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  #1  
Old January 7, 2010, 07:36 AM
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Default Another watershed moment...

So we've just finished on 296-6 against India, winning the toss. We may well go onto to lose this match, but nonetheless, this marks a new watershed moment for BD cricket. Several things have happened which are not chance happenings which indicate we're moving in the right direction. More importantly, this bodes well for the world cup.

Now, one may argue, with slight justification that India took this match lightly, that their fielding was childish, that their bowling utterly toothless to the point of being granny-like. But the answer to these allegations lies in the following questions. Why would any sane or intelligent team take another lightly especially when the same mistake has cost them on a couple of occaisions - one very costly - in the recent past? When has India's bowling ever been anything but a mere formality? Have their bowlers ever consistently won them games?

But enough about them. This thread is about us.

Never before has Bangladesh crossed 260 in consecutive games against G8 sides. Never before have the batsman underperformed and still gotten past 250, let alone 296. We should have scored 320, plain and simple. No excuses. But this is satisfactory on the promises that Shakib al Hasan, Jamie Siddons, and their men have sworn to us the last several months.

It began in the Caribbean some months ago. Successfully chasing 275, with a mature Ashraful at the helm (though he ultimately threw his wicket) was the beginning. Sure the bowlers weren't great, but Roach was there pushing 150 kilometers and Sammy was there too. It continued in Zimbabwe with a couple of 300+ scores, and one of the more solid 150+ scores you'll see in fifty-over cricket from Tamim Iqbal.

Which brings us to the present series. Regardless of the results, scoring 260 and 296 against G8 sides is evidence of improvement. Gone are the days that Bangladesh cannot bat on flat wickets. It used to be said, very correctly, that it doesn't matter if the wicket is flat, we will score 230 either way. Well that day is through, and a new sun is rising.

We're not just about Ashraful anymore, Siddons claims. He's half right. Ashraful is still occupying the most important batting position at one down, and he's maturing slowly but surely. This isn't just based on the fact that he's scored over 100 runs in the last two games, but that his average has increased from 16 to over 24 in last five years.

But its not just about Ashraful, even if he continues to be our most potent, able, and frequent match-winner. We now have 4 batsman averaging 30 or more in Shakib, Raqibul Hasan, Mahmudullah, and Naeem Islam. Add to that Tamim who averages 29, and gone are the days when batsmen with laughable strike rates and low twenty-something averages were the bedrock of our lineup.

Waiting on the bench remain the likes of Aftab Ahmed, Shahriar Nafees, and Alok Kapali - the ex-ICL "rebels". All three have enjoyed periods of success, and the fact that a centurion against World Beaters Australia cannot find a place in the playing XI is yet another testement that Jamie Siddons has had the right idea all along. Most of us doubted him, about half of us called for his head, but two years was the time I asked for him, and two years was what he needed.

Under his guidance, Bangladesh have vastly improved their batting and their approach to batting. Today, Tamim, Ashraful, and Imrul Kayes all showed how easy batting should be on a batting pitch against a mediocre bowling unit. This never happened before. Ashraful started yet another batting collapse, but his shot was not that wretched. His patience was sublime compared to what we're used to coming from him, and he will continue to mature. Sohel bhai's prediction of 27-32 being the peak ages of a batsmen seem to be catching up to us after all. Tamim too will learn. He came so far from the 17 year old slasher to a technically sound batsman, capable of scoring big, but throwing it away. The development will continue.

The bowling front is definitely a cause of concern, but should Mashrafee Mortaza return from an injured knee, and Syed Rasel regain his form and fitness, we will have one of the best, if not the very best, new ball pairs in ODI cricket. Unlike, Javagal Srinath's comments regarding Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma, that is no bluff.

Our spin attack is already one of the best there is, lead by Shakib and Abdur Razzak, with a fastly improving Enamul Haque Jr waiting in the wings.

The future is most certainly bright, and although more work remains, for the first time, Bangladesh fans can start to see the beginnings of a team that will be a serious contender in two to three years time.
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  #2  
Old January 7, 2010, 07:45 AM
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Well, I still find it worrisome that our best player, Shakib, suddenly seems to be losing his cool. Also, Mushfiq has remained worthless as an ODI batsman.

