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Old April 27, 2006, 11:06 AM
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Mr-Cricket Mr-Cricket is offline
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Join Date: April 8, 2006
Location: Melbourne
Favorite Player: Ricky Ponting
Posts: 1,021

Miraz, good work on gathering those statistics on Ashraful & Ahmed. While no one here argues that both these players have contributed significantly during Bangladeshi wins (and at other times too), and that both of these players are indeed 'match-winners' (as you have correctly noted), the point some of us are making is that we cannot 'carry' these players during our off periods too.

As some have also correctly stated, other players have also no doubt underperformed during these times too (this is no big secret). But the reason I was all for Ashraful's axing following the Test series was because both me personally, and many others I'm sure, demanded more consistency from our best players. We all want our best players - Ashraful & Ahmed in particular, to do us proud more often. This is why I believe it is a good idea to give Ashraful a break from the squad at this time to contemplate how he will acheive this.

The World-Cup is little over 12 months away, and we all want our youngsters to be firing at this time. I think dropping Ashraful for the two final games vs Australia is a very, very small price to pay in this regard. It will give Ashraful a chance to go back, and hopefuly (I pray), take a good look at his game in both Test cricket (we do not play another Test for 12 months, as I'm sure you are aware, and he clearly needs to work on this aspect of his game) and in ODI's.

Ashraful needs to work on his temperament, consistency and the overall way he approaches each innings. Currently, he is looking very nervous early on in most innings. As Wasim Akram, Harsha Bogle, and many other commentators have correctly noted, Ashraful currently either plays in "1st Gear" (where all he will do is defend) and a "4th gear" (where he will go for unnecessarily risky strokes). I'm sure you would have noticed this.

Would it not be beneficial for our team to allow such a potentially great player to go back, and work on his deficiencies, and come back a much, much better player for it? We want our best players to play to the best of their abilities on a consistent basis (this is not too much to ask - but asking for a fifty/hundred in every innings obviously is).

At the same time, this will allow some of our more "medicore" players (as someone has so humorously stated in another thread), a chance to make a name for themselves in Ashraful's absense. We all know Ashraful will eventually filter back into our team's plans (whether that be today, or in a couple of months is in the selectors hands), but in the meantime, it gives us a chance to test out our teams depth, and ability without one of our best players in the side.

If we fail, it will tell us that we simply cannot live without Ashraful (which I hope does not happen). And if we succeed (as we all should hope for), it will tell everyone that Bangladesh indeed has a very good crop of players and this will put pressure on each of our players to perform on a more consistent basis - or otherwise face the consequences (the selectors axe). Because pressure indeed IS a good thing.

Finally, I have taken the liberty to track down Ashraful's ODI scores during/post the 2004/05 season for those interested. I think his inconsistency speaks for itself (I'm sure his Test statistics will tell an even more gory tail).

NZ in BD 2004/05

first. 2
second. 17
third. 13

Ind in BD 2004/05
first. 2
second. 28
third. 32

Zim in BD 2004/05
first. 42
second. 11
third. 13
fourth. 35
fifth. DNB

NatWest Series 2005
first. 0
second. 100
third. 94
fourth. 58
fifth. 0
sixth. 7

Africa/Asia Cup 2005
first. 0
second. DNP

BD in SL 2005/06
first. 4
second. 31
third. 0

SL in BD 2005/06
first. 4
second. 51
third. 64

Kenya in BD 2005/06
first. 18
second. DNB
third. 3
fourth. 11

AUS in BD 2005/06
first. 5
second. DNP
third. -

Originally Posted by jabbar
I don't think dropping Ash and/or Aftab is a reflection on the selection committee's disapproval of these two young players. Rather, it is an indication that they want them to correct deficencies in their techniques and let them reassess themselves away from teh pressures of match play. I am 100% sure of this, and the selectors will not want these two guys out of the team for long. Like someone els ementioned in another thread, every player gets dropped at some time - even players liek ponting have been 'rested', and the rest period in many cases is upwards of a year!

Fortunately for players like Ponting, Clarke, when they get dropped and "reassess" themselves in domestic comps, they have a very strong competition in which to sharpen their games. In BD's case, there is no such strong domestic comp, so BD must persisit with underperforming players because the ODIs and Tests are the only places where they can get the proper learning environment. Of course, once the domestic comp improves in quality (perhaps after the cricket academy and other infrastructures are established), we will see a different selection policy.
Great post mate.
Dare to dream.

Last edited by Mr-Cricket; April 28, 2006 at 01:20 AM..
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