Bangladesh Cricket team is far better notwithstanding the dismal showing and disgraceful batting in Antigua test.
We are sure it has required quality and depth for turning around and making it a contest in the second test starting from Friday 13 July. By that time two semi finals of the exciting World Cup soccer would be over. Bangladeshi cricket admirers will have at least two days free time to watch cricket till the final of the mega world cup event. Hope Bangladesh survives to fight out the test for 4 or 5 days unlike the first test that lasted a little over two days. But much will depend how Bangladesh starts the test after getting blown away by the West Indian fast bowlers in Antigua.
If batting first Bangladesh has the ability of regrouping and playing to their potential. Batsmen must try and play test cricket not ODI or T20 mode, grinding and grafting, leaving most in the off stump channels. Amidst Roach Gabriel triggered Tsunami Nurul Hasan showed with a gutsy grit that they were not unplayable .Bangladesh top order batsmen made them monster through lack of application and resolve. For professional cricketers wickets and conditions are no excuse. They are paid well to play to their potential.
Win or lose is secondary but playing well is all that is essential Bangladesh batsmen Tamim, Mominul, Mushfique ,Shakib , Mahmudullah and Liton could not do that . They lost the battle without any intention to fight .Their technique was poor and attitude was completely out of sorts. Well the wicket was fast, bouncy with lot of grass.On the first session of the first morning there was moisture. Bangladesh has played enough cricket all over the world by now against top bowlers to demonstrate how to survive in such condition. But getting bundled out scoring 43 in 18.4 overs in less than a session is unimaginable, unpardonable for a team which showed lot of character in different formats in the recent past.
Any batsman can be out to a good ball on any wicket. But the manner Bangladeshi batsmen got out in the first innings will definitely put youngsters to shame on the same wicket relatively much less experienced West Indian batsmen provided lessons to much vaunted Bangladeshis how to apply.
In the second innings also in much better condition Bangladesh failed again. It was pathetic viewing players like Tamim, Mominul, Mushfique ,Shakib , Mahmudullah making same mistakes over again. Only Sohan coming down the order could stand firm for a brief innings. But that only reduced the margin of defeat. Bangladesh lost the test by an innings and 215 with a little over two days. If Holder declared a bit early on day two Bangladesh could be more embarrassed losing the test in two days.
Now in the second test the wicket may not change .West Indies have found chink in the arm. They have seen how novice is Bangladesh against moving balls on a fast track. It is definitely going to be another acid test for Bangladesh to prove their test class.
Tamim must not poke anything leaving him at pace, Mushfique must not leave such a wide gap between bat and pad. Shakib must abandon his gavy cavalier attitude. Mahmudullah must not play away from his body .It is test cricket not disco T20 cricket. They must leave more than play.
We suggest bringing back Imrul Kayes at the opening spot for partnering Tamim. Tamim Kayes are ideal partners in test cricket.Though Liton produced the only double digit score in the first innings he was edgy. The manner he threw away his wicket at a very critical do or die stage deserves his axing .He also played very poorly in the second innings. I feel sad for Mominul. He plays very little international cricket round the year. In both innings he looked shaken. If he is not in proper mental shape Bangladesh may try with Nazmul Hossain Shanto at number three. But whatever happens Tamim, Mushfique, Shakib and Mahmudullah must shoulder the team and bat to the best of their ability to redeem the tigers.
I do not think Bangladesh bowled that badly. If the pacers Jayed , Rabbi and Rubel can bowl consistently on the right channel and Shakib and Miraj can keep the pressure Bangladesh can definitely compete well in the second test .The glaring example was Sri Lanka in the recent past. They came back wonderfully well in the second test of the series after getting blown out almost in the like manner in the first test as Bangladesh did. But for that to happen team management has lot doing. Hope new coach and Courtney Walsh could do lot of counseling .Test cricketers are old boys to be tutored .They need to change attitude and apply.
My suggested team
Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes , Nazmul Hasan , Mushfiur Rahim, Mahmudullah , Shakib al Hasan, Nurul Hasan , Mehedy Miraj, Rubel Hossain, Kamrul Rabbi and Abu Jayed
Bangladesh must show fight forgetting the trauma of Antigua test. If not the effect will transcend in the rest of the matches ODI and T20 .Bangladesh is definitely a far better team than what they performed at Antigua.
BDST: 0905 HRS, JUL 10, 2018