World cricket knows Bangladesh in test cricket is clear underdog to Pakistan at the moment. With Tamim (injured) and Mahmudullah (opting to retire) the team is not in full strength.
Moreover, for poor planning and ineffective domestic first-class structure there is ocean gap between domestic and international cricket. Some experts say Cricket in Bangladesh is climbing through stairs while other using high speed lifts. Yet after mixed performance at Chattogram Test with two and a half batsmen of international class Mushfique, Mominul and Liton) and two genuine bowlers (Taijul and Mehedy) Bangladesh did reasonably well taking strong Pakistan to 13 the of the 15th sessions of the test. With two impact players superstar all rounder Shakib and impressive speedster Taskin expected to be back in action at Dhaka, Bangladesh is expected to be expected to create greater contest.
Meanwhile Bangladesh s electors announcing 20 members strong squad for a test at home has raised many questions for reality check. Most connected with cricket in Bangladesh know Bangladesh hardly can produce 15 players worthy of playing test cricket against quality opposition. After 21 years of playing test cricket Bangladesh cannot produce a pair of quality opening batsmen technically equipped or temperamentally astute for playing quality pace attack. Shadman and Saif prepared for test opener partnering with Tamim looked very ordinary. Nazmul Shanto blue-eyed boy in local cricket failed miserably. Even skipper Mominul was shocked an awed. Poor spineless batting of top four let Bangladesh down in both Innings. Luckily two discards Liton and Mushfique playing milestone setting brave 204 runs 5th wicket partnership brought Bangladesh back in the contest.
It is well expected that one or both openers would lose position. Saif is sick and is not available. Shadman’s morale must be badly shaken. Mahmudul Hasan Joy included as back up opener can set for opening with Nazmul Shanto. There was no point making drama bringing white ball opener Mohammad Naim. Mominul should bat at three, Mushfique four and Shakib at five. Liton, Yasir Ali (if fit) and Mehedi can carry the team at 5,6 and 7. Bangladesh must appear with 5 genuine front-end bowlers including Shakib. For that matter Taijul and Mehedy Miraj would be his pinning partners. Taskin can have either Ebadat or any from the host of other pacers making the team. Playing with only four bowlers in Chattogram test against strong Pakistan batting was completely negative mindset. In absence of Shakib even Naeem Hasan could be useful. Depending on the nature of the wicket Bangladesh can even appear with four spinners and Taskin.
Bangladesh squad: Mominul Haque (c), Shadman Islam, Saif Hassan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Liton Das, Yasir Ali, Nurul Hasan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taijul Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain, Abu Jayed, Nayeem Hasan, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Rejaur Rahman Raja, Khaled Ahmed, Shohidul Islam, Mohammad Naim
Bangladesh is poised for another comprehensive whitewash. But getting that ignominy from Pakistan in the month of victory of Bangladesh would rub salt to injury. Bangladesh must fight with all they possess and make a match of it.
In not-too-distant future Bangladesh would play two tests on tour in New Zealand. That would be another reality check for Bangladesh as test team. We hope that before talks starts gathering momentum of Bangladesh going into self-isolation from test cricket than can mature quality youngsters in proper manner through completely revamping domestic infrastructure (sporting wickets, better grounds, appropriate facilities. An army of local and quality foreign coaches and off course performing BCB) would start winning tests at home and abroad.
Bangladesh does not lack raw quality. Under-19 team and even women’s team are giving good account. But when it came to men’s team performance is going from bad to worse. Bangladesh is definitely much better team than the way it is performing.
BDST: 1130 HRS, DEC 02, 2021