Experts were in the opinion that Bangladesh a force to reckon with in ODI Cricket specially at home may win ODI series against the world Champions. But not even few found any possibility of Bangladesh winning the T20 series, not to talk even a comprehensive series whitewash. Yet Bengal Tigers dominating Three Lions all the way earned comprehensive series whitewash.
In none of three matches Englishmen were in the contest. England on T20 World 2022 beating Pakistan in the final at MCG. T20 is not the forte of Bangladesh. In 18 years of T20 history England won the Championship twice ,Bangladesh never won it or never looked line winning. Moreover, this series win by Bangladesh was its first against England in any format. I have been asked by many of my cricket enthusiast mates from all over the cricket world what made Bangladesh turning into a giant killer?
There is a saying, circumstances alter cases. England was a little bit depleted side. Some of their top batsmen were not in the team. Off course English think tank will realize the risks they had taken sending a team to Bangladesh (no novice in any format) with only 5 specialist Batsmen. In the recent past Bangladesh beat formidable India in ODI series, Australia, New Zealand in T20 series. Off course with Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, Chris Oakes, Chris Jordan and Sam Curran England had a formidable pace attack. Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid are more than useful spinners on any condition. Yet England won ODI 2-1 after keen contest and lost T20 series 0-3 getting comprehensively white washed.
Bangladesh had a new look team with no Tamim, Mushfique , Mahmudullah , Rubel , Shoriful . Some youngsters like Tawhid Hridoy ,Tanvir , Rezaur Raja were included for their consistently good performance in local cricket. Rony Talukdar was called back. That changed the chemistry of the team. Rejuvenated unit with flamboyant Ronny,Towhid expressing themselves. Shanto maintaining his superlative form. Litton coming on his own, Shakib, Mehedi contributing completely overhauled the approach and attitude of the team. Taskin and Hasan Mahmood bowled with venom and verve . Mustafiz recovered his form. Shakib and Mehedi mesmerized. Bangladesh bowled much better than their superior opposition. The entire team fielded like leopards. Shakib rightly claimed that Bangladesh is now the best fielding side of the subcontinent. England was completely outplayed in all department of the game and hence lost the series miserably.
In all there matches England had their moments ,But Bangladesh never gave up. Doing the right team at the right time Bangladesh turned the tide in their favor. Rony, Shanto, Litton, Hridoy brought dynamism in the top order batting. Similarly, Taskin, Hasan Mahmood and Mustafiz settled English middle and late order between 15-20th over of every match. Taskin, Hasan Mahmud, Mustafiz, Ebadat are revelation for Bangladesh. Never before Bangladesh dared fielding three pacers in all matches. White Lightening Alan Donald has done wonders. Bangladesh can not appear with 6 bowling options in T20 and ODIs. This gives an added advantage. The only thing lacking is a quality leg spinner. Left arm spin and off spin were never an issue. The pleasant change is smart fielding. Bangladesh can only improve from here.
Shakib also outshone Buttler as a very dynamic and creative leader. Consistent lively performance of Bangladesh made English team look pretty ordinary. Let us not get complacent, let us not lose the focus. Climbing up the ladder has just started.
The positive attitude with both bat and the ball, imaginative leadership, strong will to win changing body chemistry of the team led Bangladesh earning comprehensive white wash of world champions England. The winning momentum needs to be made consistent polishing some areas. The upcoming Irish series and series against Afghanistan must not be taken lightly at all. Those teams are also equally competitive and success hungry.
BDST: 1710 HRS, MAR 15, 2023