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Sohel
February 22, 2008, 11:41 PM
Mohammad Ashraful Matin is simply the best batsman we’ve produced to date in Bangladesh, period. He’s also a pretty good captain even at this early age. He is aggressive and his subsequently aggressive field-setting helped Shahadat Hossain and Mohammad Rafique make things happen during the course of Day 1 at the SBNS.

The current generation of players led by him - irrespective of the annoying nostalgia for the ICC trophy years which tends to paint the soundness of some of our judgment when they fail to perform – is several cuts above those who battled the likes of Hong Kong, Uganda, Holland, Scotland and Kenya to get us here.

With the possible exception of Raquibul Hassan, Daulat Zaman, Nazrul Quader Lintu, Yusuf Babu, Minhazul Abedin Nannu, Aminul Islam Bulbul, Mehrab Hossain Opi and Khaled Mashud Pilot at their peak, I doubt any one of the older generation players will perform any better than any one of the guys playing for the senior side at this moment.

Having said that, they all have issues applying their abilities in the middle when it comes to the highest level. In spite of his superior talent and technique, Mohammad Ashraful Matin is no exception to that rule at this juncture in our cricket culture.

Instead of the usual panic-stricken desire to constantly substitute X, Y, Z for A, B, C and keep our fingers crossed for these short-term, band-aid 'solutions' to deliver 'honorable defeats', perhaps we’d be better off looking at how to avoid the jodi laigga jay mindset and do what is necessary. We haven’t done that seriously enough as a test cricketing nation, and look where it has gotten us so far!

The trouble is most of our talented young players are still years away for International maturity, psychologically and in some cases technically.

Question: How do we deal with failure while we continue to develop a process where our talented players in the future can properly harness their talent through extensive domestic FC, Academy and A-team exposure, and make sustainable debuts in their late 20s?

One answer: By being patient as the current batch learns on the job under the guidance of good coaches, that’s how! That’s exactly what’s happening now.

Now I’m just as heartbroken to watch our beloved Ash failing to lead with bat by repeatedly giving his wicket away, but I still fail to see an alternative to us fans just dealing with it until he learns to build the type of innings he is EASILY capable of building before his compulsions get the better of him. His compulsions are just as stupid as are some of our overly emotional calls for his head at this stage, and it may be wise to remember that before letting our often counterproductive emotions run wild.

It is ugly to look at our batsmen poking-about outside their off-stump or struggling to go past the 30-run mark consistently, but that is just the way it is until they become wise and old enough to do what is necessary and learn to stop being stupid. I don’t have the cosmic fast-forward button that can take me 7 to 10 years forward through time. So, I simply bite the bullet and it’s OK.

For all future prospects, BCB needs a disciplined system so that talented and hardworking players like Alok Kapali, Nafees Iqbal, Talha Jubair, Imrul Kayes, Rokibul Hassan, Dhiman Ghosh, Tapash Baisya, Mehrab Hossain Jr, Nazmul Hossain Milon, Nazmus Sadat, Abul Bashar, Suman Saha, Imtiaz Hossain, Mohammad Nazimuddin, Mohammad Mahmudullah Riyad, Mosharraf Hossain Rubel, Golam Rahman, Ghazi Salahuddin, Ehsanul Haq, Golam Mabud, Mohammad Shahzada, Ziaur Rahman, Shaju Datta, and the current batch of U19 heroes can develop through a proper system and become successful International players. This is the overall system I’d like to see for them and all those yet to come: -

(Stage 1 or the Start) School Cricket/ Community Cricket > (Stage 2) Club Cricket/ U19 Cricket > (Stage 3) Domestic FC and List-A Cricket > (Stage 4) Academy Cricket > (Stage 5) A-team Cricket > (Stage 6 or the Finish) International Cricket.

Also, I don’t know why coaches are not given the responsibility to scout, select and develop players as per their requirements in cricket. Coaches are ultimately responsible for selecting players in all successful professional sports such as the MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA in the U.S and the EPL and other leagues in Europe, and that’s exactly what we need to do for all levels and versions of our cricket. We haven’t to date, and have managed to play more players going through the revolving door of arbitrary selection than actual test matches played. No more dubious and alga matobbori from Omuk Chacha, Tomuk Mama or adorable Biriyani brothers of the moment and their questionable 'systems' PLEASE!

BCB needs to have the NCL-level coaches scout, select and develop what they need in order to be successful. BCB needs to empower them with well-trained talent scouts and specialized coaches and set them up for success. Once they do and because they may, so will our cricketers and cricket in the process.

Anyway, the net result of all of the perpetual crisis management has been more than predictable. Instability creates more problems than it solves, no matter how good short-term ideas that create the instability look at the time. Frustration, anger and panic are intoxicants which like all intoxicants, seriously impair judgment and make us go to bed with the wrong idea. BCB and some of our fans have had too many of such ‘morning afters’ but continue ending up with half-baked ideas which ‘looked good at the time’. Time to wise up.

Keeping the aforementioned processes in mind, I’d also like to look at the basic issues faced by our players at the highest level: -

1. Batting: a) Loss of focus and poor shot selection, b) poor footwork and lack of sustainable and compact, straight batted, fundamental technique, and c) inability to cope with the inherent pressures of International cricket and compete.

2. Bowling: a) Loss of focus and subsequent loose deliveries bowled away from the set field, at least once or twice per over, b) occasionally poor biomechanics better suited to crappy local pitches, and c) inability to cope with the inherent pressures of International cricket and compete delivery after delivery, over after over and finally, spell after spell.

How do we deal with the aforementioned issues we know too well? I suggest the following: -

1. More domestic FC and List A Cricket: The best way learn to play the game and improve overall quality over time is by actually playing the game as much as possible. We don’t play enough of the longer versions of the sport and it shows. We simply have too many batsmen who don’t know how to build a good innings, or bowlers who can take wickets AND 'contain' the opposition with equal application. The NCL needs to reformat itself and play 15/10s instead of the current 10/10s. Players should be scouted and selected by coaches and well-compensated with attractive performance incentives. Incentives attractive enough to make club cricket secondary. Keeping International Cricket in mind for our players, some of the wickets should be sporting wickets with premeditated variety. NCL should also be properly coached, marketed, merchandized and televised. Technical issues should be sternly addressed here first by qualified and specialized batting, bowling and fielding coaches.

2. More A-team Cricket: Given the qualitative discrepancy between our domestic cricket and the highest level, only EXTENSIVE exposure to regularly scheduled A-team Cricket, provided the selected players have also performed well at the Academy level, can help our players make the better, more sustainable transition to International Cricket. Technical issues should get the final touches here by qualified and specialized batting, bowling and fielding coaches.

3. Sports Psychologist and Motivator for the Senior Team PERMANENTLY: This individual and his team should be available 24/7 and be empowered to schedule regular one-on-ones, group sessions and events and processes which build individual confidence team cohesion.

Same old song stuck inside an endless loop.

al Furqaan
February 23, 2008, 01:16 AM
front page

Rifat
February 23, 2008, 01:40 AM
Sohel NR, if you were given the job as a bangladesh coach would you do it FOR FREE?? i think among all of us, you deserve it the most

RazabQ
February 23, 2008, 04:07 AM
rifat I have some prime [বাংলা]চর[/বাংলা] property I'd like to sell to you

Sohel
February 23, 2008, 06:35 AM
Sohel NR, if you were given the job as a bangladesh coach would you do it FOR FREE?? i think among all of us, you deserve it the most

Very flattering Rifat and thank you. Sadly, this flattery would never hide my total ineptitude as a cricket coach at any level. Besides, we already have one of the very best in the business, just let him do his thing ... :)

Asaad, thank you.

Razab, truth can be a bit harsh at times but always necessary ... :)

zainab
February 23, 2008, 08:50 AM
Sohel Bhai, great analysis, maybe you should email your thoughts and analysis to the BCB and Coach Siddons.
Indeed, the national team needs a permanent sports psychologist to make these boys believe in themselves.
More first class matches are the key to better performance and better financial incentives. They need a good bowling coach also, because I think Siddons will take care of their batting.
Siddons will try to keep this team together with the exception of a few new players for another 2 years, and he is tough, so there will be improvement sooner than later.
Let's just hope for the best from now on. These are young players, the commentator remarked that he is excited about these boys and they have to be given another 5 years to develop into good cricketers, with the the exception of Bashar an Rafique, their average age is about 22 yrs old, too young a side in Test cricket. to have the mental capability and concentration.
BTW, when last has BD gotten a first innings lead in a test mach and bowl out a NO2 team for less than 200 runs?

Sohel
February 25, 2008, 12:23 AM
Not quite the same old song this time, thanks to Rajib, Rafiq and BiZu. Steyn, Morkel and later Kallis' excellent bowling notwithstanding, our batsmen let us down again as a unit.

