When Bangladesh left their shores to take part in the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, their main goal would have been to progress at least to the knockout stages. They were expected to beat Scotland and Afghanistan, and needed to upset at least one of the top teams to progress to the quarter-finals. Having been a Test nation for 14 years, anything less than a quarter-final berth would have been considered a failure for Bangladesh. It is another matter altogether that Sri Lanka had won the World Cup 14 years after making their Test debut. But, Bangladesh cannot be judged by the same yardstick.
The high point for Bangladesh in the tournament was undoubtedly the triumph against England. They had defeated England in the 2011 edition as well, but that was at home. These were tougher conditions, and Bangladesh did exceedingly well to overcome the challenge. It was not a fluke win, but a well-planned methodical approach, which is a sign of the team heading in the right direction. They were lucky to have gained one point following the washout against Australia, which was significant in them progressing, but did well to ensure that they did not lose to Afghanistan and Scotland.
Individually, there were a number of brilliant performances from the team. In the batting, Mahmudullah stood out with his back to back hundreds against England and New Zealand. Mahmudullah has been around Bangladesh's national squad for a few years now, but hasn't done much of note. He has been languishing lower down the order for years, but used his experience well to flourish above the order following his promotion. Both his hundreds were high quality knocks against top bowling opponents, which gives the knocks further credence. He must now build on the success, and look to forge a successful career for Bangladesh.
Pacer Rubel Hossain, who was under pressure, having made news for all the wrong reasons prior to the tournament, put the personal setbacks behind him, and bowled brilliantly throughout the event. His bowling performance against England was particularly special. Bangladesh were under pressure in the match after England counter-attacked, but Hossain replied with some excellent yorkers to finish off England. Mushfiqur Rahim was also top class with the bat. He has been among the team's most consistent batsman over the years, and continued his good work in this edition as well. All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan came up with some good efforts, but with his experience he should have done better.
Bangladesh were always the underdogs against India in the quarters, but they fought extremely hard in the first 30 overs with the ball. They have a right to feel aggrieved with a couple of decisions, but the fact was India were way superior. The event saw a couple of young talents displaying they are the future of Bangladesh cricket. Soumya Sarkar did not get a lot of runs, but everytime he went out to bat he looked impressive. With the ball, Taskin Ahmed did well to support Mashrafe Mortaza and Rubel. He played an important role in Bangladesh's win against England. All in all, more positives than problems for Bangladesh.
--By A Cricket Analyst