Very well written, Sohel NR. I know how long it takes to write these posts. Well thought out and your [ and ours ] frustration clearly shows through.
The malaise lies with us as much as the players. We are so used to being the beggar that any morsel of sustenance is lapped up with undignified haste.
As long as a batsman's street credibility is greater hitting sixes [ I am not talking in terms of T20 here ] than building an innings this malaise will not go. I remember a conversation with someone just after we "surrendered" to India in the second test at Dhaka. He was full of spirit regarding Ashraful apparently hitting the fastest 50 in Test Cricket. What he forgot to notice was that we lost the match in less than 3 days and if interruptions were excluded , the match just barely lasted over 2 days.
It was not bravado that was needed but dour application. We must learn that even if we lose, we must make our opponents earn their win and not hand it to them on a plate !
Since our inclusion in the top flight was more a result of deft politics than deserving performance, losing virtually every match became a certainty. In such circumstances, it did not mean much if a bad shot resulted in losing a match as everyone knew we would have lost anyway. That is how Ashraful and co. have played over a hundred matches with virtually no accountability. Ashraful , despite that over used word "talent", could not have survived in any other team with such levels of inconsistency.
When we do get some players who are prepared to graft and apply themselves, somehow they do not find favour ! Rasel, who is day in and day out, our best bowler is not selected because he is too "slow". If Sri Lanka had to play on a turner with two spinners, who would they drop ? You can bet your last dollar it would not be Vaas.
Then also comes class. How can dropping Aftab be justified ? He plays terrible shots to get out. Does not everyone else ? He is clearly the second best batsman in the country.
In tests, I can think of only 5 players who makes the grade at the moment:
Ashraful, Aftab, Rasel, Razzak, Mushfiq [ as a batsman ]. Mashrafe and Rafique have now slipped down my leaderboard. I cannot think of anyone else who I think must be in the team. I suppose to fill up the other 6 spots , I will have to go by descending levels of class and past performance. They would probably be:
Shahriar Nafees, Alok Kapali, Rafique, Khaled Mashud, Mashrafe/Shahadat [ if both then Rafique must go ] and Sakib. I am not overenthused by anyone of them currently.
I liked the look of Riyad but I can't see him challenging Razzak. If he is in the pot, then Rafique will have to go.
Last edited by Imtiazk; September 20, 2007 at 06:42 AM.