View Full Version : Hats off to Bangladesh, thumbs down to selectors

June 3, 2004, 12:17 PM
On first test from here (http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20040603/sports/sports4.html)

THE FIRST Test of the Cable & Wireless two-match series between the West Indies and Bangladesh ended in a tame draw in St. Lucia on Tuesday and although it must have been a bitter disappointment for the home team, hats off to the visitors for a wonderful performance.

Going to bat after winning the toss, Bangladesh, with 26 losses and two rain-affected draws in 28 previous Test matches, covered themselves with glory by scoring 416 runs, ticking off three centuries - two in the first innings and one in the second - hopping to 271 for nine declared in the second innings.

For a team that lost a wicket to the first ball of the match, scored only five centuries before and had never ever before declared an innings closed, because they had never ever before been in a position to do so, that was magnificent.

Particularly so when it is remembered their last three wickets added 166 runs in the first innings, their last four 192 runs in the second innings. One of the centuries came from their number nine batsman, another from their number eight batsman and declaration came after Bangladesh were looking down the barrel at 79 for six.


Were Bangladesh so good or were the West Indies that bad?

Without taking anything away from Bangladesh who, based on the smiles, the handshakes, back patting and hugs at the end, were overjoyed by the result, the West Indies' performance left much to be desired.

For players representing a team that has been playing Test cricket for 76 years, the fielding was poor, the catching, considering the simple ones missed, was simply pathetic.

Although the pitch was kind to batsmen and even though they dropped so many catches, the failure of the West Indies to put up a better show, to win the match, was probably due to the one-eyed selectors who, despite the pitch and in spite of the recent experience against England in Antigua, went into the match, as expected, with four fast bowlers and not one specialist spin bowler.

To make matters worse, three of the four were young, relatively inexperienced and one of the three was returning after a long lay-off due to a suspect action and injury.

In cricket, no one knows what will happen but such was the pitch that a specialist spin bowler may have bowled the West Indies to victory.

Ramnaresh Sarwan is no Dave Mohammed and with Sarwan almost bowling the West Indies to victory, the selectors must have kicked themselves for not selecting Mohammed instead of one of the fast bowlers.


The folly of the selectors was underlined by the fact that with four fast bowlers in the team, Sarwan, with 23, and Christopher Gayle, with 24, bowled 47 of the 135 overs in the first innings while taking four wickets.

That Sarwan, with 20, and Gayle, with 19.2, bowled more overs than any of the four fast bowlers in the second innings, and that after lunch on the final day when, with three wickets to get in an effort to win the match, it was the part-timers, not any of the fast bowlers, who, for a long time, were handed the responsibility of dismissing Bangladesh.

That, however, was not surprising. Not with Gayle taking two wickets for 80 runs off 43.2 overs with his ordinary offbreaks. Not with Sarwan being the bowler who sent Bangladesh skidding to 79 for six in the second innings in a match in which he returned figures of seven for 88 off 43 overs with his gentle right-arm leg breaks and not with the two batsmen taking nine of the 19 Bangladesh wickets.

With Omari Banks at home and twiddling his thumbs, Mohammed sitting in the pavilion or chasing the ball as emergency fieldsman, Sarwan, who, like his colleagues, behaved, understandably so, as if Santa Claus had arrived each time he took a wicket, preened himself on a pitch that got better for spin with each passing day.

June 3, 2004, 12:32 PM
This reminds me, why on earth are we still weak against spin? There is a whole list of spinners that have decimated us: Kaneria, Grant flower (of all ppl); McGill. I'm sure I have missed a few others.

I think our batsmen are just so conscious about playing the fast bowlers well, that they relax too much when it comes to spin.

June 3, 2004, 12:58 PM
just to add a point to piranha's post. its always an excuse that we dont have fast pitch and also not fast bowlers, so, we can't practice and thats why we can't play fast bowlers good. but we've quality spinner and spin friendly pitches. so, we've to no excuse to play bad at spin.