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  #1  
Old August 24, 2011, 11:13 AM
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rinathq rinathq is offline
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Post Test Cricket Under The Microscope

My thoughts and ideas for the upcoming test series:


11 years onto test cricket and yet Bangladesh fans find themselves once again worrying about losing the test status. It is difficult to decide whether ICC would be too harsh to take away this honour from Bangladesh at this stage or if Bangladesh Cricket Team fully deserves this humiliation. Both sides have enough faults to go either way. While Bangladesh Cricket did not show sufficient improvement to make their position stronger, ICC did not provide enough opportunities to improve either. The FTPs schedules were very thin for Bangladesh. There were years where Bangladesh saw 1-2 series where other teams saw significantly more. Bangladesh had some long intervals between test matches which affected more negatively than it did positively. Because, what happens when a team has extended breaks is by the time they play another match, they tend to forget the learning experience from previous match. This has been evident in the recent test match against Zimbabwe. Even though Zimbabwe did not play any international test cricket for 6 years, they were preparing for this format ever since. For Bangladesh, they forgot and totally ignored test cricket since the English tour on summer 2010. BCB is equally to blame here. With a home world cup approaching they sifted every attention towards the single format knowing that the best chance Bangladesh will have is to make it to their quarter finals, a feat which would not hide away their deficiencies in test cricket. To add insult to injury, Bangladesh finished the world cup on a very poor performance. Now the attention shifts to West Indies. With 58/10 to remember, Bangladesh has a lot to do before the West Indians arrive for a full tour at the end of September.

First things first, Bangladesh needs to get the 15 squad right. From a test perspective, the team needs to pull off a “French Revolution” and from an ODI perspective, its fine for most part. But as our test status stands at the edge of cliff, it requires more attention.

For winning test match, the simplest mantra is to take 20 wickets. And unless it’s being played at some mine field like Chittagong, it requires a great deal of effort from the seamers. Even though our seamers have improved constantly in ODI cricket, they did not improve as much in test. It’s not that they lack pace or swing or the ability to hit bouncers, it’s just they are very inconsistent at it. Consistency is something that can be improved and if the players work hard at it, they can improve it very fast. True, the seam attack lacked the experienced Shahadat Hossain or Mashrafe Mortaza, but that does not mean, the rest will perform the way they did against Zimbabwe. The presence of Shahadat or Mashrafe wouldn’t make the other pacers stop bowling half volleys or short pitched deliveries way outside off stump constantly. The coaching staff needs to fix this very fast if they want to stand any chance on winning a test match. A Bowling coach is due as soon as possible. Even if BCB finds a coach a week before the series starts, it will only benefit the bowlers.

For Bangladesh surface, spinners always play a vital role in bowling attack. Armed with a world class spinner Shakib Al Hasan, all he needs is another spinner to perform well alongside. So far Razzaq has done that for ODI matches but in test, so far he is completely off track. It’s shocking how the selectors don’t realize the simplest fact that Razzaq is not the solution for test cricket. In a country like Bangladesh, finding a specialist spinner is probably the easiest. So it does not make sense to try out the same guy over and over again with zero success rate. It’s high time to give players like Elias Sunny, Shohag Gazi, Enamul Haque Jnr, Shaker Ahmed some chance to shine.

The batting attack has always been a problem and it will remain so for a long time. Very few batsmen in Bangladesh have the temperament, skill together under one body. For the batting attack right now, only one change can be made without thinking anything out of the box. That change is called “Imrul Kayes!” As good as he might be in ODI last year; he has a long way to where test cricket is concerned. An average of 17 is nothing short of a disgrace for an international player in test cricket. It’s even worse if this average represents an opener. So right away, drop him from the test side. The side already has openers like Junaid Siddique and Shahriar Nafees who has to play at no. 3 to accommodate Kayes. Give them a chance. If both fail, than players like Jahirul Islam, Nazimuddin gets a chance on the following tour. However, both Tamim- Nafees and Tamim-Junaid chemistry look more promising than the current. Slot no. 3 is also a problem however this could be awarded to Mohammed Ashraful for now for his good comeback in test cricket against Zimbabwe. Rest should be relatively easy. Riyad, Shuvagoto, Shakib, Mushfiq can fill up the rest of batting order and the last 4 slots should go to the bowlers and bowling allrounders. 7 Batsmen should be able to guarantee 250+ which is a start and if the rest 4 bowlers can add another 20-30, a total of 270-280 is possible. If a team puts up a score of 550+ batting 7-8 sessions total, that team has much less chance of losing that match. But they have to bat at least 7-8 sessions at any case.

