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Old August 4, 2007, 02:56 AM
samircreep samircreep is offline
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Over the last decade or so, one of the most worrying aspects of bangladeshi cricket players is once they hit a lean patch, they never seem to be able to get back in the runs/wickets again. There seems to be an ever growing list of "forgotten cricketers" who showed promise intitally only to be discarded once they enter a barren phase. Kapali, Talha, Taposh are only a few to name.

This is worrying. Players will obviously get out of form, but what really worries me is that I can't think of a single bangladeshi player who has fought back into the national team and started to produce the goods again. One can argue that there really isnt a national team player (aside from Shumon and Rafique maybe) who really has performed consistently, but even in the realm of underperformance that dogs our team, I really can't see anyone who has made a fightback.

Such a fightback is crucial to the success of a successful team, not only because it shows we have the mental and technical skills to make adjustments, but also that the "system" is serving the players. Around five years ago, the A team format really hit off and a lot of off form players were given a chance to refine their game to get back into the team. Tushar Imran's case is a good point. After making oodles of run in the shadow team, Imran played four innings in Sri Lanka. Again, granted that aside from Ash, no BD player really shone in the series, Tushar seems to be plagued with all the faults that curtailed his international career in the first place: complete lack of footwork, wafting outside the offstump, and an inability to rotate the strike. So what seems to be the problem?

The biggest is as usual our weak mental resolve. What agues the national team players afflicts all the others as well: we simply do not have the resolve or the mental strength to launch a fightback. But coaching too may be a problem. i remember Moin Khan being dropped the first time when latiff was given a chance. Moin's answer? he went back to his old coach and too k around 4 months off to work with him to iron out the wrinkles. Do our grass root coaches have the ability to handle international players once they go downhill? i don't know.

The system itself may be a problem. Is the A team really serving as a buffer zone between the youth squads and the national squads? Are our A team players given enough exposure? Again, i think our youth squads get more games than the A teams.And what about specialized coaching? Youth coaches differ significantly from A team coaches. Are we aware of that schism?

Let's hope the new BCB team is seriously thinking about this. We can't expect our youngsters to perennialy fill in the boots of national cricketers once they get out of form....
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Old August 4, 2007, 07:10 AM
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adel adel is offline
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Good analysis. Cricket is a game where skill is equally important as having the right mentality. It's about having an adeqaute balance between the two that creates good players...
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Old August 4, 2007, 01:27 PM
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Ahmed_B Ahmed_B is offline
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Talking about fightbacks... I do think the player that hase got the attitude is Mashrafee. After the number of injuries he has faced... it would throw his career out of track if he did not have this level of mental toughness and such a strong will. He also is a constantly improving cricketer... his latest addition being the ability to bowl superb against left-handers. He showed that in SL series... whereas he was quite poor against left-handers just a few months back.
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Old August 4, 2007, 03:06 PM
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ammark ammark is offline
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Speaking of fightbacks, Aftab is nowhere in this discussion yet. He always seems to me to be with the mentality to at least fight it out. Its really disheartening that he hasnt played a test in what seems like God-knows-how-many-years! I would say the same about Mushi who has a mental resolve. But then again, they both have their deficiencies which have gotten them dismissed often.

Its very unfair that people draw conclusions from these dismissals, rather than the abilities. Especially in the case of Aftab, its apalling that people here would decide to label and separate Aftab as a non-Test player and exclude all his abilities from the sort of game where we've failed most.
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Old August 5, 2007, 12:42 AM
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Aftab, Mushfique and Mashrafe are all fighters, but I'm shocked that no one's mentioned Shahadat. The guy tries SOOOOOO hard! I admit I'm not a huge fan of him but I have to admire his guts.
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Old August 5, 2007, 12:49 AM
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AsifTheManRahman AsifTheManRahman is offline
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Actually, Shahadat's the only one who looked like a proper test bowler in the series against Sri Lanka (maybe along with Rasel), constantly probing the batsmen and trying out new things. Test cricket's all about bowling with aggression for long spells, and he seemed to have stood out among the rest in that respect.
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Old August 5, 2007, 01:08 AM
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Thats four players we've picked out... Aftab, Mushi, Mashrafee, Rajib. You can add ashraful, Ash, Abir, Enam, to that lot as well. But what gets exposed is the fact that all of them (yes, including Mashrafee due to his injuries) are terribly inconsistent. Doesnt mean they dont have a fighting attitude individually.

However as a team in Test matches this combination has always had one or two of them missing. Moreover, as a team they really havent gelled in test matches to the point where we can say they've all been attacking and going at it in the game in tandem - with good mental resolve.

I think we're being really hard on the BD team if we're assuming that this group should thus be written off as weak-willed indisciplined bunch of sloths. Because honestly, we've seen all of them really fight it out individually. The way to combat this would be depend on the Selectors - they really have to be consistent and willing to give players time to settle into the Test match team. Its really harsh on tushar that he's being judged on performance over 2 months instead of 6. The same was done on Aftab.

And this problem arises to a great extent because our first class structure is so weak. We arent exactly producing players of the highest calibre except from the Academy and U-19 teams. They're given test slots prematurely and then discarded soon after and juggled with. It doesnt make sense to me how you can make a team work coherently if this inconsistency and constant shuffling is being done all the time.
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