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May 29, 2004, 01:37 AM
Posted and now available from the front page.
Men with Smiles by Juber Ahmed.

We may have a couple of new articles in quick sucession and didn't want an article that moves down the list being missed by our readers.

[Edited on 29-5-2004 by Zunaid]

May 29, 2004, 04:36 AM
It's 2:30 AM Bangladesh time. A thunderstorm rages on outside and power has just come back after a nerve-wracking 8 minute outage. My Argentime team/room-mate is snoring away, and there I am, hunched in front of the TV, in a Cox's Bazar IB (Inspection Bungalo), itching to have access to the Net so I could join my fellow BC affectionados and indulge in a bit of pontificating. :)

Now that I do have net access, here is my take on the 1st day. In my obeservations I will try to not duplicate what Zunaid bhai has already said.

Bangladesh Batting
1) Bashar remains the one batsmen on our side who is not cowered by opponents and can put the bad ball away. Through out the day, I saw our other batsmen struggle on that aspect - witness the # of Sarwan full-tosses which should have been dispatched but wasn't. Perhaps if we had taken advantage of those, Lara wouldn't have felt confident about putting so many close-in fielders.

2) Bashar is our Shewag. He cannot help but go after the ball. Therefore we badly need a Dravid. Someone who can be the Wall, but can play all the strokes. Rajin tried today, but from the day's observations, he is not someone who can dominate an attack as Rahul is capable of - stick around like a limpet Rajin can, maybe but dominate no. Somebody please buy Rajin a Rohan Kanhai video as well.

3) I would love to know how heavy are the bats our batsmen use. Way too many on-drives or firm pushes, that were otherwise well timed and coming off fast bowlers, struggled to reach the boundary. Yet when you see a Tendulkar or Hayden play the same stroke - which is essentially a finesse one - the ball races away. (Yes I am taking into account the fact that the outfield may have been slow).

4) Tied to point #3, we really need a couple of burly batsmen ala Akram or Atahar in our side: Batsmen who can bludgeon the ball down the ground and not always have to shuffle accross to play onside strokes that uses the pace off the bowler. As far as I recall, there were only 4-5 booming, lofted straight drives, and two came from Rafique and Faisal (and I would be hard-pressed to call Mr. Dickens well-built).
There is so many reasons for wanting batsmen who can drive hard but one that is pertinent to Bangladeshi cause is that, with our Batsmen's faulty shot selections at least if we whack the ball hard enough, the edges will go over/thru the close catchers.

5) Speaking of faulty shot selection, Ashraful needs some Ritalin so he doesn't loose concentration once every hour. Without fail that boy attempted at least one ludicrous shot every 60 minutes. Witness the attempted sweep to a Sarwan legbreak that - like so many others - had pitched well outside the off stump.

Staying with Ashraful, I really hope he bought a lottery ticket yesterday. I don't know which side of the bed he woke up from, but he should make sure to use the same side tomorrow, and then with the 3 lives he was given, he better get a century. On the flip side, if I were Rajin, I'd stay away from the hotel casino tonight :) (Anyway, Rajin seems the namaji type so he probably doesn't gamble)

6) Mushfique & Pilot really should have done better. Two experienced campaigners like them, letting the pressure get to them like that? That too against part-time bowlers? Tsk! Tsk! (or Tcha! Tcha) Oh if only Rana had played instead of Mushfique. :( (I'm exercising hindsight y'know and rear-vision is always 20-20 :) :) )

7) 300 is an attainable target and 350 not beyond our dreams. As Z bhai pointed out, Ashraful has strike tomorrow; the ball is still fairly new too. This current Windies attack only gets the ball to do stuff when it's new, so the first hour or so tomorrow/today, Ashraful should guide Rafique and see the shine off. Then target 350. Remeber, Baisya has a test 50 to his name.

8) If Windies really dries up the run, then our tailenders & Ash should do a Nasser Hussain and just grind it out until lunch. Attrition is the name of the game on this pitch, and the longer we make the Windies wait to bat, the more impatient their Batsmen will be to get going. On this slow wicket, Rafique and Mushfique should be able to exploit that.

9) Out batsmen struggle against disciplined, pressure bowling - big time. Witness, some of our best batting performances came against indisciplined attacks such as Pakistan and Windies. Against professional bunches such as Aussies or England, we lose the mental war. Our batsment should really take a page out of Atahar & Bashar on how to not give a rat's a** about the other team's attack. Being arrogant & confidant is good!

Windies Bowling
1) Germaine Lawson's action still looks a little shady to me. There is still some straighening of his arm when it's at the 3 quarters position.

2) These guys are Fast Bowlers? Not one deliveriny during the day went above 86MPH. Fidel was mostly around low 80s. Tino, high 70s, while Pedro & Germaine averaged around 70 MPH. Even with a slow pitch, at least the yorkers and stuff should have reached 90 MPH

3) This attack will be dangerous in Sabena. It's waay more bouncy. But then again these guys, as aforementioned, lack any kind of discipline. With proper shot selection they _can_ be mastered. Again, the strokeless wonder Mr. Hussain must be mentioned. All Bangladesh batsmen should be made to watch videos of him batting against them earlier this season.

That's it for now. I'll post some stuff on Bangladesh bowling later on in the evening.

May 29, 2004, 04:51 AM
The WI pacers rarely bowled even at high 80s against England. Just because they send out a scorcher once in a great while, they were able to establish the myth of being "speedsters". They are novices, still learning. Also, they are injury prone.

May 29, 2004, 04:55 AM
On this slow wicket, Rafique and Mushfique should be able to exploit that

Yeah. My hunch too. Should be interesting tomorrow.

May 29, 2004, 08:24 AM
razab, your in depth observations put my shallow ones to shame. If you manage to have regular net access, would you consider writing up a daily "My Observations" for BC at the end of each day?

May 29, 2004, 11:51 AM
Originally posted by Zunaid
If you manage to have regular net access, would you consider writing up a daily "My Observations" for BC at the end of each day?
Now that I'm back in dhaka, net access not an issue. Happy to do a daily observation.

May 29, 2004, 12:09 PM
Keep up the good work razabq!!