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Old August 5, 2005, 12:23 PM
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Default Bangladeshi Bowling Lineup for Sri Lanka

In September Bangladesh will once again play two away test matches in Sri Lanka. In our familiar sub-continental condition, we would certainly hope to see some exciting bowling performances from our bowlers. But what should be the formation of our bowling lineup for those test matches in Sri Lanka?

Bangladesh will play their test matches at P.Saravanamuttu Stadium (PSS) and R. Premadasa Stadium (RPS) in Colombo. Weather and condition of the pitch will certainly play role in determining the formation of bowling lineup. But the bowling lineup other test teams previously used in these two Colombo grounds might help us to focus on the ideal formation of bowling lineup for our upcoming test matches.

14 test matches have been played so far on these two test match grounds- 9 on PSS and 5 on RPS. One of these test matches was a neutral venue test match played between Australia and Pakistan. Since this match does not involve Sri Lanka, we will exclude this match from our consideration. Also to simulate the identical climate condition, we will just consider the test matches played in July-August-September time frame. This will bring down the number of test matches under consideration to 8 matches- 5 in PSS and 3 in RPS. To examine the bowling lineup, we will ignore the occasional bowlers used in the matches.

Bowling Lineup at P.Saravanamuttu Stadium (PSS):
Bangladesh will play the first test match on at P.Saravanamuttu Stadium (PSS) from 12-16 September. Let’s see what kind of bowling lineup was previously used in test matches on PSS.
[align=center][/align]In the 10 squads (two teams in each test in five tests 5x2=10) fielded in test matches here in PSS, there were total 46 regular bowlers used. 28 of them were pacers/medium pacers and 18 of them were spinners. Of the 140 wickets grabbed by the regular bowlers, 74 of them were taken by pacers/medium pacers and 66 of them were grabbed by spinners. Again, out of the 140 wickets, 47 of them were claimed in 1st innings of which pacers/medium pacers and spinners took 18 and 29 wickets respectively. 45 wickets were taken in 2nd innings, of which pacers/medium pacers took 28 and spinners grabbed 17. Out of 28 wickets fell in 3rd innings of the match, pacers took 11 and spinners took 17. Of the 20 wickets claimed in 4th innings of the match, pacers took 17 and spinners took 3. The following table summarizes the whole wicket distribution in PSS:

PSS RecordsBowlers UsedWickets in Innings-1Wickets in Innings-2Wickets in Innings-3Wickets in Innings-4 Total
Total4647452820 140

So, even in the later part of the match (3rd and 4th innings) when the pitch should favor the spinner, still pacer played the dominating role here in PSS. Almost 60% of the wickets fell in 3rd and 4th Innings of the match are taken by the pacers/medium pacer. On the other hand, wickets fell in early part of the match was equally shared between the pacers and spinners.
Out of these 10 squads, six of them were formed with 5 regular bowlers and four of them had 4 regular bowlers. In their 5 test squads, Sri Lanka used the following ratio of pacers and spinners: 3-1, 3-2, 3-2, 2-3 and 3-1. India fielded 2 test squads here with 3-1 and 3-2 pacer-spinner ratio. South Africa and Pakistan fielded 1 squad each here with 4-1 and 2-2 pacer-spinner ratio respectively.

Bangladesh also played one test here in 2002 and used 4 regular bowlers. The pacer-spinner ratio used was 3-1. Bangladeshi bowling attack was comprised of Manjurul Islam, Talha Jubair, Alamgir Kabir and Enamul Haque.

On an average, 5 regular bowler squads had 3-2 pacer-spinner ratio. On the other hand, in an average 4 regular bowler squad, pacer-spinner ratio was 3-1.

The ground record of P.Saravanamuttu Stadium (PSS) shows that so far 11 bowlers had the success of taking 5 wickets in an innings. 6 times it was done by spinners and pacers did it 5 times. In fact, further reviews of the match scorecards show that majority of the wickets taken by spinners are actually taken by few spinners. When spinners grabbed wicket, they grabbed them in “wholesale” rate. Compared to spinners, a large number of pacers were included in most of the squads. Other than some exceptions like Wasim Akram or Shoib Akhter, a whole bunch of wickets were not taken by any single pacers at a time. Pacers mostly chipped in equally in their wicket taking business.

It is evident from the above information that most test squads formed for PSS were pacer/medium pacer dominated. In most cases, two spinners were included in the squad only when the bowling lineup was formed with 5 bowlers. Other than this, in a regular 4 bowler lineup, there were mostly 3 pacers/medium pacers and 1 spinner.

Bowling Lineup at R. Premadasa Stadium (RPS):
Bangladesh will play their 2nd test match in R. Premadasa Stadium (RPS) from 20-24 September. Invariably flat, the pitches are slow in pace and low in bounce. There is turn for the spinners and can be difficult to chase big scores.
[align=center][/align] Total 5 test matches took place on this ground and 3 of these tests qualify the criteria for our consideration. Two squads per test for three tests- total 6 squads where fielded in RPS by 4 test nations. Total 27 regular bowlers were used in these 3 RPS tests; among them 14 were pacers/medium pacers and 13 were spinners. So in the number of bowlers used, the combination is in balance between pacers and spinners.

