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Old February 26, 2014, 05:52 PM
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RazabQ RazabQ is offline
BC Editorial Team
Join Date: February 25, 2004
Location: Fremont CA
Posts: 11,851
Angry An Uber Critical Look at the Bangladesh Cricket Team

  1. We lost against India because of gutless/sissy batting. Same against the Lankans.
  2. We are yet again a Plate player on the U-19 because of gutless batting
  3. Our bowling attack, after all this years still does not contain a single genuine match-winner
  4. Our fielding/game strategy lacks imagination and a desire to attack

Harsh sentiments? Hardly - if you'll let me explain:

Overall strategy/Gutlessness
How many tournaments have we now missed out on because we played safe against the Papua New Guineas and Irelands of the world rather than being wise to the NRR and making sure we were ahead? 4 by my count (3 U-19 and the last WC)

Thoughtless/gutless Batting
A good side doesn't blame misfortune for a loss. When a set batsman who needs 3 runs for a win gets a full toss and doesn't connect (Anamul against Lanka in the 1st T20) and follows that with an inability to deal with a full toss from an irregular off-spinner - to me that is a SKILLS issue. Anamul clearly struggles to hit full tosses that are aimed at him - this is a fixable issue. I'd love to know how many such deliveries has Anamul requested from the bowling machine since that first T20

Similarly, with India's track record while chasing known to all, it would have an explicit goal of the team to set them a 320+ target (if you think I'm engaging in revisionism go check my FB update right after we posted 279; I said we were 40 short). So you need to set a 320 target and two of your most explosive players (Shak, TiK) are not available due to injury or suspension and the next most explosive guy is going through a patch of bad form (Nasir). Where was the team rejigging to account for this? Where was the cover? Why wasn't a Shabbir brought in for options.

Then when Anamul gets out in the PowerPlays we send in Naeem. I know exactly what management was thinking. If we go helter skelter, we'll have a collapse and then we won't bat out 50 overs. Sissy thinking of the highest order. We could have easily sent Zia, told him to go for broke and then if he had gotten out, sent in Naeem to consolidate. Our batters do not have the pure power to hit sixes. There were at least 5-6 good shots that Zia and Mushy played during the slog overs, which if there hadn't been protection/boundary riders we would have gotten 10-15 more runs that way. So our consistent inability to maximize the PowerPlays is almost criminal.

On-field Strategy
Next comes bowler rotations. Just looking at the most recent match, someone on another thread has already mentioned the faulty thought process behind taking Zia off when Kohli came in - fearing the reputation and not respecting the match situation. Zia might be slow but he's the only pacer we have who is a hit the deck kinda guy (given his build) and we already saw earlier how this pitch was conducive to back-of-length hit the deck deliveries, especially when the ball is newish. Kohli like any batter needs a few moments to start but his ego (which led him to conceding 2 overthrows) might have led to him taking undue liberties with Zia and us getting him cheaply. But no - gutlessness prevailed over attack-mindedness.

Overall sissy bowling
As for our overall bowling, it hurts me that after all these years of playing cricket, we still don't have a match winning bowler. People will point to Shakib and say - see there we have a match winner. Not really. Shakib and Rafique (his predecessor), are really good spinners who have been forced to play the lead attack roles even though
a) neither are big turners of the ball - which in turn means that on docile shirt-fronts they are as potent as an eunuch
b) they don't have a lot of mystery or variety other than their arm ball (which Rafique was over using by the end of his career
c) they don't have complete mastery of flight. Vettori - before his recent fading away, didn't have a or b but his mastery of flight was a thing to see
d) Shakib no longer has the metronomic accuracy ala a Jadeja. Rafique to his credit was on the spot to his last match.
None of our pacers are worth much - they would struggle to break into a Ranji side, never mind a County 2nd XI. They are not big on swing or seam. They don't have express pace. And they are NOT accurate enough. So basically, unless it is a very slow/low track, our bowling attack does not scare anyone in the world. And I include Afghanistan and Ireland in that list of teams who reckon they can handle their bidiness against our attack.

Now we come to fielding. We still drop way too many catches and because we don't have bowlers who consistently create chances our close catching is very ad hoc. Most decent teams have a designated set of slippers, 1-2 cat-quick cover/point guys, a couple of strong armed, fast boundary riders, and otherwise competent fielders. In our side, Nasir is the closest thing we have to a point-specialist but lately he's been dropping his share. Shak and Tik and Mash have let their bhuris take away from their fielding. And other than Rubel and TiK, not a single strong-armed thrower from the deep.

Layer on top of that an administration who only saves face because the Zimbabwe and Pakistan cricket administration is even more abysmal, and it's a minor miracle that we have won the few matches we have.

Not for nothing we are labeled as minnows.
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