DHAKA: Why Bangladesh Cricket team cannot play to its potential? Winning and losing are part of the game. No one expects Bangladesh win all matches. No one expects Bangladesh win all major tournaments. But why Bangladesh consistently losses match from seemingly winning position? Is it lack of maturity? Is it lack of temperament? Is it lack of winning habit? Why Bangladesh panics with winning in sight? Do the team appreciate that it carries 160 million Bangladeshis in Bangladesh and NRBs all over the world?
In recent times Bangladesh lost few matches to Sri Lanka from winning position, lost to Pakistan at Asia cup which no team would have lost, lost matches to minnows like Afghanistan and Hong Kong. This erratic or irrational performance of Bangladesh cricket team has raised many questions about sincerity and commitment of players, role of selectors and thinktank in choosing the right players for the right job, ability of team captain in adapting to changing match situation.
Players cannot blame about opportunities of facilities. Bangladesh now enjoys well-equipped modern playing surfaces, players get all facilities for practice and all incentives for sharpening their talent. Media is also too generous in showering appreciation. Leading cricketers like Shakib, Tamim, Mushfiqur and Mashrafee are idolized. The way some of them behave at times gives a feeling that one or two players cannot digest their fame. They fail to perform consistently and at time cannot take the responsibility.
There is no credible reason why Bangladesh played below par against Sri Lanka? Why Bangladesh lost matches against Afghanistan and Hong Kong? Bangladesh should have won the match against Pakistan if Mushfiqur could handle bowling resources judiciously and fielders did not panic. Why Mushfiqur follows a set pattern? Why he cannot be proactive than being reactive? Tamim, Shakib, Mushfiqur often play great innings of 40s and 50s. But very rarely can they transform their innings to match winning scores. They have seen enough of Shangrakara, Kohli and others. Why they cannot learn? Why they throw out their wickets playing irresponsible strokes? When set at the wicket each of them is expected to shoulder the team and hold the innings together.
Bangladesh does not have 5 match winning good bowlers we know. We do not have quality pace bowlers. There is no initiative to find good pacers and grow them. Consequently Bangladesh can hardly create impression with new ball and like penetration and bite in slog overs. It is a pity that after so many years Bangladesh failed to find a pacer of Mashrafee class. The team heavily relies on spin and more specifically on left arm spin.
There are some flaws in the selection process, too. Razzak undoubtedly was a good bowler. But judged from his recent performance it appears that he is well past his prime. Moreover opponent team has worked him out. Arafat Sunny can be better option. Sohag Gazi, if fit, must be in the side as major opponents having left arm batsmen. Bangladesh fielding requires vast improvement. Vital catches are dropped at crucial stage which changes the course of the matches.
Bangladesh team requires assistance of psychologists, too. Some incredible losses against weaker opponents and losses in tight matches must have created some mental scares. Counseling may assist in this situation.
Bangladesh has to play against superior oppositions Australia, West Indies, Pakistan and India in Super-10 of ICC World T-20. On home soil Bangladesh is capable of beating all of the teams. But the team has to put together individual talents to a coordinated team effort. The best available players must be in the team without any prejudice or bias. Team must respond positively to all questions raised through playing to the potential.
At this moment the best Bangladesh team can be Tamim, Anamul, Shabbir, Shakib, Mushfiqur, Mominul, Mahmudullah, Sohag Gazi, Ziaur, Mashrafee, and Al-Amin.
BDST: 1048 HRS, MAR 23, 2014