BCB tried all the tricks to avoid going to Pakistan for the pre scheduled bilateral series. All types of excuses were given. But failing convince PCB or ICC a three phased tour was agreed.
A completely unprepared team was sent for play 3 matches T20 series against ICC top ranked Pakistan. The outcome was pretty obvious. In the first match some contest was created. But in the second Bangladesh was completely blown away. Rain rescued from the humiliation of comprehensive white wash. In absence of top world class all rounder Shakib Al Hasan the team lost its balance. Moreover, mainstay Mushfique’s opting out from the tour for domestic concern weakened the team further. Still the team had enough all round strength for performing much better. But the overall abysmal performance in the very first T20 series of 2020 has compounded issues for Bangladesh for preparing a competitive team for ICC World T20 Championship due in October this year.
Bangladesh had a disastrous test tour of India in not too distant past. There was no post mortem done of that disastrous tour. Rather BCB was busy with non-consequential BPL taking the original owners of the franchise out of context. Hurriedly organized unplanned Bangabandhu BPL could attract only a few Top T20 players. Few local youngsters performed well. They were straight away included in the squad. Without any home work Bangladesh considering day night matches included as many as five pace bowlers. Six batsmen capable of opening the innings were also included. In absence of Mushfique and Shakib the team required some quality and experienced middle and late order batsmen. We do not think team composition would have made much difference. But a proper team should have been sent as outcome of the series was more or less known.
Tamim Iqbal for different reasons was away from international cricket for a while. This was his comeback series after few innings in BPL. It is often not easy for even the best of the batsmen to get back into peak form immediately after return. Still Tamim was the only stand out batsman of series for Bangladesh. Agreed in two matches his strike rate could be much better. But what others did. Rokkie Naim should not have been thrown straight under fire holding back much more experienced Liton and Soumya. Soumya is known playing new ball well. Holding him back and sending him bat and 6 or 7 on sluggish wicket against old ball was a flawed decision. It was seen that batsmen were struggling to rotate strikes and playing strokes. In such situation why Mahmudullah did not bat higher order? His longer stay at the wicket and holding the innings together could have added 15-20 additional runs in two matches. Team did too many experiments which did not prove successful. The bowling spearhead Mustafiz failed to impress. Shaiful and Al Amin bowled reasonably well but Bangladesh did not score enough runs to challenge Pakistan.
Wonder why Farhad Reza and Taijul were not included in the squad. Bangladesh did not have a complete team. No late middle order or late order batsman of quality, no quality wicket taking spinner.
On the other hand Pakistan included two seasoned batsman Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafiz to support the young team. Both performed in addition with very talented Babar Azam. Hope Bangladeshi batsmen learned lessons from the way these three batted on sluggish wicket playing with soft hands and continuously rotating the strikes. Bangladesh really did not have quality and composure to challenge Pakistan. If there is no major change in team composition or strategy this team may struggle to compete against Zimbabwe soon.
Bangladesh would soon go back to Pakistan for playing a test match. After disastrous test tour of Pakistan no player played any longer version match. Another under prepared team will go play test. We apprehend another humiliating defeat would embrace Bangladesh. Another group of lambs would be sent to slaughterhouse.
The three- phased strategy of sending the team to Pakistan is not understood. It will definitely not create additional security or safety. The reason for sending the team by expensive chartered plane is also not understood. When Prime Minister of Bangladesh preach austerity how BCB can afford such luxury. Regular commercial flights could save lot of money. The money saved could be spend for creating more practice facilities or other utility use.
Bangladesh returned from Pakistan empty handed. It is highly unlikely that it will gain much from tests and ODI. Bangladesh cricket is nose diving. BCB remains unconcerned as no one is there to ask questions.
BDST: 1247 HRS, JAN 28, 2020