Total 61 wickets were taken by regular bowlers here. The innings wise breakdown of the wicket taking performance by bowlers is shown on the following table:

RPS RecordsBowlers UsedWickets in Innings-1Wickets in Innings-2Wickets in Innings-3Wickets in Innings-4 Total
Total2723201602 61

Just one match was extended up to the 4th innings, still just for a while only. That’s why the number of wicket taken in 4th innings is too low. One of the matches ended in just 2 innings only- due to the mammoth run feast by Sri Lanka. India scored 537/8 and Sri Lanka replied with 952/6—the highest run ever scored by a team in the history of test cricket.

Of the 61 wickets taken by regular bowlers, 32 belong to spinners and pacers/medium pacers claimed the remaining 29. The 1st innings of the matches were dominated by pacers. 2nd Innings were kind of evenly poised and then it’s all about spinners. In later parts of the test matches in RPS were clearly dominated by spinners. Out of 36 wickets fell in 2nd and 3rd innings of the match, Spinners took two-third of them.

Among the 6 squads used in RPS, 3 of them were formed with 5 bowlers and the other 3 were formed with 4 bowlers. In these three tests, Sri Lanka used the following ratio of pacers and spinners: 3-2, 1-3, 2-2. Pacer-Spinner ration for other teams were: Australia 3-1, India: 2-3 and Zimbabwe 3-2.

It is worth noticing that sub-continental teams always used at least 2 specialist spinners, even in some cases 3 spinners. Other than Australia, other teams also formed spinner dominated squads.

Ground records of R. Premadasa Stadium (RPS) shows that 6 times any bowlers took 5 wickets in an innings in this ground and all of them are done by spinners. Not only that, in the list of top 6 all time wicket takers in RPS—5 of them are spinners. So clearly it is a spinner dominated ground.

Formation of Bangladeshi Bowling Lineup:
Even after the glorious spinning performance in the home tests against Zimbabwe, Enamul Haq Jr. did not even get chance to play a single match in England due to the pace friendly English wickets. But pacers were not able to take advantage of this seaming English condition. So, very reasonably, many of us are expecting a spinning-duo bowling attack in Sri Lanka.

Based on the historical analysis of bowling lineup formation in Saravanamuttu Stadium (PSS), we may see a pacer dominated bowling attack one again in the first test. In the previous test on this ground, Bangladesh used a 3-1 pacer-spinner combination. Generally in PSS, 2 spinners were used when the bowling lineup was formed with 5 bowlers. So, we can expect to see inclusion of two spinners if Bangladesh goes for 5-bowler lineup. This is very much possible with 2 pacers, 2 spinners and medium pace support from any other batsman.

From historical perspective, R. Premadasa Stadium (RPS) appears to be a whole different story. RPS was always been dominated by spinners. So, apparently Bangladesh team management might not have any hesitation including 2 spinners, who know might even go for 3 with a spinning all rounder.

This whole article was written based on past records. Team formation decision is not a matter of past records. Specific pitch and weather condition, availability of quality bowlers and their form, right-left combination of bowlers and opponent batsman and consideration of batting depth requirement are the important factors based on which team management will ultimately decide on the bowling lineup formation for our test matches in Sri Lanka. But the bowling lineup formation used by other teams in the past on these two grounds is certainly an interesting issue to discuss. At least this could indicate what to expect if the ground condition remains the same as they were in the past.
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Old August 5, 2005, 02:37 PM
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R. Premadasa International Stadium, the island's largest cricket stadium, has also been given a Test match for the first time since New Zealand beat Sri Lanka in June 1998.

The venue has a reputation for high-scoring after Sri Lanka piled up 952-6 against India in 1997 with Sanath Jayasuriya blasting 340.

I just think for ther Second Test, it doesent matter who we choose to bowl i think it's going to be high scoring match a very good possibility for a draw.

Anyway you play with your best
1) rafique
2) enamul jr
3) Mashrafe
4) rajib/Tapash
5) Rajin/Tushar

Edited on, August 5, 2005, 7:44 PM GMT, by cricman.
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Old August 6, 2005, 05:06 AM
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Nice read.

So even stats show that the Pacers(SL) in SL conditions well be a big threat to BD batsmen... and not just Spinners. And SL pacers are really in their best form now.

BD Batsmen are gonna have some real tough time in this SL tour... no doubt!

