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Old December 18, 2006, 04:20 PM
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Fazal Fazal is offline
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Default 2006 Year end Player Evaluation and Beyond – Fan’s Perspective

Its almost end of year “2006”. Overall it’s a good (if not spectacular) year for Bangladesh. Statistically we improved a lot from last year. However statistics can be deceiving as we mostly played against weaker teams. However there is no doubt in my mind that, due to the inclusion of few new players in the team, we are better off in almost each position with good standby players. Now the team is more balanced and thereby reduced its dependency from few star players to a bunch of good players. Batting is still something to worry about. However bowling wise, they improved a lot. Due to the inclusion of new players, now the fielding is much improved.

Now let’s discuss about all the major players of 2006 and predict their prospective contribution in 2007. We all have certain bias towards/against certain players, therefore please take that into consideration. My evaluation may not be as neutral as you are hoping for. I don't claim to be an expert here, just consider this a regular fan's biased evaluation.

Please feel free to share your own evaluation, so that at the end, collectively we will have a 360 degree evaluation of our players.

Now here is my player by player evaluation:




Habibul Bashar
I am not sure Bashar has regained his form back (after injury). And that is a big concern before the WC2007. Personally I think due to age factor, he may not regain his old form back any time soon. Captaincy wise, he improved a bit, but still his performance is below par. Sometimes his captaincy matches with his personality i.e. he becomes too conservative. That may cost us some games in WC2007. I hope after WC2007, he takes some time off from ODI once in a while and let SN lead few more games. I see 2007 is the year when he retires from ODI.
[Year-end 2006 Stock: Down]
[Predicted 2007 Stock: Down]



Pilot
Pilot gave us so some great performance in the past. But for a while, he is out of batting form. His wicket-keeping is also not like his old days. I am afraid that due to his age, he may not regain his form back in future. As we never invested our time to build a 2nd wicketkeeper, I am afraid that we may need to bite the bullet for now and play with him up to WC2007. But after that, we definitely need to find two (not one) potential wicketkeepers for our national ODI team. I see 2007 will be end of Pilot's ODI career and 2008 will be end of his TEST career.
[Year-end 2006 Stock: Down]
[Predicted 2007 Stock: Down]



Shahriar Nafees
2006 is the year when SN distinguished himself from the “boys-club” to the “men’s-club”. At the beginning of the year, he was just another good batsman. Now at the end of the year we can say, he is a great batsman in-making for Bangladesh. I think his marriage (in 2006) will be great stabilizing influence in his career. 2007 is the year where he can check his upper limit how far he can go. The only thing I hope is: he will address is his fielding. Sometimes it looks like he is kind of un-attentive in the field. Otherwise what a great year he had.
[Year-end 2006 Stock: Up]
[Predicted 2007 Stock: Same]



Abdur Razzak
I was never a fan of Razzak. But the way Razzak blossomed in 2006 really amazes me. I agree he played most of the games against weaker teams. But it’s also true for all of the BD players. In 2006, Razzak was one of the top 3 performers for the team. Game-in and game-out he helped the team (with one FB short) with his bowling during power plays as well as the end-of-the-innings. In both cases he was very effective. And that brings more value in the team. During 2006, statistically, he played at-least as good as Rafique. And knowing how good Rafiq is for the team, that’s something, Razzak should be proud of. He has the potential of a decent batsman with good Run Rate. I hope in 2007 he prove himself a good bowling all-rounder: helping with bat if needed and bowling with good Economy Rate.
[Year-end 2006 Stock: Up]
[Predicted 2007 Stock: Up]


Aftab Ahmed
Aftab is another Bangladesh player with great talent. He is so dominating that, if he doesn't continue to throw his wicket, BD will have many more great innings. Unlike Ash, I still have high hopes for Aftab. As time goes, (I hope) he will rectify his mistake a little bit and produce few more great innings in 2007. I like him batting at #3. I hope selectors don’t tweak his position before WC2007. Just wondering, what happened to his useful and effective ODI bowling? If he bowls 4-5 overs, then we can afford to add Farhad instead of a 3rd Fast Bowlers and minimize Farhad's mediocre overs.
[Year-end 2006 Stock: Same]
[Predicted 2007 Stock: Up]



Farhad Reza
In 2006, Farhad’s arrival was a very pleasant surprise. When given opportunity, he held his own with the bat and created pressure to other fellow middle order batsman to perform more to retain their position. His bowling is below par (in general) for the national team. But then again, given opportunity he may turn out to be a very good ODI middle order batsman and a serviceable 5th bowler. Personally I think Forhad was a one of the few bright spots of 2006. Nothing but sky is the limit for him. But will he get the chance in a consistent basis, that's he real question. He is a good fielder also. I think his potential as a middle order batsman is under appreciated and problem with his bowling is over emphasized. Over time he has the potential to be a very good batting all-rounder.
[Year-end 2006 Stock: Up]
[Predicted 2007 Stock: Up]



Mashrafe Mortaza
Overall very good year for Mashrafe as a bowler. When healthy, he is a world quality bowler. Moreover recently he regained his batting touch (at the end of the year). Now he is our slugger for the last 10 overs of ODI. Time and time again he is making up the slow Run Rate of our batsman with his exploding slog. I hope he can carry his great form in 2007. As a bowler, his striking ability is not in question, but his Economy Rate is kind of high, gives too much runs. He needs to take care of that in 2007. Plus as our #1 bowler, he needs to bowl effectively during the last few overs of the innings.
[Year-end 2006 Stock: Up]
[Predicted 2007 Stock: Same]



Mehrab Hossain jnr
He brings stability in our innings that was lacking for a while. Now we don't have to worry loosing too many wickets during the first 10-15 overs. However I have to admit, even though I haven't given up on Mehrab yet, his lack of good RR is still a concern. Playing against weaker teams and good batting with good RR by SN and Aftab is kind of hiding his weakness for now. Things can get really ugly, when we play stronger teams in future. However I think, given time, he may end up more innings with SR of 60. If not, I think, after WC2007, we may need better alternatives like Sadat or Tamim (who knows when he will be ready?). But no Javed or Rajin please. We have passed that point; no going back to the past. Long term-wise I see Mehrab more as a TEST opener. Mehrab's bowling is another aspect which is not blossomed yet. Think about the possibilities: if he manages to increase his Runt Rate and bowls 5/8 overs as 6th bowlers, it will just open-up another slot (#7) for fulltime batsman.
[Year-end 2006 Stock: Up]
[Predicted 2007 Stock: Up]



Mohammad Ashraful
Inclusion of new players like Sakib, Farhad and (to some extend) Mehrab not only created pressure for Ash, but it also opened breathing room and opportunity for Ash to bat @ #7 with less pressure. With all these prospective all-rounders, we can add another batsman. And that opens up opportunity for off-from Ashraful. As usual, he had very eventful and roller-coaster year where he shined and hide that forced the selector to temporarily drop him from the squad. But face it, whether you like it or not, Ash will be in the WC2007 team…100% guaranteed. So what we do with him in the team? I think letting him play in #6/#7 (based on if Farhad/Nadif is included) is the best we can do; let him play his natural game between 35-50 overs. He will score some quick 20+ with good Run Rate and some few Not Outs. That will pad his stat and enhance his confidence. As Aftab is batting well and I like Sakib at #4, the best I can think of is Ash batting at #5 or lower. You wouldn't want Aftab and Ash batting one after another, that is recipe for batting collapse. Ash batting at #5 or lower is good for the team as well as good for Ash for short term. Over all, not a good year for Ash; but I hope he is feeling the pressure (from younger players) and realizing that time is running out for him; a bad performance in WC2007, and we will see a lengthy time-off from the team.
[Year-end 2006 Stock: Same]
[Predicted 2007 Stock: Down]



Mohammad Rafique
He is a fighter no doubt about that. He contributes in the team one way or another: either with batting or with bowling. His fielding is not that great, but there is no denying that the effort is 100% there. As a bowler, he can still continue for 2-3 more years if he wants. But the good thing is, due to emergence of some few new young spinners, we will be less depended on him to save us single handedly. So let him take rest once in a while. Only one concern I have is, lhe is loosing his batting form recently. We used to rely so much on his batting ability. I hope he regains his (batting) form back. Because, that will give us two excellent sloggers in Mashrafee and Rafiq to end the innings and extend our scores from 240s to 280s. And that will be the difference between loosing versus winning. I hope age is not catching up with him. After WC2007, he should be given more rest and let team create their next Rafiq from the next generation.
[Year-end 2006 Stock: Same]
[Predicted 2007 Stock: Down]



