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Isam
July 23, 2010, 02:31 PM
Maybe it played on his mind during the 14-hour flight from London, but a dishevelled Mashrafe Bin Mortaza was spot on when he raised "real concern" with the Bangladesh team's bowling after arriving home early on Thursday morning.
Bowlers hurting Tigers
MOHAMMAD ISAM
To say that Bangladesh's bowling this year has been abysmal, especially in one-day cricket, is an understatement.

When bowling first in 2010, they have literally gone through the ceiling: conceding 309 runs per innings in six matches. In the dreadful Asia Cup campaign, the bowlers gave away 313 and 386 in consecutive games.

And even when the batsmen have amassed 260, 250, 199 (in 30 overs) or even 296, scores that are far higher than Tigers' ODI average (226 runs), the bowlers failed to defend the total.

Wickets, averages, runs per over and strike rates have all taken a hammering this year.

Shafiul Islam, in his first season as an international cricketer, is the second highest wicket-taker with 24 wickets, two behind Shakib Al Hasan. But the paceman gave away an unacceptable 6.91 runs/over, worse than all of Rubel Hossain (6.65 runs), Mashrafe (5.57) and Syed Rasel (6.09).

But the three pacemen haven't entirely been angels either. While Rubel barely takes a wicket per match, Mashrafe also hasn't been his usual self.

The Narail Express, who hasn't played any of the Tigers' seven Test matches due to injuries, has taken just eight wickets at a steep average of 48.12.

His friend Abdur Razzak has also had a poor year. The left-arm spinner's wickets-column has been mostly empty in the 14 matches. His average reads an unacceptable 60.

Shakib, their Khulna teammate in the National Cricket League, has had a less than impressive year with 26 wickets from 19 games at an average of a shade below 32, not exactly what you expect from the number one all-rounder in one-day cricket.

But Mahmudullah Riyad and Syed Rasel probably were the worst bowlers for the Tigers this year with the Mymensingh-born Riyad picking up a paltry four wickets from 19 games while left-arm seamer Rasel took just two wickets in six outings.

In Tests, Shakib leads the pack with 27 wickets but he has bowled below par, giving away 39 per wicket when his career average is around 32, and if Shahadat Hossain hadn't taken the two five-fors, his season figures would have been terrible.

The question of the bowlers' ability can be raised but how does one become the best all-rounder in the world without bowling well? Shakib is perhaps an exception but Shafiul's 24 wickets are not bad for a newcomer while Mashrafe, Razzak and Rasel have played enough to check their slide.

Cynics would say that Jamie Siddons spends all his time with the batsmen but most international teams have a proper bowling coach. The Tigers had Champaka Ramanayake but after his illness, that void has not been filled properly.

Fingers could also be pointed towards the grinding international schedule (29 Tests, ODIs and Twenty20s) and a lengthy domestic season, but in too many matches the bowlers have given away runs at crucial stages or have looked pedestrian after the batsmen had done their job.

BATTING WONDERS AND BLUNDERS
Siddons however have done a good job with the batsmen, making sure the bulk of them are averaging over 30. This was something he preached in the team and mentioned tirelessly to the media.

Imrul Kayes is one of those who diligently worked with the Australian for more than two years, have found his mark in the international game.

While his Test credentials could still be questioned, one is tempted to say that Imrul has done justice to the selectors and Siddons for persisting with him. The left-hander is the surprise leader in the pack in one-day cricket with 644 runs with five half-centuries and a century against New Zealand.

Imrul's opening partner Tamim Iqbal is just 30 runs behind in the one-day list, due mainly to his penchant for slogging and throwing away a good start. Indeed, Tamim's ODI average this year looks shoddy when compared to his Test credentials where he has scored 837 runs with three centuries and six half-centuries.

The opening duo's good form has meant that they have made good start for Bangladesh in both formats.

In Tests, the left-handed pair added a century-stand twice and eight 50-plus partnerships in both formats.

And the solid top-order triangle (all left-handed) is complete when you see Junaed Siddiqui's figures and his contribution in huge partnerships as well.

Not a purists' delight, the doughty Rajshahi lad made more runs in nine games than Ashraful in 11 ODIs. He has also done well in Test cricket after a tough 2009, scoring a century and three fifties in six games.

As for his contribution as part of a batting pair, Junaed added 200 with Tamim Iqbal against India and was also involved in a 167-run stand with Mushfiqur Rahim against England in Chittagong.

But the same can't be said about Shakib. After his century against New Zealand and 96 at home against England, the southpaw hasn't done anything of note in Test cricket and in the shorter format, has been averaging less than 25 runs per innings.