But pretty pleased with rest of the batting order in this match.
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  #3  
Old January 7, 2010, 08:06 AM
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Definitely good to see the batsmen showing signs of improvement!!!
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  #4  
Old January 7, 2010, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eshen
Well, I still find it worrisome that our best player, Shakib, suddenly seems to be losing his cool. Also, Mushfiq has remained worthless as an ODI batsman.

But pretty pleased with rest of the batting order in this match.
mushy is fine...and sakib should get his form back. its only been 3-4 games...with a run out today so i don't really count that.
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Old January 7, 2010, 08:23 AM
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...
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Last edited by al Furqaan; January 7, 2010 at 08:25 AM.. Reason: wrong forum, thought this was match thread
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  #6  
Old January 7, 2010, 09:25 AM
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The man in the center (and I mean Siddons not Rasel) is delivering on his promises. He has instilled maturity in the talented players like Tamim, Ash and Shakib and helped players like Riyad, Raqib and Naeem to exceed their potential.

Last edited by Equinox; January 7, 2010 at 09:36 AM..
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  #7  
Old January 7, 2010, 12:01 PM
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Well said Al. Once a huge concern, our batting, is no longer the primary concern. We still have room for improvement, but we have players in every position who can on a given day score meaningful runs towards the team total. We still lose wkts in bunch ( 2-3 wkts ) that halts our momentum, but unlike the past, we are also showing signs of recovery from such situations. Those are all positive signs. I will not change our current batting line-up. They have played together for a while now, and they are showing me that they can play together. There will always be one or two player movement due to someone going through a terrible patch ( Zunaid for example ), but I will not mess with the majority of the batsmen who are the core. Tamim is just incredibe. You need one dominating opener in modern cricket. He will score a ton of centuries down the line. Ash is, well Ash- but he is no longer the main catalyst and it suits him fine. Sakib on a given day can run havoc. Rakib is the sedate guy but he needs to improve by leaps in some key areas. I will let him play and learn on the process. Riyad just continues to grow. So happy with his progress. Rahim can settle nerves and build partnerships. Naeem is the power who can be moved around if needed. All in all, batting is not the main issue right now, and Yes, Jamie Siddons has really done wonders with not only technical aspects of the batsmen, but the enhnaced mental capacity which is very much an integral part of the game.

Our bowling is an entirely different matter. Pace bowling to be precise. We are shorthanded without Mash, but time is ripe to groom pacers for the future. I have talked about creating a pool with a good bowling coach who will train the pacers seprately under his guidance. The revolving door of pacers in and out of the team has to stop. Fast bowlers don't grow on trees in BD, and given the talent that is available, there is no substitute but to work extensively with pacers to make them 'good' intl bowlers. Not great, but good. Great fast bowlers are born, good intl bowlers are made.

If we can consistently show efforts with our bat such as the recent times, we will consistently give oursleves a chance to win matches. A lot of times, you can win with mediocore bowlers if you post up 280-290-300 runs, but you can not win even if you have great bowlers, if you score around 200 runs per innings.

We are on the right path.
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  #8  
Old January 7, 2010, 12:12 PM
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This indian attack is par with Zim (may be below considering their three spinners). Their fielding is so laughable and just better than Bermuda. THe only reason we lost the game is their batting lineup is better 3 notches even without Temdulkar. That is my take.