Mushfiqur Rahim
I was kind of disappointed the way selectors used Rahim. When he was in better form in summer, he was not given opportunity against Zim and Kenya more. Now that he is out of form, he was given two opportunities out of which he kind of failed to show his batting skills. However his quality wicket keeping surprised every one. Now that Pilot is kind of lost his batting touch, and its unlikely (due to age) that he will regain his batting form back, next year is the year of opportunity for Rahim and other young wicket keepers to take advantage of that. Is Rahim is our next national wicketkeeper? I don't know.... it’s too early to tell... he has the potential.... but nothing is concrete yet. On principle, I always believe that there should be competition for every slot: even for 2nd wicket-keeper. So who is next in the line after Rahim? Too bad it’s not clear to me...
[Year-end 2006 Stock: Incomplete]
[Predicted 2007 Stock: Up]



Nadif Chowdhury
Don't know enough. He came from nowhere as a next batsman on the line waiting for opportunity in the national team. Its too late for WC2007 inclusion. But make no mistake; we will see him in 2007. I hope, like rest of the young players that came recently, he will take full advantage at every opportunity that he gets. If Bashar takes off from ODI or Ash falters, he may get his chance in 2007. But most likely it will be after WC2007. That’s fine with me. At least he will create more pressure to the established middle order batsman like Aftab, Bashar and Ashraful. I have a feeling; at the end of 2007, Nadif will be talk of the town in the same way like Sakib is for 2006.
[Year-end 2006 Stock: Incomplete]
[Predicted 2007 Stock: Up]



Saqibul Hasan
I though his inclusion is a little bit of premature. But these kids are well prepared. And thanks to u-19 coaches for preparing them so well. I think we haven’t seen anything yet what Sakib will bring to the team. After confidence building innings, he is playing more confidently with a good Run Rate with less 4s and 6s but relying more in 1s and 2s and rotating the batsman. What a pleasant surprise!!! He may be the best #4 in making that we had for a while. Now we all know so far he mainly played and shined against weaker teams. And when he plays against stronger teams, he will fail a bit and learn a bit. But I have no doubt in my mind; at the end, he will have more success than failure.
Now about his bowling: he started as a below par bowler and quickly became above average bowler. Sakib's bowling will open the opportunity to add another batsman in the ODI team.
I think at the end of 2007 we will see two things: a) Sakib's batting will flourish with good scores with good Run Rate, and b) Very effective bowling for ODI. We know spinners are like wine, with age they gets better. So Sakib’s current bowling doesn't worry me a bit. He will be great all rounder for our ODI team. One more thing, his fielding was excellent in 2006. He is one of the top three fielders of the BD team.
[Year-end 2006 Stock: Up]
[Predicted 2007 Stock: Up]



Shahadat Hossain
In 2006, Shahadat showed the potential how good he can be in the future. And he grew leaps and bound within a matter of few series early this year. I think he has the potential to be even better than Mashrafee. Shahadat gives the much needed second FBs that the team needed so long. I just hope that he takes care of his extras and Economy Rate when he plays in the ODI. In 2007, I feel Shadhat will further blossom and shine as an excellent FB. Plus if he fine-tune his batting a little bit, that helps us a lot. That will be dream come true kind of scenario.
[Year-end 2006 Stock: Up]
[Predicted 2007 Stock: Up]


Syed Rasel
I see him as the 3rd FBs in the team, and therefore he should be used when the pitch is Fast Ball friendly or if we need to give rest to Mashrafee or Shahadat. Now I don't expect him to increase his speed, which is below par. However for ODI he can be still be very effective if he is accurate. Plus in future, if he can concentrate on his batting, then he can make a good case to include him as a bowling all-rounder. But nothing so far gives us any indication that he can be a decent all-rounder. So 2007 is a “do or die” year for Rasel.
[Year-end 2006 Stock: Up]
[Predicted 2007 Stock: Same]


