If we call our Pre-Test Status era as the ‘Childhood’ of BD cricket then it probably wouldn’t be unfair at all if to say that BD cricket is only into it’s Early Teenage
with all its potentials, fiery enthusiasms, dreams without boundaries as well as difficulties, emotions, vulnerabilities or even introverted-ness to some extent... interestingly comparable to all those vivid characters of that age! Our cricket is yet to reach it’s Powerful Youth and then mature up to become one of the ‘Big Guys’ in the scenario.
To be more specific, the available bunch of players still have got some incompleteness
in themselves which, with time, they will have to realize themselves and must find cures for those gaps in their skills. I will try here, to elaborate my observations on an issue regarding our batting strength that has been bothering me (and I’m sure many others like me also) for quite a long time now... and that is the lack of ability of most of our batsmen to play shots that make 1’s or 2’s or 3’s in their innings.
In my observation BD cricket has been dominated by these 2 types of batsmen
in the squad for the last 5 years:
Type-1# Batsmen who know how to play some strokes and score boundaries
Include Hannan, Bashar, Nafees, Ashraful, Kapali, Rafiq among the current players and few others in past also. These players are natural talents for stroke-playing and considered to be our big assets for the future. But for some very ridiculous reason, they seem to almost completely lack the ability to find easy gaps for singles or doubles and keep rotating the strike. Whether its their lack of skill or is it their mindset, that is still a mystery, but the Results
are somewhat like these:
-They let the opposition bowler dominate with time giving huge number of dot balls.
-Create pressure on themselves & the team also causing low scoring rates
-As they take ‘Boundaries’ to be the only good means to score, they get impatient and often play foolish risky shots rather than thinking of going for singles or 2’s when they are restricted by good bowling attack.
-‘Luck’ is their only Mantra
to get a decent score
-Finally they end up like a machine without lubricants
, having a modest innings of 50-60 odd runs at best!
Type-2#Batsmen who almost don’t know how to play strokes
Include Rana, Mushfiq, Tapash, Tareq and few others as well. Even these guys are not Genuine batsmen by definition, they do score some decent runs for the current struggling BD squad. The good thing about these guys is that they, for sure, know that they are not out there to play mind-blowing strokes and raise the scoring rate! They know they are out there to stop the collapse and stick to the ground and save the team from further humiliation on most occasions. Then again the Results
are somewhat like these:
-They don’t try to do anything to the clearly ‘Risky’ bowls.
-Always keep looking for 1’s or 2’s or 3’s
-Very often they frustrate the opposition bowler by keeping the scoreboard running and yet not giving away wickets as they are not taking useless risks!
-Yet again, they end up with a below-modest score of 30-40 at best most of the times, as they don’t have the in-built talent to play strokes!!
Between Black & White
It’s pretty obvious that both these types of batsmen are very much incomplete
and hence they constantly score only average level of runs. Between these blacks and whites only a good balance of Strokeplay and Shorter runs can make a genuine solid batsman
... because that’s when he is able to play without pressure and build a long innings without being burden to the team. I would admit that very few of the players do have that kind of a blend in themselves.
Players like Rajin, Pilot, Javed Omar are somewhat between these two Black & White types... But for some reason they are more on the defensive side. It’s very unfortunate that our core ‘talented’ batsmen (the strokeplayers) don’t have the blend developed yet in themselves. (Ashraful’s latest Innings of 67 consists of eight 4’s and three 6’s!!). No wonder we are constantly having to find our players get frustrated (probably not satisfied actually) at around 30/40 runs at best and get themselves back to the pavilion.
Doesn’t matter if the reason is the batsmen’s lack of merit/maturity or a very big loophole in the ‘Training Process’ of our batting squad but all the current and future potential talents in the batting department needs to find themselves firmly placed and flourished somewhere between these two Blacks & Whites! Only that firm balance can produce some real ‘All-time-Great’s from among the Tigers also ... and without them the ‘Highly Potential teen-age’ of our cricket may only become ‘Confused & mediocre youth’.