His close buddy Mushfiqur Rahim made a brilliant start to 2010 with a 101 against India and then two fifties against England in the Chittagong Test. But in the next three Tests, he has made only 73 runs and with a couple of fifties in one-day cricket, one is inclined to say that the wicketkeeper-batsman hasn't done justice to his talent. Similarly, Riyad has given it away after he hit a peak in three Tests.

As a footnote, Mohammad Ashraful has had better years than 2010, and probably really needs a break after a monotonous streak of 11 one-dayers where he has come up with one half-century. Surely, the most talented batsman of this country needs to rise from the ashes.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=147969

Ananna
July 23, 2010, 06:51 PM
We should not blame only our bowlers for let us down. The blame goes to the batting also. While this is true that our top orders have performed okay/well in most instances, its our middle and lower order that have let us down in many matches. Why they were unable to socre big after solid start from the top order is beyond my comprehension. In last few matches (including that againt NED) we couldnt take advatages of our good starts and the batting power plays. Had we score 20/30 more runs, some of these matches could have gone our way.
I just hope and pray that we can fix these problem sbefore the WC and dont get humiliated as a host nation.

Rifat
July 23, 2010, 09:07 PM
Isam Bro, Ma'ShAllah! you did a very nice job with the article carry on.

I propose to the mods, that this become front page material :clap:

This is a very grave concern.

IMO, players like Riyad and Imrul not accelerating is the least of our concerns...many will disagree with me but without their stability we are more likely to blietzkrieg 130 runs all out in 16 overs...

nycpro96
July 23, 2010, 09:11 PM
Very nice article.

Rifat
July 23, 2010, 09:20 PM
well, Imrul and Riyad having less competitive strike rates is not the reason for Bangladesh's poor showing in ODI's...it is rather a byproduct of the lack of self belief mentality practiced by the current Bangladeshi Cricket Team!

it is still a worry but not the real reason for our failure!

al-Sagar
July 23, 2010, 09:42 PM
a true picture of our bowling .... ....

but or batting has been much more poor at times, specially sometime top order clicking middle order failing, or top failing middle order clicking. also players batting for self rather than team.

bujhee kom
July 23, 2010, 09:56 PM
Salaam dear Isham bhai,

Wonderfully clearly explained the real true picture of BD bowling. Thank you Dizzy bhai.

aniksh1
July 24, 2010, 12:35 AM
Imrul just needs to pick up that SR of his...more attacking batting that is all as in he can attack when required...not attack and nothing else to know

Junaid is a good player...good aggressive attitude...

Baundule
July 24, 2010, 03:33 AM
So, the summary is, we have more control over our batting averages compared to our bowling averages. We can convince the opponents about our lack of will to win in exchange of some average boosting batting let off. During our bowling this does not work, because the opponents always come cruel to us. :(

Beamer
July 24, 2010, 08:47 AM
If our bowlers were at least on par with the bowling of three-four years ago, we would have won a lot more ODI's, simply because the batsmen have given them higher totals to defend than in past. Also, batting last, if we have to chase 300 + or so to win, just like in the past, we are still not good enough to win chasing that type of total. Yes, a bowling coach is very much needed, at least for the young pacers of the future.

lamisa
July 24, 2010, 09:24 AM
so shob kothar shesh kotha amader ekjon "BHALO" bowling coach lagbe

M.H.Rubel
July 24, 2010, 09:43 AM
So it was a nice article.Now we need to find out some points:
1.In which sector bowlers are doing bad longer or short version?
2.What is the cause behind this fall?
3.I have a feeling that fielding has gone bad,including morality of the team it may have played a role.
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One World
July 24, 2010, 10:20 AM
Fielding is really pathetic. Countless occassions we have seen the fielders short charging a flier and gives me the feeling they are just more worried of dropping it rather than confidently hanging on to it. So in the end it looks like more of fell short rather than attempting valiantly the fielder remains happy just grabbing it after bounce (often uncleanly) and return to keeper.

M.H.Rubel
July 25, 2010, 04:31 AM
Few years ago our test bowling attack was like this
1.Mash
2.Shahadat
3.Rafique
4.Shakib
Mash has stopped playing test,Shahadat has declined his form.Shakib is playing role of Rafiq very well.So over all our quality of bowling has decline in tests specially we have totally failed to produce another test quality spinner.
<br />Posted via BC Mobile Edition

auntu
July 25, 2010, 05:37 AM
Surely, the most talented batsman of this country needs to rise from the ashes.

Tired of this hope.