Middle order is becoming better. Imrul has bigger problem against shortball and he is not the answer because soon every team will ball that one bouncer to him every over he plays. Ash still lacks the skills to rotate strike. Rok needs more time (cricket) and he along with Mushi have flaws.
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Last edited by Tigers_eye; January 7, 2010 at 12:22 PM..
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  #9  
Old January 7, 2010, 12:18 PM
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very true indeed! i am not that disapointed about loosing to india (we all know when dhoni is settled in he can even take the game away single handedly from the top contenders). And either way india has a very strong and long batting line up which can crush any team in the world just in a blink of an eye!! Fielding still needs improvement but i guess dew played its role again -_-.

just to point out one issue with BD fans : there are a lot of rokibul haters. I have no clue why that reason is. (When dravid plays for india---> i even remembered when i was young and i think dravid was just starting his career ... in 1 ODI match he consumed 70+ ball and scored 3 runs ... well we where laughing our *** off at that moment and now look where he is at now ... one of the top cricketer india has ever produced). And rokibul's ocasional 30+ always helps the team. One also has to understand that the poor guy always finds himself in a situation where 2-3 wicket just collaspes in a short amount of time and rebuilding needs to be made! So IMO he deserves his own true spot in the national team . Yes aftab is a good player but he is not a innings builder. He comes and goes boom and exit just like that and looking at the current team we have a lot of player like him. so a innings builder is really necessary!!!
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Old January 7, 2010, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Equinox

The man in the center (and I mean Siddons not Rasel) is delivering on his promises. He has instilled maturity in the talented players like Tamim, Ash and Shakib and helped players like Riyad, Raqib and Naeem to exceed their potential.
That's a good post and a good picture, Equinox bhai!! Right on brother, I am with you on this!
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Old January 7, 2010, 12:27 PM
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Nice write-up Al Furqaan. Sorry that it was not meant to be a day for BD fans but i am shell-shocked. This team is a big improvement on anything i have seen before (i haven't been following BD team for a while now).

I think it is just a matter of time when BD starts to win ona regular basis.

Not to take anything away from BD batsman but Indian bowling and fielding has hit a level of mediocrity never seen before. This is not from today's observation. I want an all-out young attack even if opposition makes 400+. These so-called seniors suck!
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  #12  
Old January 7, 2010, 02:42 PM
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Al - you might be frontin on FB and in real life, but here, you are a baller ... plain and simple. Excellent write-up. Agree with you 100%. I was fairly satisfied with the match. I will go watch the batting later tonight and comment in detail.
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Old January 7, 2010, 02:47 PM
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Some great insights from Al Furqan, I agree with his sentiments. Even the comment he made on the thread about a cute girl in the audience was spot on!
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Old January 7, 2010, 02:52 PM
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Our batting is more than fine....bowling is opposite....not the most wicket taking line up!!
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Old January 7, 2010, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by al Furqaan
But its not just about Ashraful, even if he continues to be our most potent, able, and frequent match-winner. We now have 4 batsman averaging 30 or more in Shakib, Raqibul Hasan, Mahmudullah, and Naeem Islam. Add to that Tamim who averages 29, and gone are the days when batsmen with laughable strike rates and low twenty-something averages were the bedrock of our lineup.
Great post!!!
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Old January 7, 2010, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
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Some great insights from Al Furqan, I agree with his sentiments. Even the comment he made on the thread about a cute girl in the audience was spot on!
What did he say?
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  #17  
Old January 7, 2010, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by al Furqaan
mushy is fine...
Not sure what's your definition of fine. Pilot used to contribute lot more with bat against G8 teams, and he was chopped out because of his batting!
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Old January 7, 2010, 04:06 PM
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Pilots batting towards the end year or so of his career was a farce. Lets not forget that.
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Old January 7, 2010, 04:16 PM
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that's that. chuck all other bashing threads into the bin. this is the highlights of the last two matches: We Have Improved.
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Old January 7, 2010, 06:46 PM
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al Furqaan al Furqaan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eshen
Not sure what's your definition of fine. Pilot used to contribute lot more with bat against G8 teams, and he was chopped out because of his batting!
pilot averaged 19, with freighter-loads of not outs...mushy averages 22 with a better SR and far fewer unbeaten knocks. mushy's SR will continue to improve. i'm not saying he's flawless, but he is not the problem.

as i see it, the primary problems are the following:

1) Tamim's inability to really, really make it count (moderate problem, 154 v ZIM) - will rectify this as he gets older, might take 3-4 years, but as Beamer said, this guy seems poised for ton of centuries.

