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Can Bangladesh Redeem?

Saleque Sufi |
Update: 2014-09-04 00:37:00
Can Bangladesh Redeem?

Bangladesh Cricket Team will get engaged to a very important two matches test series from tomorrow against West Indies at a very critical juncture of its cricket history. 

Having digested an embarrassing white wash in ODI series, Bangladesh must try and play to its potential to salvage some pride from the test series. Considering over all test record of Bangladesh and the present state of the team no one will even dream of Bangladesh beating West Indies but at least one draw or taking both the test to the fifth day may be considered some success for the team. If they lose both and loose badly that will serious hurt Bangladesh cause and the team will start on back foot against new look rejuvenated Zimbabwe at home next. In that situation not only the team but also the cricket management will come under serious scrutiny. As cricket enthusiast and well-wisher of Bangladesh team we must keep hoping against the hope. Let Bangladesh show their determination and commitment.

What are the realistic chances of the tigers? Batting looked extremely disgusting over the first two ODIs and bowlers after doing reasonably well in the first two ODIs were taken to cleaners in the third. Batsmen starting looking getting back into stride from the third ODI and came into their own in the lone warm up match against a substandard bowling attack on a batting paradise. We cannot understand why BCB could not set the warm up match against a proper opposition. We do not think that people will ever hear the name of any of the players of the team other than great Shivnarine Chanderpaul in international cricket. Yet against them Mushfiq and Nasir scored century, Tamim and Shamsur batted well. On a docile wicket Rubel, Taijul and Shubhagato took three wickets each. At least some players burned their skin in the sun. Mushfiq should have given opportunity to Mominul to bat in the second innings as he has to be one of main stay in the batting line up.

West Indies will possibly play three or may be even four pacers to exploit the weakness of Bangladeshi batsmen again genuine pace and short lifting deliveries. Khemar Roach, Jeromy Taylor and Jason Holder can cause genuine problem for Bangladeshi batmen with genuine pace and movement. West Indies may even include Shanon Gabriel playing only Shane Shillingford as lone spinner. But if the wicket is on the slower side both Shillingford and Suleiman Benn may play. This attack looks formidable for Bangladesh and the batsmen must have to play out of their skin to produce substantial score to make a contest out of it.

Much will depend on the senior batsmen Tamim, Mushfiq and Nasir as others may be nervy in the context of the situation especially in consideration of what the team has gone through over the last months at all levels of international cricket. We hope Anamul, Mominul, Mohamadullah and either Mithun or Shubhagato will also prove their worth. I am not sure whether Imrul Kayes can deliver in this series. He has got enough opportunity already and failed every time. But the key would be top order batting. If Bangladesh continue to lose two three early wickets the team whose morale is at its lowest level may tend to crumble like cookies. Tamim got back into his stride and appear to batting consistently. For tests he has to curb his natural instinct of playing too many strokes too early. Not a bright 40-50 Bangladesh will be expecting a hundred and long innings from him. Anamul played one good innings in the first ODI but failed in the next two. He too will have to have to demonstrate resolve and learn to build the innings. 

Patience is the key for an opener in test cricket. Both the openers are bit suspect in the corridor of uncertainty outside their off stump and tend to play away from the body. West Indian new ball bowler Jerome Taylor can be lethal in the first few overs with red hot cherry. He swings both ways at genuine pace and has very effective bouncers. Roach has deceptive pace as well. Holder using his height can lift the ball awkwardly as well.  Bangladesh should play Shillingford and Suleiman Benn a little comfortably. But they must keep in mind that one gentleman called Saqlain Mustaq has given them useful tips. West Indies released Sunil Narine and Badree is not in the test side. I will suggest Shamsur Rahman to bat at number three and Mushfiq at number four. If we have a reasonably good opening stand Mushfiq can hold the innings together having two youngsters Shamsur Rahman and Mominul on either side of him. Mominul for some reasons have not been given enough opportunity to bat but he must play as he has the knack of digging in and playing to the condition of the match. In short stint in test cricket he has already demonstrated his utility. I will like to include Mithun Ali or Shbhagato Home ahead of Mahamudullah. Shubhato may have better all-round utility. Then we have Nasir and the bowlers. Bangladesh can appear with three seam bowlers –Al Amin, Rubel and Shafiul. We are not sure whether Arafat Sunny is already with the team. If he is there he should be preferred over Taijul. But in any circumstances Bangladesh must play three pacers as three are chances that West Indies will play long innings and pace bowlers have to bowl longer spells. Shafiul and Rubel have returned from injury and they must not be asked to ball longer spells. One main stream spinner and two par timers Nasir, Shubhagato can share bowling burden. Bangladesh must try and bat at least four sessions in every innings if they want to create some contest and try to score 350 in the first innings. West Indies test batting will rest on brilliant Bravo and ever reliable Chandrapaul. Gayle and Ramadin may blast in one or two innings but they are bound to offer chances which must be grabbed. Bangladesh must field well. Fielding lapses will badly hurt. This team has several youngsters and there are no reason that why they should not field well.

We hope Heath Streak has prepared his bowlers well and in fact he did as appeared from vast improved bowling of Al Amin. West Indian batsmen does not like bowlers bowling close to their body and gets into their acts of playing strokes on the up giving opportunities in the slip cordon. But they can kill any bowling if given width. We hope Steak prepared his bowlers accordingly.

Tiger fans will possibly appreciate that this team in present state cannot create magic. They have to play well within themselves.  Honorable draw or at least showing some fights are all that can be expected of Bangladesh team at this moment.

West Indies Test Squad: Denesh Ramdin (C) (wk),Chris Gayle,Kraigg Brathwaite,Kirk Edwards,Darren Bravo,Shivnarine Chanderpaul,Blackwood,  Khemar Roach, Jerome Taylor, Jason  Holder, Shannon Gabriel, ,Suleiman Benn, Shane Shillingford

Bangladesh Test Squad: Mushfiqur Rahim (C) (wk), Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Shamsur Rahman, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque, Shuvagata Hom, Mahmudullah, Nasir Hossain, Mohammad Mithun (wk),Al-Amin Hossain,Rubel Hossain,Robiul Islam,Shafiul Islam,Taijul Islam 

BDST: 1038 HRS, SEP 04, 2014

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