Thursday, 29 Jul, 2021


How Can BCB Exploit The Opportunity?

17 |
Update: 2020-02-15 12:40:22
How Can BCB Exploit The Opportunity?

Zimbabwe Cricket team arrives in Dhaka today 15 February 2020 for playing one test, three ODIs and two T20 matches. This tour on the backdrop of historic performance of Bangladesh Under 19 team in World cup and continued dismal performance of senior Bangladesh team in all formats of international cricket has special significance. Bangladesh is also due to return to Pakistan in April for playing one test and one ODI. Bangladesh has not yet announced squad for test, ODI or T20. Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Captain T20 has not played any international cricket since CWC 2019, Test and ODI captain Shakib Al Hasan is serving ICC suspension term.  Mainstay of Bangladesh batting Mushfiqur Rahim stayed out of Pakistan Tour for domestic reason. Leading Bangladesh batsmen Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah Riad looked rusty very recently. Bangladesh got shocked and awed in Test series against India, T20 series and the first test against Pakistan.  Bangladesh even lost the lone test against lowly Afghanistan at home by comfortable margin. All these have put BCB in serious dilemma in selecting squad against Zimbabwe. 

Issues With Fabulous Five

There is no semblance of doubt that Bangladesh cricket reached the crescendo for combined performance of fabulous five Mashrafe, Tamim, Shakib, Mushfique and Mahmudullah. Their brilliant performance in matches of different formats not only proved Bangladesh competitive but also earned victories from time to time. But at the same time it also can not be ignored Bangladesh failed to develop pool of quality players for creating alternatives or growing players under their shadow. It is great that MASHRAFE despite of his serious physical difficulties (seven major operation in knees) remained the spearhead of Bangladesh bowling attack for so many years, TAMIM remained the best opening batsman, MUSHFIQUE, the best technically equipped batsman, SHAKIB off course is among the top all rounder ever born, Mahmudullah became the unsung hero tagged as silent killer. There were thoughts of changing or chopping one or couple of them on occasions but overall circumstances never let that happen. The world cricket has become very competitive. It requires professional administration and a very organized cricket authority for planning and operating cricket development. International experience of Australia, England, India, South Africa or New Zealand would tell only very well organized domestic format led these teams producing quality players on sustainable basis. Talented players are spotted and groomed to international level through system. Bangladesh unfortunately lacks these. Hence even after 20 years of test cricket status Bangladesh cannot produce competitive team. Bangladesh struggles to survive the 5 days duration of tests and embrace ignominy of Innings defeats very regularly.

Before going Pakistan there were talks in BCB that Mushfique for not agreeing to visit Pakistan for security reasons (well players were given options) would not be considered for test against Zimbabwe. Can Bangladesh really afford to risk losing to Zimbabwe? Bangladesh batting looked pretty ordinary against Pakistan attack. The entire team batted poorly. BCB must not blame Mahmudullah alone. He has proved his worth time and time again. Forcing him out of test team at this stage may prove counter productive. In absence of Shakib, Tamim, Mushfique and Mahmudullah must play in all formats still for a while at least. It is only matter of a match they all will be back in their best.

If Bangladesh has to think about the team they must review the bowling options. Apart from Abu Jayed none looked at all consistent. I do not think leaving Mustafiz behind was a good decision. Mustafiz must be back in ODI and T20 at least if not test. I am not sure Mashrafee on his bowling form is automatic choice now. But his leadership is essential to guide the team specially till Shakib is aback again. It may sound optimistic but I will suggest trying Shorful of the Under 19 team in at least one ODI along side Mashrafee and Mustafiz. We are not sure whether Mohammad Saifuddin is match fit yet. If so he will be automatic choice. Bangladesh must explore whether left arm spinner Rokibul can be given a match. As far as Mahmudullah affair goes he definitely should not be discarded at this stage. He must play in all formats against Zimbabwe. I am not sure Nazmul Shanto with only two innings against Pakistan has become automatic choice. Young Saif Hasan can bat with Tamim, Mominul and Mushfique should bat at three and four, Mahmudullah and Nazmul Shanto can bat at 5 and 6 in Test. Bowling combination in test can be Jayed, Mustafiz, Siafuddin, Mehedi Miraj and Taizul.

ODI will be obviously different. My suggestion would be Tamim, Naim, Liton, Mushfique, Mithun, Mahmudullah, Saifuddin, Miraj, Mashrafe, Soriful and Mustafiz. I have witnessed how Shoriful in World Under 19 bowled at consistent pace on the right length and line. He will be ideal foil of Mustafiz and Mashrafe. Let him grow under Mashrafe for a while. Many may think Shorful must not be rushed. But BCB must exploit the situation. Bangladesh will play three ODIs against Zimbabwe. At least they can gamble with him in the first ODI.

Zimbabwe Series Match Schedule





SBNCS, Mirpur

22-26 February 2020

1st ODI (D/N)

Sylhet International Cricket Stadium

1 March 2020

2nd ODI (D/N)

Sylhet International Stadium

3 March 2020

3rd ODI (D/N)

Sylhet International Stadium

6 March 2020

1st T20 International


9 March 2020

2nd T20 International


11March 2020

Hope BCB selectors will not take decision on a hurry. Horses for the courses must be selected and future must also be in the vision. 

BDST: 1240 HRS, FEB 15, 2020

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