Edited on, August 6, 2005, 10:23 AM GMT, by Ahmed_B.
Reason: Typo
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Old August 6, 2005, 07:36 AM
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Useful information. Good job Babu.
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Old August 6, 2005, 01:30 PM
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Originally posted by cricman
I just think for ther Second Test, it doesent matter who we choose to bowl i think it's going to be high scoring match a very good possibility for a draw.
It's true that the RPS produces high scoring matches.
But in this same ground Zimbabwe suffered an innings loss to Sri Lanka. It's is a flat batting friendly ground--but it does not mean that it will produce a draw for Bangladesh.
If our bowlers are not successful in taking wickets and Sri Lanka scores something around 600, out batting will easily crumble and we will lose the match in 3 days once again.
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Old August 6, 2005, 03:11 PM
TheWatcher TheWatcher is offline
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Munir is confident that he will do well because he got 11 wickets in four U/19 matches he played in Sri Lanka
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Old August 6, 2005, 03:15 PM
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This tour will bring the players and fans back to earth.
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Old August 6, 2005, 03:25 PM
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Who wants "Rajin" in the team after Tushar's all-round form in England for Bangladesh-A .
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Old August 7, 2005, 03:36 AM
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I want an in-form Rajin because of his patience.
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Old August 7, 2005, 05:40 AM
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Originally posted by Spitfire_x86
This tour will bring the players and fans back to earth.
Actually... we feard that most in the England tour, wich, without doubt, was the toughest tour ever in the short history of BD's test cricket. But finally we came up with something very positive. I think BD will surely struggle at the beginning of the SL tour also... but wil show some gutts around the end of the series.. as usual.
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Old August 7, 2005, 07:06 PM
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I want to see Rajin replacing IQBAL..

And RANA for CHACHA. so my team would be.

.(for test)
1. Nafees//Rajin
2. Javed
3. T. Imaran
4. Ashraful 5.Bashar . 6.Aftab
7.Rana/Enamul jnr
9.Rafiq 10.Mashrafee
11. Nazmul
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Old August 8, 2005, 11:51 AM
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This got to be on the front page..

Thanks for the research & analysis Babubangla.
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Old August 8, 2005, 07:17 PM
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my test team for SL

for opener position my first choice to partner with JO is shahriar(even in tests). if rajin /iqbal can perform better then they will get the chance. prime concern is how to deal with murali. but strangely i think it is vaas who will pose more problems. if bd batsmen can somehow check vaas(thats why left handed shariar should open), the rest should be ok.

on turning tracks bd spinners will bowl as well. bd should be optimistic and think of a series win
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Old August 9, 2005, 01:09 AM
Niceman70 Niceman70 is offline
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nice article.. we do have some quality fans.
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Old August 9, 2005, 01:21 AM
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well my test team is:

1. Nafees Iqbal
2. Javed Omar
3. Rajin Saleh
4. Mohammad Ashraful
5. Habibul Bashar
6. Aftab Ahmed
7. Mohammad Rafique
8. Khaled Mashud
9. Mashrafe Mortaza
10. Tapash Baisya
11. Shahdat Hossein/ Enamul haque Jnr.
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Old August 9, 2005, 07:27 PM
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WOW! great job babubangla. deserves to be on the front page.
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Old August 12, 2005, 11:41 AM
rupantor rupantor is offline
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Nice Post.
As Cricman, Pagol-chagol and Howzatt! said this before---me too think this post deserves a place on the BC front page as an article.
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Old August 12, 2005, 12:33 PM
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Excellent Article Babubangla. You should send this one to the BD selectors and coach.

Nafiz Iq is a good test batsman but I think Abir is a better stroke maker. Since the ODI's will be first, Abir will play on all three he might stake his rightful claim for the test.

Saleh can sit out the first test. but upon performance of Aftab/Tushar he can replace any of them on the second. Does not matter how skillfull and potential one has. it all boils down to consistant performance.

Edited on, August 12, 2005, 5:34 PM GMT, by Cats_eye.
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Old August 14, 2005, 11:32 PM
abherath abherath is offline
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Excellent post BabuBangla. A lot of research and analysis here ! Seriously, this kind of analysis will be useful to the authorities as well. Are you from the RAW (Research & Analysis Wing) ?

This shows the cricketing spirit of the average Bangladeshi. This is a sign that cricket in Bangladesh could only improve.

I am looking forward to seeing the Bangladeshi team in Sri Lanka. (I am from Sri Lanka, if you have not noticed.) It will be interesting to see how they would perform, given their new found confidence after the tour of England. There is no doubt that Ashraful would do well as he could find a place in most of the test teams in the world today.

I think Bangladesh would win at least one ODI on the tour of Sri Lanka. Though Sri Lanka is deservedly No. 2 in ICC ODI rankings, it would only take a couple of SL wickets falling too soon for the Bangladeshi team to pounce on the opportunity and go on to win. Any strong team can have a lapse and if they are playing a team like Bangladesh when that happens, that lapse could mean defeat.

Sri Lanka is a very strong team and the Bangladeshis will learn a lot playing against them. Bangladesh has nothing to lose but everything to gain on this tour and that should give your team a lot of confidence.
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