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Why Bangladesh Desperately Needs Gold?

Saleque Sufi |
Update: 2014-09-29 03:09:00
Why Bangladesh Desperately Needs Gold?

To boost its sagging morale Bangladesh Cricket team desperately needs to successfully defending the Gold Medal from Incheon, Korea Asian Games.

Bangladesh won it in 2010 beating the emerging cricket nation Afghanistan in the last Asian Games held at Guangzhou China. This is one of the major international exposures that Bangladesh will be having before the all-important ICC World Cup 2015 to be held in Australia New Zealand.

It is T20 a different format and teams other than reduced strength Sri Lanka whom Bangladesh will possibly meet in quarterfinal are not of the class and competence as Bangladesh. Still Bangladesh cricket team in a state of maze from recent series of defeat in format of the game must get back its winning habit.

With this end view Bangladesh has sent its best available team to power them in the games. Inspirational Mashrafee Bin Murtaza who could be well established captain of Bangladesh had he not have suffered series of injuries will lead the team in absence of regular captain Mushfiq.

Mushfiq is not available for his matrimony. The team strength will be significantly boosted from the return of ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan.

Shakib served ban from all cricket for his alleged attitude problem and we all have seen how it impacted Bangladesh team performance. The report from Incheon suggests that players are in great mood, many of whom are representing Bangladesh for the first time in a major game whether hundreds of athletes of different disciplines from different countries are sharing games village.

The spirit of togetherness often takes the best out of players at top level. Bangladesh has not won any gold medal yet though our eves almost got there.

Bangladesh is clearly the best team on paper and if they play to full potential then there are no reasons why it should not successfully defend the title.

But cricket is such a game; T20 is such a format that a sudden blistering performance of one player can cause upset. Not to speak of Sri Lanka only teams like Nepal, Afghanistan and Hong Kong are capable of springing surprises. Hong Kong and Afghanistan in recent times have beaten Bangladesh.

The senior Afghanistan team is acclimatizing in Australia New Zealand. But Afghans are fighters and their cricket team is very committed. Nepal is improving with every game they are playing.

But in true potential this Bangladesh team has the potential to prove competitive for any cricket team in the world now. But their recent form has slumped so low that even their staunchest of follower would not be 100 % confident of their chances.

We believe the players are conscious of their responsibilities and apply their best to turn the tides in their favor. They must give a strong statement from their very first match and play through the tournament consistently.

Mashrafee as leader and an individual player is always inspirational and can lead from the front. I have never heard of any match at any level that Mash has not put his hundred percent. He loves to remain focused, remain committed.

That is why and how he has returned to international level after suffering major injuries several times. Many players we know have hanged up their bat after one or two such physical setbacks. Couple of months back we had opportunity to view a TV interview of rookie Bangladeshi pacer Taskin Ahmed. He mentioned Mashrafee as his idol.

He was mainly impressed from his mental toughness in battling out physical impediment. Taskin will be sharing new ball with his idol. In his short career teenage prodigy has already given a good account of him. While Mashrafee still has his accuracy and swing Taskin is fast and furious. I am sure this pair will bring regular break through at this level.

Bangladesh can play Rubel Hossain as the third seamer as with the return of Shakib the team looks much more balanced. If Masrafee and Taskin get early break through, Shakib and Rubel in middle overs can stifle the opponent with good attacking bowling.

I would also suggest playing Arafat Sunny as he can effectively play the role that Razzak used to play. Mahamuddullah and Nasir can always be used if required. Possibly this is the best bowling attack Bangladesh can have in T20 and ODI now.

But batting needs to prove a lot after their consistent failures and melting under pressure in recent times. The wickets at Incheon are playing slow and low. It must not cause any worry for Bangladeshi batsmen whose techniques and temperament were not up to the mark against short pacey deliveries of the West Indians in recent series. Tamim is in good touch but we are sure about his fitness.

He loses focus after reaching a personal milestone and gets out after getting in. We hope Anamul will be more conscious about batting with discretion would like to see young Mominul bat at three and Shakib at four as in T20 the best batsmen should play more deliveries to make significant contributions.

Mahamudullah and Nasir should play at five and six. While Mahamuddulah started getting back his form towards the end of the last series Nasir looked pretty ordinary. This will be possibly his last chance to redeem.Mithun Ali who was in West Indies tour squad was not tested there.

He is a good batsman as well. The position from eight to eleven will be gone to Mashrafee, Arafat Sunny, Rubel Hossain and Taskin. If Nasir fail again I would suggest playing Shbhagato Home in his place for his greater utility.

So my team for the first match of Bangladesh at Asian Games should be Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Huq, Mominul Huq, Shakib Al Hasan, Mahamudullah Riyad, Nasir Hussain, Mashrafee, Arafat Sunny, Rubel Hossain and Taskin Ahmed.

Bangladesh is definitely the favorite to retain the title. But there is no scope for complacency. While getting back to winning grove will be a great tonic failure will cause further depression. Let us hope Bangladesh see other side of the coin soon.

BDST: 0105 HRS, SEP 29, 2014

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