own game, Shakib was persuaded to have another stint when Mashrafe Mortaza was ruled out of the series in New Zealand and the move proved successful with a century a fifty and 11 wickets in the four matches, plus two more fifties and 11 more wickets in the four games against Zimbabwe. Now a veteran of more than 100 ODI matches despite being still only 23, Shakib averages 34 with the bat and has 129 wickets to his name in 50-over international cricket.
Still only 21, dashing opener Tamim Iqbal has emerged as one of the sport's brightest talents. He had a quiet World Cup debut in 2007 as a 17-year-old, scoring only one fifty, but underlined his immense promise with a superb 125 from 104 balls against England at Mirpur in February last year, featuring 13 fours and three sixes, while his most recent ODI innings in December was 95 from 96 balls against Zimbabwe and contained five fours and seven sixes.
The form book suggests that the Tigers would appear to face a tussle with the West Indies for the fourth place in Group B, with India, England and South Africa expected to qualify and Ireland and the Netherlands tipped to bring up the rear. Home conditions will undoubtedly be a major plus, the slow, low pitches suiting their collection of spinners and though fast bowling all-rounder Mashrafe Mortaza has been ruled out by injury, a blazing innings from Tamim could give them every chance should they reach the quarter-finals.
Shakib Al Hasan (capt), Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Junaid Siddique, Shahriar Nafees, Raqibul Hasan, Mohammad Ashraful, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Naeem Islam, Mahmudullah, Abdur Razzak, Rubel Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Nazmul Hossain, Suhrawadi Shuvo.