Since Bangladesh's baptism in One-day Internationals (ODI) in 1986, 133 players have donned the red & green to represent Bangladesh. Choosing the best eleven among them is not that difficult considering that it has been only a few years since Bangladesh became a force to reckon with in the international arena.
Despite all that, trying to handpick the best eleven for a country is both atrocious and challenging. But today, here is an attempt to pick out Bangladesh's best eleven in ODIs. Unsurprisingly, most of the players are still playing for the national side.
The first pick for the opening slot is a no-brainer. Tamim Iqbal, the most successful batsman in the country's history takes up the spot. 7,202 runs and 13 centuries speak for themselves and Tamim, who has been appointed as the ODI skipper recently, is an automatic choice.
Choosing Tamim's partner is tricky because Bangladesh have had their fair share of trouble with finding another consistent opener. Javed Omar, Shahriar Nafees, Junaid Siddique, Imrul Kayes and even names like Soumya Sarkar and Liton Das can be pitched in the pot. But among them, Shahriar Nafees looks like the most suitable option for his class with the bat. 2,201 runs and four tons do not mean much, but enough to hand him a spot in this eleven.
Picking the top-order is comparatively easier as Mohammad Ashraful and Habibul Bashar manage to topple the others to get into no. 3 & 4.
Ashraful never lived up to the potential but still claims the fifth spot in Bangladesh's highest run-scorers list. Despite scoring those 3,468 runs at a measly average of 22.37, it was his knocks which helped Bangladesh claim their famous wins at a time when winning was a luxury for the Tigers.
Bashar was the one under whose captaincy Bangladesh cricket began to rise and the batsman was called 'Mr. Fifty' as he never scored a hundred despite his 14 fifties. He scored 2,168 runs at an average of 21.68 for Bangladesh.
The middle and lower-order
Only one person can take up the no.5 slot and that is nobody other than Shakib Al Hasan. The country's most prodigal son who has been vowed as the best all-rounder of his time. Shakib is currently the only player to have scored more than 6,000 runs and pick up more than 200 wickets in ODIs and no Bangladesh cricket's greatest eleven would be without him.
The next position is for the wicket-keeper and this is a no-brainer too as Mushfiqur Rahim takes up the spot. He has scored 6,174 runs averaging 36.31 and along with that has 223 dismissals as a keeper. Considered Bangladesh's most technically solid batsman of all-time, Mushfiq takes his place at no. 6.
The last batsman in the side is obviously Mahmudullah Riyad. Bangladesh's first World Cup centurion and the current T20I skipper. He has gained some reputation for finishing off games and with 4,070 runs and 76 wickets, he is more than handy as an all-rounder.
The first bowler to be included is also the captain of the side, Mashrafe Mortaza. He is Bangladesh's leading wicket-taker in this format with 269 scalps. He also has 1,773 runs which suggests he is no mug with the bat. And his captaincy record is incredible, to say the least as he ended his captaincy stint earlier in 2020 with 50 wins under his belt from 88 games. Undoubtedly Bangladesh's greatest skipper ever, Mashrafe joins the side at no. 8.
At no. 9 comes in Abdur Razzak. The left-arm spinner was the first Bangladeshi bowler to reach the 200-wicket milestone and ended his ODI career on 207. He served the side for 10 years before his time ran out in 2014 but is still hailed as one of the best among the long-list of left-arm spinners Bangladesh has produced.
The second fast bowler of the side is Mustafizur Rahman. Mustafiz wreaked havoc in his very first ODI series as he singlehandedly dismantled India with 13 wickets in three matches. He also ended the 2019 World Cup with 20 wickets, the highest for Bangladesh. Despite failing to reciprocate his early heroics, Mustafiz became the fastest Bangladeshi and the fourth fastest bowler overall when he reached 100 ODI wickets in 54 matches. He currently has 109 scalps in his bag and still has a long way to go.
The last name in the side is Rubel Hossain. Famed for his twin strike in the 2015 World Cup to take Bangladesh to the quarter-finals, Rubel has been a regular wicket-taker since his debut in 2009. Having picked 126 wickets till date, Rubel makes the cut for this side.
So here is the team - Tamim Iqbal, Shahriar Nafees, Mohammad Ashraful, Habibul Bashar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mahmudullah Riyad, Mashrafe Mortaza (C) , Abdur Razzak, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain