A very good article published in Daily Star
discuss the performance of the current natioanl team players.
Committed to PEOPLE'S RIGHT TO KNOW
Vol. 5 Num 75 Tue. August 10, 2004
Our cricket team
We are very worried at the dismal performance of our cricket team in the recent Asia Cup tournament. We know the other three participants were far superior but we failed to put up a reasonably good show. The team's performance against associate member Hong Kong is not at all encouraging though we won the match. In this match also the top order struggled to keep their wickets and score runs.
Though our main problem is mental, technically most of our frontline batsmen are very weak. We should have included another regular opener in the squad instead of having a makeshift arrangement.
Although Hannan Sarker was a failure in the Caribbean, I think he should have been given another chance. His main problem is that he does not know which ball to leave especially when it is new. I think this could be corrected if proper care is taken.
Another opener Shahriar Hossain is very injury prone. As a captain, Habibul Bashar should have been more careful in the initial overs. Time and again he lets his teammates down with his careless batting even though he knows they depend on him.
In the first one-day international in West Indies he tried to pull the very first incoming ball (little short of good length) he faced without getting the "feel" of the wicket, missed and was out lbw. Similarly in this recent Asia Cup match against India, he tried an early front fool drive with an angled bat leaving a big gap between bat and pad to an in-swinger from Irfan Pathan (Pathan's late outswing) and was bowled.
This was a highly irresponsible attempt considering the fact that Pathan could swing the ball very late with new ball. As a captain, he should understand his important position in the team and try to bat sensibly during initial overs to settle down first. I suggest that Bashar bats at number four promoting Rajin Saleh to No. 3.
Although I don't agree fully with Wasim Akram who said that Bangladesh's top order batsmen should play first 15 overs safely, it does make sense under the present circumstances.
Technically Javed Omar, Moha-mmad Ashraful and Rajin seem to be correct in their approach. Ashraful's omission from the home series against England has acted as a "tonic" for him. He has changed his attitude reasonably well and was successful.
Rajin should put more power into his shots otherwise it would be difficult for him to score in international matches.
Alok Kapali is a very natural gifted player and started his career with great promise. But I think what he lacks is cricketing "sense".
Time and again he got himself out attempting very silly unorthodox shots. One cannot imagine how he does it when he is set for a big score. Here I remember another very promising batsmen Al Shahriar. He is an attractive free-scoring batsman. But he seldom played according to the situation and never could curb his strokeplay when a sensible approach was needed.
I'm very disappointed at the batting of Faisal Hossain. His defence is very poor and he does not cover the wickets when playing on the back foot. His off-stump remains unguarded which can easily be exploited by the opposing bowler.
I would consider Manjarul Islam as a batsman first than a bowler. He is technically not very sound but does play with guts and strong determination and thus more or less successful. He should develop more power in his drive shots. There is nothing to comment about the late-order batsmen. They have proved their worth and time and again came to the team's rescue with their determined batting.
Among the bowlers paceman Tapash Baisya and left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak performed very well though Tapash didn't get many wickets. Razzak was the find of the tournament and he should take care of his action if there is anything wrong as reported by the match officials.
Whenever our batsmen get bogged down after persistent good bowling they cannot push the score along. I suggest they should learn required techniques of coming down the wicket and drive the ball to off and on, not necessarily for a six.
Of the batsmen Khaled Mashud has adopted this technique admirably. Most of our frontline batsmen don't move their left foot and body sufficiently to the line of the ball while negotiating an outswinger, resulting in getting a snick.
I think we should be more careful before including a newcomer in the team. We must assess carefully his techniques and his capabilities and give him sufficient time to develop himself for any big encounters. In the last three or four years we have included a number of new players in the team only to find them dropping out later on.
When given a chance one must be given a sufficient period of time to develop so that he may continue to play for the team.
Lastly, I would say that to get a good consistent performance from a player we must develop our local cricket. In the eighties and nineties we had a number of very good cricketers who were the product of Dhaka Cricket league.
It was very competitive and lots of foreign cricketers participated regularly in the league. Some of the products of that period were Gazi Ashraf Hossain, Minhazul Abedin, Akram Khan, Aminul Islam, Athar Ali Khan, Faruque Ahmed, Saiful Islam, Golam Nowsher Prince, Enamul Haque. Highly committed players like them are unfortunately no longer in the team anymore.
Former Sri Lankan cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga while commenting on Bangladesh team's performance in Asia Cup said that the team he saw in his playing days was much more capable and committed than the present one.
The Dhaka League was very organised and competitive and staged regularly in eighties and nineties. Now it is absent. The idea of National League is a very impressive one but it cannot be a substitute for Dhaka League. Serious competitiveness is totally absent in the National League and it is staged mostly on under-prepared wickets, which does not serve the purpose at all.
True, hard and fast wickets are an essential element for proper development of cricket where a batsman and a bowler will get an equal advantage. We should remember that there are no shortcuts to success and the organisers must have a clear vision of the problems and how to sort them out.
I strongly urge the Bangladesh Cricket Board to publish a yearly cricket calendar and reintroduce the highly competitive Dhaka League. The BCB might also introduce another tournament (of three-day matches) on a regular basis with Bangladesh, Bangladesh 'A' and Under-19 taking part, which will definitely provide competitiveness among the teams and players and also be very helpful for the selectors.
The writer is a former chairman of selectors, Bangladesh Cricket Control Board.