Truly unpredictable, unbelievable, intense, and intoxicating Old Trafford test match between England and Pakistan is just over.
Pakistan was looking set for winning the intriguing contest till the midway to the second last session of the 4th days play with England reduced to 117/5 requiring 276 for winning the test. The last recognised batting pair of England Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes were at the crease. The wicket was turning and bouncing, a little bit of reverse swing was there. Pakistan bowlers Shahin Afridi, Abbas , Nasim, Yasir and Shadab were rocking . Only one wicket at that stage would have exposed the tail of English lion. In desperate bid Buttler and Woakes counter attacked. Pakistan losing their cool lost their way. Adding 139 precious runs in the 6th wicket partnership the English batsmen snatched the match away from the visitors. Taking no credit away from either team we must admire the spirit at which the match was played. When the new ball was given to Yasir with England ship close to the shore he almost turned the match upside down. Never say die is the lesson Bangladesh and other teams must learn from the test.
Bangladesh cricket team and BCB must learn that for creating contest with leading teams in test Bangladesh would requiring at least 3-4 pace bowlers bowling at 140 plus and match winning leg spinners. Pakistan had that. They could floor England in the first innings gaining 107 runs lead. But they could not consolidate as their batting lacked consistency. If Pakistan had 4-5 international quality batsmen they could easily set 325-350 runs target. In that situation they could have definitely won that match. Bangladesh in 20 years of playing could not set a proper test team that can survive even four days in test cricket in most cases. It will not be easy at all for Bangladesh team with the present set of players winning against most teams on tour. Minor team even Afghanistan has beaten Bangladesh badly in recent time at home. In 2021 Bangladesh may have to play 3-4 test series at home abroad. We find no urgency of BCB for organizing longer version domestic cricket. They are keen for disco brand BPL . Everyone understands the eagerness of the fortune seekers for scandalous T20 franchise.
Bangladesh must take note that Pakistan has taken great initiative combining their quality former cricketers Misbahul Haque, Yunis Khan, Waqar Yunus and Mustaq Mohammad for a high quality think tank. Saqlain Mustaq is in charge of academy. Bangladesh can not progress much relying exclusively on foreign coaches.
Pakistan went to England with 29 players for 3 tests and some T20 matches. They have quality reserves. Bangladesh must find at least 25-30 international quality players with at least 6 quality pacers, 2 leg spinners and at least 12 quality batsmen have temperament for playing longer version cricket. Bangladesh is now at number 8 in ICC test ranking. I can foresee a bleak future if BCB does not pull up their shocks immediately.
BDST: 1620 HRS, AUG 09, 2020