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There was a time when our national team was pretty experienced. We had some well-known players upon whom we could depend. Then the process of rebuilding started to adjust to the rigors of International Cricket. And for more than four years we could not win.

The Dark Horses

Published: 14th April, 2004


There was a time when our national cricket team was pretty experienced. We had some well-known players upon whom we could depend. Then the process of rebuilding started to adjust to the rigors of International Cricket. And for more than four years we could not win.

However, things are starting to look brighter now. We have recently managed to stop this drought of wins and now have a win under our belt. Now there are some players in the national team who, we trust, will always stay at the wicket even if a few wickets have fallen quickly. All of a sudden, we no longer have to try and search for the lowest ever totals in the record books.

The players themselves are now beginning to understand their own responsibilities. They are also trying to unearth their hidden potentials. We can also see that the promise of the future that we have all been hearing about is now more achievable.

The West Indies tour is coming up soon. This is the first time that a Bangladesh national team will visit the West Indies. However, there are some players of the current team who have already visited West Indies before as part of the Bangladesh 'A' team. Some of them have also played against the West Indies at home over the last five to six years.

Our victory over the ninth test playing nation Zimbabwe in the 3rd One Day International have made us confident of a maiden test victory in the West Indies. At least, we hope that we're confident enough this time to contemplate pulling off a surprise win.

However, this is not going to be easy. To achieve such a win, we will have to overcome some of our main weaknesses. For example, the wickets in the West Indies are going to be greenish, quick and will have some bounce. Some of our players are quite used to it. They have played against the South Africans, Australians and the Pakistanis sometimes on quick bouncy pitches and sometimes on slower wickets with less bounce. But this time, there will be pressure on them to be successful, as they have already put up good shows against some of the big names.

Then there are the dark horses, players of whom we are not too sure. For example, Rajin Saleh, one of the most consistent and successful players of the last few series, is suspect under these conditions. Mushfiqur Rahman is another suspect. They have not played against the best like Australia and South Africa, nor even on pitches that are quick and bouncy, but yet, they are amongst the most dependable players of the current team. So it is up to them to prove themselves again as to whether they are going to remain consistent and successful against the West Indies team on their home ground.

Consider too the case of Mohammad Ashraful and Alok Kapali. Bangladesh never seems to get their services together. When one of them is playing splendidly, the other one is in terrible form and vice versa. There really are no questions about their talent and if both of them do play well together in the same match, our dreams will come true, because together the two of them have the ability to beat ANY International side on their best day.

These are only some of the dark horses in the Bangladesh team. The West Indies team too has its own dark horses. Fidel Edwards and Tino Best are two emerging fast bowlers with some raw pace. While the experienced players can maintain the pressure from one end, they can bowl with aggression from the other. We are all also familiar with Brian Lara - the world record holder who made one of the quickest hundreds against us during 1999, Ricardo Powell, Chris Gayle, Wavell Hinds, Ramnaresh Sarwan, as well as our very own Habibul Bashar and Mohammad Rafique.

If we are to win one test match, we have to make sure that at least one of our own dark horses come up with the goods and surprise us as well as our opponents.


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