2) Imrul's short ball problems (moderate problem) - otherwise he wasn't that bad and looked a lot better than junaid in recent times. I am sure Siddons hasn't had much time to work with him, and this problem will be minimized if not solved soon enough.

3) Ash (moderate problem) - seems to be settling in as consolidator at one down. i think we have to accept the fact that he prefers to bat initially in first gear and then gradually progress to 2nd and then jump straight to 4th. if it works, there are no complaints. he might not be quite there yet, but over the last 2 years, his patience is improving. i think in another 12 months, he will be able to translate his DPL average into a 30+ international average. at any rate, we have other match-winners now.

4) Raqib (moderate problem) - has quite a limited game, but his tenacity is necessary in our lineup, even if he can score at today's 80 strike rate, we can still pile up big scores in excess of 300. hopefully JS can fix his problems as well, but even in the present state, Rock is a must.

5) Sakib (moderate problem) - its hard to imagine Boss not getting his form back soon, if he doesn't, he will become a severe problem. captaincy is OK, but mash should take over once he's healthy.

6) Naeem (moderate to severe bowling problems) - as a batsman he's fitting his role perfectly. as a bowler, i am not convinced. but i have become a believer in both him and riyad's necessity in the side.

7) Rahim (moderate problems) - keeping is an issue, his batting is not great, but i really don't see a problem with it. he's not quite as adept as ash, sakib, or riyad in the middle overs, nor the blaster that naeem is, but is a more versatile version of Rock further down the order.

8) Riyad (moderate bowling problem) - along with naeem our only perfect batting role, bowling is OK - will be good sometimes and will cost us games too. but his batting makes up for it.

9) Razzak (moderate problem) - his bowling against G8 sides has been a bit disappointing, hoepfully he can improve it, if not, enamul might be a better answer.

10) Rasel (no problems) - should always be there, bowled very well after his first over disaster. showed his DPL performance was a fluke.

11) Rubel (moderate problems) - i thought he bowled well against India, got late swing, will improve and may be our first match-winnng pacer in a few years. he should play as often as possible

12) Mash (no problems) - except for his injuries and possibly captaincy

13) Nazmul (to be determined) - did very well against ZIM, G8 sides remains to be seen

guys like aftab, SN, enam will be our immediate bench. at this point, robin, dollar, shafiul are just not ready. they need A team tours, as they aren't even consistent against the likes of zimbabwe. same with junaid.

all in all, we're looking pretty good with 13 months till the world cup.
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  #21  
Old January 7, 2010, 06:54 PM
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This post should be on front page...something like fans blogs/opinion piece! Good job Al-furqan.. very spirited writing.

I must say your writing and thinking have improved substantially along with our cricket.
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  #22  
Old January 7, 2010, 06:56 PM
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thanks orphy!
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  #23  
Old January 7, 2010, 07:30 PM
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Asad, for sake of fairness, I took both Pilot's and Mushfiq's stats against G7 teams (so that we don't have to worry about stats against Windies-C).

Pilot - http://stats.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/...s;type=batting

Mushfiq - http://stats.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/...s;type=batting

Forget about not outs, take runs scored per innings. Pilot comes up with 17.26/inn and Mushfiq with 12.41/inn ! And Pilot actually had a marginally better SR !
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Old January 7, 2010, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eshen
Asad, for sake of fairness, I took both Pilot's and Mushfiq's stats against G7 teams (so that we don't have to worry about stats against Windies-C).

Pilot - http://stats.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/...s;type=batting

Mushfiq - http://stats.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/...s;type=batting

Forget about not outs, take runs scored per innings. Pilot comes up with 17.26/inn and Mushfiq with 12.41/inn ! And Pilot actually had a marginally better SR !
not interested.

pilot played an entire career. mushy is just getting warmed up.

rahim is pure example of a case where numbers don't even tell half the story. he's not perfect, but he's not bad at all.
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Old January 7, 2010, 07:42 PM
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Got it Asad, you are only interested in saying arbitrary stuff like Pilot averaged only 19, fact checks are boring
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