Shakib Al Hasan might be our best player and probably the best captain for ODI, but in test cricket he falls short where captaincy is concerned. Last test has enough evidence to suggest that he does not have the right mindset for a test captain. Which is fine because he is excellent as an ODI captain and will remain so in years to come. However, if he wants to stay as an test captain, he will have to give some time thinking about what he did. His feilding set ups were generally defensive from a test perspective. Some might argue that his set ups were "tight" but that does not mean they were "aggressive". He needs to be more aggressive and not worry about conceding runs when a bowler is showing some intent. His Bowling changes were also somewhat awkward. Sometimes he would bring in spinners when seamers ought to be there and on the other hand, there were times where bringing himself to bowl would have been smarter where he did not. True that he does not have enough "quality" options but most of them time, he was unable to use the bowlers to their full potential. A change is captaincy on this format might be something to think about after the West Indies series.

However, right now with one month to go, a huge change wouldn’t be the solution. Just a few minor changes can improve the game. If BCB were smart, they would take all measures to ensure that Bangladesh gets all the home advantage they need. For example, even though BCB would never do it, playing both test matches in Chittagong could have been a smart move. West Indies were never good against spin and a slow wicket like Chittagong, their seamers would be virtually useless. On the other hand, Bangladeshi spinners would enjoy the “mine field” set up thoroughly. If not then BCB should ensure that Shere Bangla pitch gives as much advantage to the spinners as possible. Even then it would be difficult to pull off a satisfactory series against West Indies who have performed reasonable well against teams like India and Pakistan.
In the end, Bangladesh MUST improve on test cricket and they MUST do it this series. If what it takes is to forget ODI cricket completely, then be it!

My desired 15 for Test Series,
Tamim Iqbal
Shahriar Nafees
Mohammed Ashraful
Shuvagoto Hom
Shakib Al Hasan
Mahmudullah Riyad
Mushfiqur Rahim
Nasir Hossain (Note: Even though Nasir is an allrounder, he will be more effective against left handers)
Shahadat Hossain
Rubel Hossain
Robiul Islam

Shafiul Islam
Junaid Siddique
Enamul Haque Jnr/ Suhrawardi Shuvo/ Shohag Gazi (One of them)
Alok Kapali/ Naeem Islam


By Rinat Haque

Last edited by rinathq; August 24, 2011 at 11:56 AM..
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  #2  
Old August 24, 2011, 11:51 AM
Gowza Gowza is offline
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really don't think we need ashraful, play junaid at #3 he's actually done ok for BD in tests in that position. as far as nasir in that spot well either nasir or shuvo i think, maybe shaker ahmed.....i think the pacers are pretty right unless shubashis is ready to jump up and maybe think about him. 2nd opener i don't know maybe jahirul, also i'd like naeem to be in the test squad.
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  #3  
Old August 24, 2011, 11:56 AM
Go_Bangladesh Go_Bangladesh is offline
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I am sorry but we cannot have Shahriar Nafees in our test squad, this has been talked about a million times so I wont discuss it again. If Imrul isnt good enough to open with Tamim, its time we breed a new opener, maybe Anamul or some other performer from our local first class league.
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  #4  
Old August 24, 2011, 11:57 AM
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rinathq rinathq is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gowza
really don't think we need ashraful, play junaid at #3 he's actually done ok for BD in tests in that position. as far as nasir in that spot well either nasir or shuvo i think, maybe shaker ahmed.....i think the pacers are pretty right unless shubashis is ready to jump up and maybe think about him. 2nd opener i don't know maybe jahirul, also i'd like naeem to be in the test squad.
Sorry Naeem was in my squad, i forgot to paste the last 2 slots for 15 XI
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  #5  
Old August 24, 2011, 11:59 AM
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rinathq rinathq is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Go_Bangladesh
I am sorry but we cannot have Shahriar Nafees in our test squad, this has been talked about a million times so I wont discuss it again. If Imrul isnt good enough to open with Tamim, its time we breed a new opener, maybe Anamul or some other performer from our local first class league.
I dont disagree. But at the moment we cant have someone new specially for the most challenging batting slot. Anamul is too young to take this responsibility. As Junaid performing worse, the only choice is Nafees. He was a good opener, Maybe this slot would suit him better because he has more experience opening.
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  #6  
Old August 24, 2011, 01:48 PM
napoleonIV napoleonIV is offline
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I am sorry - but changing players won't change anything. We will be able to play one or two competitive tests every once in a while but that's about it - nothing more. It is not one or two player we have a problem with in the test format - the problem is with the whole lot. Tell me one single cricketer in the team that has test mentality. Tell me one batsman who is even remotely capable of saving a test match. Who is our current best test batsman? Tamim. Now that kind of Sehwagesque approach might look pleasant for the eye but rarely achieves anything significant, especially for a team like Bangladesh. Sehwag's style often works with India because they usually go for the win, which often requires scoring runs quickly. Also, when he fails, he has people like Dravid, Laxman, and Tendulkar to fall back to. But for Bangladesh, we are yet to achieve a fighting draw since we got test status. We need people who will grind it out there. Hanif Mohammad should be our idol, not Sehwag.