1. Tamim: Bad luck, really! ... :-|

2. BiZu: Not the most chanceless of innings, but the temperament was great ... :applause:

3. Abir: Despite more compact defensive technique and improved footwork, the mantra remains: Ready > Get set > Get out! Good fielding for once ... :hairpull:

4. HaBa: Again our captain failed to use his bowling prowess. Those lethal 'HaBooglies' would've made the difference. Maybe in his 100th and 101st test innings in Chittagong. A good catch and lots of running around chasing balls. GREAT Blues Brothers shades ... :-D

5. Mohammad Ashraful Matin, captain and PT bowler: Good captaincy except that strange, almost HaBa-esque patch yesterday. The 'dooshraful' was great ... :-|

5. Ahammok AshraFOOL Bateel, batsman: Everything old is new again ... :head:

6. Aftab Ahmed: Aftab is what Aftab does ... :hairpull:

7. Moyna: The new Kapali ... >:)

8. GoBoy: Kulhara kaulongkini ... :down:

9. MaMu: Toothless bilai ... :hairpull:

10. Rafiq: We told you so ... :notworthy:

11. Rajib: Meet the new boss! ... :applause::applause::applause:

Murad
February 25, 2008, 12:33 AM
8. GoBoy: Kulhara kaulongkini ... :down:

:floor::floor::floor:

I like the new tilte Sohel bhai. Superb title. Can't stop laughing... oh man.... :lol:

ZunaidH
February 25, 2008, 12:51 AM
Sohel, the analysis you have put is probably accurate. Interestingly, everything you have mentioned here is not unique. In bits and piece all those recommendations are in this site. Unfortunately, in the 8 years of playing test cricket nobody could put anything together. Very sad indeed. On May 30, 2008, I will be celebrating my 4th year of following Bangldesh Test Cricket at Banglacricket. I am seriously considering to STOP following test cricket until BD wins anything of importance in test cricket (Zimbabwe does not count).

lamisa
February 25, 2008, 12:55 AM
btw, who is mamu and moyna aggain?

Murad
February 25, 2008, 01:02 AM
MaMu = Mashrafe Murtaza
Moyna = Shakib Al Hasan.

RazabQ
February 25, 2008, 04:12 AM
Sohel, it was more directed towards Rifat then you :) At least you get to watch a lot more local cricket than I

Sohel
February 26, 2008, 03:50 AM
Sohel, it was more directed towards Rifat then you :) At least you get to watch a lot more local cricket than I

I know bro ... :) I've been sold a lot also ever since I moved back. Hopefully I've wised up a bit and learned to discern the top two numbers.

BD-Shardul
February 26, 2008, 06:05 AM
MaMu- For some reasons it crack me up everytime I read it. MaMu certainly needs a break. Good invention SNR bhai.

GoBoy: Kulhara kaulongkini

SNR bhai, for some reasons when you write Banglaish, this U comes up every time. Say for example, you write BAULAD intstead of BOLOD. I don't know why.

He’s also a pretty good captain even at this early age. He is aggressive and his subsequently aggressive field-setting helped Shahadat Hossain and Mohammad Rafique make things happen during the course of Day 1 at the SBNS.

How Ash's field setting help bowlers to get those wickets? Two of Shahadat's wicket were bowled and lbw. Same for Rafiq's wickets (bowled and lbw). Could you please explain? :)

Sohel
February 26, 2008, 06:41 AM
... SNR bhai, for some reasons when you write Banglaish, this U comes up every time. Say for example, you write BAULAD intstead of BOLOD. I don't know why.

I like to separate the [বাংলা]অ[/বাংলা] sound from the [বাংলা]ও[/বাংলা] sound. So I use 'au' as in Australia for [বাংলা]অ[/বাংলা] and 'o' as in Post for [বাংলা]ও[/বাংলা]. Maybe THIS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanization_of_Bengali) can help explain some of the method to my madness? ... :)

How Ash's field setting help bowlers to get those wickets? Two of Shahadat's wicket were bowled and lbw. Same for Rafiq's wickets (bowled and lbw). Could you please explain? :)

Timely agressive field-setting can always create the type of pressure that can get batters out, especially when bowlers can bowl accurately in the right areas to the field set for them. This gives them the option to surprise batters into being bowled and LBW-ed IMHO. That's what Ash did, and did well most of the times for his bowlers.

In comparison, think back to HaBa's brain-dead, passive fielding where he hoped for things to happen with typical results. Ash usually tries to make things happen, although that strange hour or so in the last session of Day 3 was positively HaBa-esque. A wicket fell and I expected him to try and go for the jugular. Instead, he decided to leak runs. That was really weird.

zainab
February 26, 2008, 08:18 AM
Quote:

Quote:
How Ash's field setting help bowlers to get those wickets? Two of Shahadat's wicket were bowled and lbw. Same for Rafiq's wickets (bowled and lbw). Could you please explain?

Timely agressive field-setting can always create the type of pressure that can get batters out, especially when bowlers can bowl accurately in the right areas to the field set for them. This gives them the option to surprise batters into being bowled and LBW-ed IMHO. That's what Ash did, and did well most of the times for his bowlers.

In comparison, think back to HaBa's brain-dead, passive fielding where he hoped for things to happen with typical results. Ash usually tries to make things happen

I agree! Ash is constantly thinking, unlike Bashar, he may not be the best captain, but BD has no other alternative at the moment.