For the cricket-loving public back in Bangladesh, it will be seen as a major failure if Bangladesh do not reach the quarter-finals with players like Shakib, Tamim and Taskin in their ranks.
What's their best XI?
Consistency of selection has rarely been a major feature of Bangladeshi cricket, but a fairly settled team has come together in recent years. A generation of young players is starting to displace those more senior players who may have taken their place in the side for granted, and have gone on to prove themselves capable of scoring runs and taking wickets in international cricket. In an attempt to blend youth and experience, I would be aiming to bring together the following side:
Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Shahriar Nafees, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mominul Haque, Nasir Hossain, Abdur Razzak, Mashrafe Mortaza, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed
Who's their star player?
There is one obvious answer to this question: Shakib Al Hasan. He has risen to become the best all-rounder in the world, combining the dual role of top-four batsman and premier spinner for Bangladesh. Despite only being 27 years old, he will be into his tenth year of international cricket when the World Cup rolls around; he currently sits atop the all-time list of Bangladeshi ODI run-scorers, as well as being third on the wicket takers' list. He has recently courted controversy with the BCB, but it is inconceivable that they would impose a punishment that risks him missing the World Cup.
Who do they have to pick?
After making his first-class debut aged just sixteen for Dhaka Metropolis, Taskin Ahmed really hit the headlines with some impressive spells in the Bangladesh Premier League. An injury halted his progress, but he soon rose to the national team, impressing in a T20I against Australia and then taking five for 28 on his ODI debut against India. The selectors cannot afford to leave him out of the World Cup side.
If the trick has worked once with a young Dhaka Metropolis seamer, then it might be tempting to see if it will work again. 18-year-old Abu Haider has played three first-class matches for Dhaka Metro with limited success, but has consistently impressed in his steady rise through the Bangladeshi youth teams. With a little bit of pace, an awkward angle, and a nack for dispatching weaker batsmen, Haider could prove useful on the hard tracks in Australia.
What are their prospects?
As always, Bangladesh will be hoping against hope that they can break into the top eight. If they can pull together as a team, then there is no reason that they couldn't challenge England for the last Group A knockout spot. If the infighting and selfishness that sometimes surrounds Bangladeshi teams come into play, they'll have to watch out for the threat from behind: an Afghan side that has already beaten them once in this format, and a Scottish side that is finding form.