Bangladesh can pile misery on Pakistan
Bangladesh will be hopeful of making it three straight wins over Pakistan in the shortest format of the game in their World Twenty20 Super 10 opener at Eden Gardens on Wednesday.
Following on from a victory in Dhaka last April, Bangladesh were five-wicket winners as they overcame Pakistan en route to the Asia Cup final on home soil last month.
Although the Tigers were beaten by India at the final hurdle, confidence was taken into the group stage of the World T20, where they overcame Netherlands and Oman to ensure progression.
Pakistan's poor displays in Bangladesh led to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan saying "accountability is inevitable", putting additional pressure on Shahid Afridi's side to turn things around in a build-up marred by controversy
Their preparations were further hindered as the departure on their men's and women's teams were delayed due to security concerns, with the assurances required only received on Friday, while Afridi was criticised for suggesting he received more love in India than in his homeland.
Given the circumstances, it could be difficult for Pakistan to recover from such a series of set-backs if they were to fall to defeat in Kolkata.
CLICKING OUT OF CONTROVERSY
Coach Waqar Younis has encouraged Pakistan to move past their turbulent build-up with strong displays in India: "My message to the boys will be to leave everything behind because this is about playing for the nation, this is about playing some quality cricket. We are the kind of team that once we click, once we get the momentum going, we can surprise people."
PAKISTAN MUST TAME IN-FORM TIGER IQBAL
Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal has proved explosive so far in India, building on an 83-run knock off 58 balls against Netherlands to smash 103 off 63 deliveries against Oman. Adding his score of 47 from the no result against Ireland, he was the highest-scoring batsman in the opening stage.
- Pakistan have won seven and lost two of their nine T20 matches against Bangladesh but those two defeats came in their last two encounters.
- Bangladesh have won five of their last six completed T20I fixtures coming into this match, whereas Pakistan have won just two of their most recent six.
- Pakistan have the three leading wicket-takers in T20I history, including Shahid Afridi (93) who is top of this ranking (Saeed Ajmal and Umar Gul are both 85 wickets but are not playing in this tournament).