Bat for 4 sessions
There is no dearth of advise for BD cricketers after every defeat. The advises are often valid and well meaning, but I do not think that so many advises can be grasped and implemented. It will be more meaningful if all the good advises are encapsulated into one simple catch phrase or mantra which is easy to understand and remember.
When we look at the BD test matches, we find that most of the tests last only till the third or fourth day. It is on rare cases that the match goes into the fifth day.Instead of looking into the unrealistic target of winning a test, BD will do better to target draws in test matches against major teams.In order to draw matches BD will have to ensure that the match lasts for 5 days.
A five day test has 3 sessions daily. Thus there are 15 sessions in a test match.As can be seen from the first test against India, BD first innings lasted 2 sessions and the second innings also lasted 2 sessions. India batted once and their innings lasted 4 and a half sessions. All this adds upto 8 sessions and a half. One session was lost due to dampness in the pitch on the opening day. Despite the loss of one full session,the match lasted just over 9 sessions and nearly 6 sessions i.e. almost two days play was not required.
If we look at most test matches played by BD, a similar pattern will emerge. A BD innings typically lasts 2 to 3 sessions. Assuming that it lasts 3 sessions for both innings, BD consumes just 6 sessions out of 15 sessions in a test. The opposition more often than not rattles up a huge total in their lone innings consuming about 5 sessions and the match is over sometime on the fourth day with about 4 sessions left unplayed.
If BD wants to avoid the ignominy of losing within the fourth day, they must set a target for themselves for an innings. Their target should be to last for at least 4 sessions per innings.If they can ensure this for both their innings in a test, it will mean that they will have consumed 8 sessions in a test leaving only 7 sessions for the opposition team. If BD lasts for 8 sessions in a test insted of its customary 4 to 5 sessions in a match then they may hope to add about 200 additional runs in the match. The opposition then will have to score more runs in less time. This will more likely mean that their first innings lead will not be enough to result in an innings defeat for BD. It will also mean that even if BD players are facing a big deficit in the second innings, most likely it will be the fourth day that their second innings will commence and they will have a realistic chance of batting out for 4 sessions and eke out a draw. If BD become adept in drawing their test matches, the opposition will have to try extra hard to win and that is where BD will get their own chances.
So, my mantra for BD players is " Bat for 4 sessions". If they keep this mantra in mind, they will have a more realistic chance of drawing the test matches and climbing up the test ladder.