Now this type of test mentality cannot be just taught. No coach in the world can teach our batsman to play in a test mode. It is something that players learn after playing first class cricket for years, sometimes even before when playing test cricket. Remember, how Tendulkar came into the spotlight? It was his huge partnership with Vinod Kambli at school level that made him famous. Again, that innings was applauded for its duration and length, not explosiveness.

Look at our players. Let alone school cricket, how many of our batsmen have scored a double century or even a 150+ at first class level? If our batsmen do not have the mindset to play long innings when the bowling attacks of our FC teams are ordinary and the tracks are flat and batting-friendly, how can we expect them to compete in test matches against quality attack?

To summarize, my main point is that changing players will be only treating the symptom. Unless and until we treat the "cause", we will be a "fledgling" test nation forever.
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  #7  
Old August 24, 2011, 02:01 PM
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rinathq rinathq is offline
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Napoleon: ur post tells me u didnt even read my post or u didnt understand. Please re read it. I did not suggest more than 2-3 changes, i mentioned our players dont have the test mentality, I mentioned making huge changes right now wont bring success.
and yet u said the same thing.............

Anyways mindset is something that will take more time. We are still the youngest test nation.
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  #8  
Old August 24, 2011, 02:13 PM
napoleonIV napoleonIV is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rinathq
Bangladesh MUST improve on test cricket and they MUST do it this series. If what it takes is to forget ODI cricket completely, then be it!
I have indeed read your whole post. I am not saying that you proposed making huge changes. You suggested making small changes and my point is that that would hardly have any tangible impact. Also, nowhere you mentioned anything specific about first-class cricket. Finally, from your sentence that I have quoted above, it is quite clear that you believe improvement can be made starting from very next series. That is what I vehemently oppose. My point is that even if we manage to win both the tests again WI, it shouldn't create an illusion of "improvement".
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Old August 24, 2011, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by napoleonIV
I have indeed read your whole post. I am not saying that you proposed making huge changes. You suggested making small changes and my point is that that would hardly have any tangible impact. Also, nowhere you mentioned anything specific about first-class cricket. Finally, from your sentence that I have quoted above, it is quite clear that you believe improvement can be made starting from very next series. That is what I vehemently oppose. My point is that even if we manage to win both the tests again WI, it shouldn't create an illusion of "improvement".
Well you can't predict that small changes wont have any impact at all. Including Nasir and Shuvagoto were small changes but it did impact the team even a little. I feel like this learning experience will definitely improve our players. But probably that improvement wont be clearly visible thats all. And I am tired of talking about first class cricket. Its evident that BCB wont do anything anytime soon. All these talk to improve our domestic infrastructure are nothing but "Chapabazi" So thats why i left it out.
Dont get me wrong, this writing was only about the next series. I will have to write another book if I want to talk every aspect of Bangladesh test cricket.
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  #10  
Old August 24, 2011, 03:30 PM
Shafir Shafir is offline
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What changes would you like Napolean, an entirely new crop of youngsters, setting ourselves back another five years?
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  #11  
Old August 24, 2011, 03:50 PM
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My Test squad:

Imrul (last chance)
Tamim
Junaid (why does he keep getting picked in ODIs?)
Ashraful
Shahriar Nafees
Shakib
Mushfiq
Riyad
Shafiul
Shahadat
Rubel

Enamul Jr
Naeem
Shuvo
Hom/Nasir/Jahirul
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  #12  
Old August 24, 2011, 04:03 PM
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We don't have that kind of aggressive bowling to take 20 wickets!
We don't have that kind of batting to make 400.