Nazmus Sadat
After WC2007 this kid is going to get some exposure. I don’t know how ready he is. But I think, at the end of the year, he will create some positive splash in Bangladesh Cricket. If Mehrab Jr fails in ODI, Nazmus will get a chance sooner than later.
[Year-end 2006 Stock: Incomplete]
[Predicted 2007 Stock: Up]



Javed Omar
In 2006, I think we have seen the last of Javed in ODI. And I suspect by 2007, we will see the last of Javed for test. He was great in TEST and served his tour of duty for our national team. We salute him. But I feel, its time for us to acknowledge his contribution and move on; its time to look forward not backward.
[Year-end 2006 Stock: Down]
[Predicted 2007 Stock: Down]


Rajin Saleh
I have high respect for Rajin, but I am happy that Rajin was not needed that much to the national team this year. And I hope, we will need less of Rajin or players like him in the year 2007. And that’s just tells that how much we have progressed this year. From now on it will be very difficult for players like Rajin (with limited capabilities) to be included in the team. And I am saying that not to demean Rajin, but to elaborate the current talent level of the national team.
[Year-end 2006 Stock: Down]
[Predicted 2007 Stock: Down]


Alok Kapali:
If you have nothing good to say about a player, I guess the best thing you can do is keep your mouth shut. And that’s what I was hoping to do here. But there is som much emotion involved with this player its hard to do that. Sorry I cannot resist myself. Only one thing I have to say: I am so glad that we don't have to go through those same night mares anymore from 2007 and beyond.
[Year-end 2006 Stock: Down]
[Predicted 2007 Stock: Down]



Tapash Baisya
I don't think he is done yet, specially for ODI. If he can fix his no balls and high Economy Rate problem, he can be very well be our 3rd FBs that we desperately need to keep our FBs fresh. Plus definitely he proved that his can be very good slogger with the bat. If we add him, we are basically enhancing our batting strength. Now the question is: can he effectively bowl? I hope the answer is yes for 2007.
[Year-end 2006 Stock: Down]
[Predicted 2007 Stock: Slightly Up]



Enamul Haque
Definitely he is our future #1 spinner for TEST. But I am hesitant to add him in ODI team. Let him concentrate on TEST in 2007 and prove his merit against stronger teams first. When Rafique retires from ODI, at that point, we may include him in ODI once in a while in spinner friendly pitch.
[Year-end 2006 Stock: Incomplete]
[Predicted 2007 Stock: Up]



Manjural Islam Rana
I feel really sorry for this guy. He was dropped even after he produced for the team. And now with the flow of so many new players and yet so many in the wings, I see no chance that Rana will be back in our national ODI team any time soon. Even with this bleak future picture, I hope he doesn't give up hope. Who knows opportunity can come in 2007, and when it comes, I am sure he will take full opportunity of the situation.
[Year-end 2006 Stock: Incomplete]
[Predicted 2007 Stock: Slightly Down]



Tushar Imran
Whether you guys like him or not, I am pretty sure he is not going to go away in 2007. He will be there knocking the door by performing well in domestic league as well as in team-a. And I have no problem with that. He is still young and relatively speaking was not given opportunity long enough. He was given chance here and there, by bits and pieces. Unfortunately he didn't take advantage of those opportunities. I feel sorry for him, and hope he get some more opportunity in 2007. But as we all know, every day passes, opportunity for these kind of AAAA players (baseball terminology) reduces. I see him a solid backup player for us in near future.
[Year-end 2006 Stock: Down]
[Predicted 2007 Stock: Slightly Up]



Nafis Iqbal
Very disappointed year for Nafis Iqbal. Where one Nafees shined, the other completely vanished from the scene. What a pity. However I think the selectors did the right thing by not trying to force the issue. To me, it’s always better to let the player get the form back in domestic league and team-a instead of trying to regain the form in the national team, specially when the player is young and not yet accomplished. Nafis is young, he still have chance. He can still come back in 2007. But one think we know for sure: this time it's going to be harder to get a chance, as now we have so many players in the pool.
[Year-end 2006 Stock: Way Down]
[Predicted 2007 Stock: Uknown]

Last edited by Fazal; December 19, 2006 at 03:45 PM..
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