So how exactly is the Bangladesh cricket team doing in international cricket? It may be an unusual question, but it is probably time for an evaluation. While the current Bangladesh team has certainly achieved its preliminary targets, it is yet to meet its next set of goals. I am not exactly identifying these goals on the basis of any Technical Cricket Theory, but merely from my own observations and ideas about the team. In this article, I identify each set of goals as a ?Phase?.
The Bangladesh team has almost finished its first year under the coaching of
well-renowned Dav Whatmore, and with honest confidence it can be said that
our team has reached a certain level of credibility, discipline, fighting mindset and quite a few other obvious characteristics that I consider
as the First Phase of success. Here are some of the positive
things that we have gained:
- Bowling discipline: Not that we have 4 or 5 world-class ?fasties? or ?spinnies?, but this department works tightly and with high enthusiasm. We have quite a few promising youngsters waiting in queue. This squad we have is often wobbling the opponents!
- Fielding: Everyone has already praised this aspect of the team. This team sometimes fields like real tigers!
- Team Spirit: A much-improved team discipline and spirit. This is accompanied by a rapdily increasing will to achieve victory.
Now this is all Good news, but there is Bad
What about our Batting??
The answer to this question reveals all sorts of bad news as ?We are
still performing horribly?! Notably:
- The opening-pair crisis seems everlasting!
- The top-order has been repeating its horrible mistakes over and over again!
- Each and every potential specialist batsmen in our team seems to
be completely unable to achieve consistency!
- Unfortunately, the advantage of having a much better late-order batting ability is not having any influence on the top-order batsmen?s confidence!
- The understanding between batsmen is so very poor!
- The up and down struggles of the team seem to affect the temperament of our batsmen very deeply and this makes them succumb to the pressure of the match circumstances quite easily.
These extraordinary batting issues makes me believe that the primary Second Phase target should be to improve the depth of our batting! I contend that, at the end of the day, cricket is a batsman?s game! The quality of the whole game depends so much on the standard of batting alone. For example, we find more great batsmen than great bowlers in the ?All Time Greats? lists of world cricket. Even during a match, a team?s innings is the one in which it bats, not the one in which it bowls!
I am not na?ve enough to demand overnight success of the team. Instead, I would like to say that after the initial standards that we have achieved in all other departments, it is time we start working on the Batting aspects immediately. This is a fairly sophisticated goal. For surely batting well is not only the most vital thing, it is also the toughest!! Reaching satisfactory standards in batting alone may take as much time as it took us to reach our current standards in all other aspects of the game combined. Let us hope that our team-management and the BCB take steps to relieve all the ?Tiger-supporters? from the frustration of watching the team bat recklessly. Because with the current batting standard in the squad, the Bangladesh team will only win a game when the opposition bats horribly!