So, all we can hope for the time being are draws!
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Old August 24, 2011, 04:06 PM
napoleonIV napoleonIV is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shafir
What changes would you like Napolean, an entirely new crop of youngsters, setting ourselves back another five years?
On the contrary, I would recommend very few changes if any. ODIs are different. But for test cricket, there is very little evidence to suggest that players waiting in the wing are qualitatively different than the ones in current squad. Rather, my proposal is to give maximum importance to first class cricket. Look at how Shakib approached batting in the second innings of the Zimbabwe test. That kind of summarizes our collective test mindset. Without changing that mindset, changing the personnel would hardly help.
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Old August 24, 2011, 04:09 PM
napoleonIV napoleonIV is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crisis
We don't have that kind of aggressive bowling to take 20 wickets!
We don't have that kind of batting to make 400.

So, all we can hope for the time being are draws!
Ironically enough, we never play for draws . Even against the best opposition, our cricketers and fans alike prefer getting beaten in 3/4 days than putting a fight for a draw .
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Old August 24, 2011, 05:19 PM
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rinathq rinathq is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crisis
We don't have that kind of aggressive bowling to take 20 wickets!
We don't have that kind of batting to make 400.

So, all we can hope for the time being are draws!
We dont have to make 400 runs in a single innings. A total of 550 in 2 innings is enough to pull of a draw or a close win if they can bat longer. So temperament is the issue.
Yes its true we dont have bowlers who aggressive enough to take 20 wickets. But its not impossible. Remember against India? If it wasnt for Shewag who declared with 1 wicket left, we could have taken 20 wickets quite easily. Having Shahadat is a plus point as he is more aggressive. But i feel like Shaiful isnt aggressive enough. Having a Shahadat- Rubel- Robiul. I found Robiul quite capable of performing well in test cricket.
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  #16  
Old August 24, 2011, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by napoleonIV
On the contrary, I would recommend very few changes if any. ODIs are different. But for test cricket, there is very little evidence to suggest that players waiting in the wing are qualitatively different than the ones in current squad. Rather, my proposal is to give maximum importance to first class cricket. Look at how Shakib approached batting in the second innings of the Zimbabwe test. That kind of summarizes our collective test mindset. Without changing that mindset, changing the personnel would hardly help.
Yea but while BCB gives maximum importance to First class (which is not happening anytime soon anyways), our test status would be finished. Our team needs to win a game. I think it will allow the players to believe in their abilities a bit more.
We have to save our test status AND give attention to our first class. Both needs to be done. Neither of them are rocket science so one has to be given up for the other.
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Old August 24, 2011, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rinathq
Yea but while BCB gives maximum importance to First class (which is not happening anytime soon anyways), our test status would be finished. Our team needs to win a game. I think it will allow the players to believe in their abilities a bit more.
We have to save our test status AND give attention to our first class. Both needs to be done. Neither of them are rocket science so one has to be given up for the other.
If BCB does not start paying heed to first class cricket, I would rather prefer that we get stripped of test status. It is our shortcut to test status that has ruined us most. We were not given any condition fulfill to achieve test status. Our test status was not a testament of our growing cricketing ability, rather it was a product of ICC politics. If we get something without really working for it, there is an innate tendency to value it less. That happened with our test status. Look at Ireland. When they were asked about test status after their fairytale success in the world cup, they said they were not ready! That is how much they value it. They don't want test status for the sake of it. Rather, they want it only when they are good enough for it. Look at Zimbabwe. The ICC didn't took away their status or impose any moratorium. They went to a self-imposed exile. That didn't want to play substandard cricket and humiliate themselves, and degrade test cricket in the process. IMO, we, as a nation, lack that self respect.

I really wish Bangladesh was given some conditions to fulfill BEFORE being granted test status. It probably would have meant few more years of wait, but it would have at least forced us to to improve our structure.

That is why IMHO if BCB does not take action, then it will be better for us to not play tests for a while. That will force BCB to finally pay heed and our players to take FC cricket seriously. Success obtained through shortcut can never be sustained in the long run.
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Old August 24, 2011, 10:18 PM
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Imrul should still be given additional time in the national team to get his skill set right. maybe the coach should work with him on his technique.

Junaid should be in the test team for the no. 3 slot. nafees in the odi team no. 3 slot.

we need shahadat back in the test team if we want something/anything from our test bowling.
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Old August 24, 2011, 10:32 PM
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no more Imrul,no SN,no Robiul
JS in,Hom debut,Shahadat back
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Old August 24, 2011, 11:02 PM
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Tamim
Naeem (?)
Junaid
Hom
Mushfiq
Shakib
Riyad
Nasir
Shahadat
Rubel
Robiul

makes it 3 seamers, 4 offies, 1 SLA . shafiul's lack of venom is my primary concern. I am willing to give robiul another chance.
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Old August 24, 2011, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by napoleonIV
If BCB does not start paying heed to first class cricket, I would rather prefer that we get stripped of test status. It is our shortcut to test status that has ruined us most. We were not given any condition fulfill to achieve test status. Our test status was not a testament of our growing cricketing ability, rather it was a product of ICC politics. If we get something without really working for it, there is an innate tendency to value it less. That happened with our test status. Look at Ireland. When they were asked about test status after their fairytale success in the world cup, they said they were not ready! That is how much they value it. They don't want test status for the sake of it. Rather, they want it only when they are good enough for it. Look at Zimbabwe. The ICC didn't took away their status or impose any moratorium. They went to a self-imposed exile. That didn't want to play substandard cricket and humiliate themselves, and degrade test cricket in the process. IMO, we, as a nation, lack that self respect.

I really wish Bangladesh was given some conditions to fulfill BEFORE being granted test status. It probably would have meant few more years of wait, but it would have at least forced us to to improve our structure.

That is why IMHO if BCB does not take action, then it will be better for us to not play tests for a while. That will force BCB to finally pay heed and our players to take FC cricket seriously. Success obtained through shortcut can never be sustained in the long run.
Totally agree with you on this
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Old August 24, 2011, 11:14 PM
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I agree with Napoleoniv that our medium to long term goal should be to change FC structure so that players are more equipped for Test cricket.

However I also believe that in the short term we cannot continue with the current top order being unchanged. I can understand flawed techniques and lack of skill but what I don't understand is the lack of desire and application in our top order. I refuse to believe we don't have an alternative to Kayes,Junaid,Nafees,Ash, Rockibul etc... In recent times we have lost games within 15 overs by losing 4-5 quick wkts because of these losers. There has to be a few grinders out there even in our current domestic setup who can do a better job.
Changing some of these batters might not solve our long term problems but it will help us identify new talents and add depth to our player pool who are capable of stepping up when needed.
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Old August 25, 2011, 12:00 AM
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rinathq rinathq is offline
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And keep in mind whatever I wrote, mostly applies for the next test series. So it's sort of a immediate approach. Certainly not a long term one

Posted via BC Mobile Edition
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Old August 25, 2011, 02:14 PM
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It's miserable after 11 years we play Test cricket for respectable lose or a draw. How many years needs more to expect win?
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Old August 25, 2011, 02:30 PM
napoleonIV napoleonIV is offline
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Apologies to the OP of this thread for pasting this slightly off-topic stuff here:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ireland/...ry/529402.html

Ireland plan first-class structure

Andrew McGlashan

August 24, 2011

Plans are being put in place for a first-class structure in Ireland that could pave the way for the country to become a Test nation. Although still a long way from coming to fruition, possibly a decade, Cricket Ireland believes it is a realistic aim following the team's rise in one-day international and Twenty20 cricket.

Warren Deutrom, the chief executive, confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that talk of a first-class game in Ireland wasn't just a pipe-dream and that it is a major part of the road map for cricket's future in the country. Though he was not willing to commit to a date or expand on details of any discussions that have taken place, there is a belief that the game in Ireland is becoming strong enough to support a first-class system.

"Do I think it can be achieved? If I didn't I may as well not be in the job," Deutrom said. "There is no time frame to it, but it is certainly something we want to achieve."

While Bangladesh gained Test status without a first-class competition in place - that was all to do with the Asian bloc vote and is a major reason why they have struggled to adapt to the long format - Ireland would need to prove their game could sustain a decent standard.
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