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The Day 5 of Bangladesh's inaugural test match is going on. Bangladesh is all out for only 255 runs, the lower order batsman could add only 10 runs to the overnight total.

This Is Only The Beginning!

Published: 25th October, 2003


The Day 5 of Bangladesh's inaugural test match is going on. Bangladesh is all out for only 255 runs, the lower order batsman could add only 10 runs to the overnight total.

From the looks of things, it seems that Bangladesh will eventually lose this test match. But count on one thing - this is only the beginning. The last test match at Multan, Pakistan may have come from nowhere - although there were the Dave Whatmore and the Australia tour factors behind it, but from this test match, it is clear evident that Bangladesh wants to win, and wants to win badly.

But, there were still five or six things that the players need to work on, which they certainly have not worked hard for before the start of this test match.

Firstly, like in the Multan test, the specialist bowlers of Bangladesh do not have many ideas as to how to get a tail ender out - quickly. We have seen it in Multan test - a specialist batsman Inzamam - Ul - Haq was helped by three tail enders to get their win by first wicket against us. Now in this test match, Mathew Hoggard came in and blocked every ball that he could. So it is turning out to be a habit - we just seem not able to get the lower order batsman out who just blocks and blocks the ball.

Secondly, our specialist batsman think whether consciously or unconsciously, that their job is done when they reach their fifties. Time and again, both in test cricket and one day cricket, how many players have we seen who have reached their fifties and then gets out quickly afterwards? The fact that we have observed only six centuries (Mehrab Hossain, Aminul Islam, Mohammad Ashraful, Habibul Bashar(2), Javed Omar Belim in total in 50 test innings (25 test matches) and 79 One Day innings proves this.

Aminul Islam rightly said on Day Four of this test match durng the tea break on BTV that Bangladesh will not be able to win a test match unless the batsman start scoring hundreds and hundred and fifties in tests.

Since Bangladesh's first ever test match against India, there is a revolution in Bangladesh cricket - among the batsman to have a proper technique and patience first and then to be a stroke-maker. This revolution has certainly worked on the players who bat in the top or in the middle order.

But such a revolution did not influence the batting of the specialist bowlers. If a bowler comes to bat at number ten or nine, then he may not need batting techniques or patience. But when somebody like Khaled Mahmud or Mohammad Rafique, who are well-renouned for their all-round abilities, come to bat at number eight and nine, then it surely influences on a team's total.

The another thing that the coach and the players need to work on is the catching practice, especially during a test match. It is the universal truth that 'catches win matches'. Over the years, dropped catches particularly at the slip area is a very discouraging thing to watch. This is a major area of concern for one day cricket as well. The thing is that the attempts are there to take those brilliant catches, but it is just not happening.

There is also the little fact that most of the time the wicket keeper, the slip fielders stand way behind the stumps to take a catch than they should. Which usually resulted in catches being dropped short off the fielder or the keeper.

There are so many limitations, so many poor shots by the players and so many catch drops that it just does not feel right to win this test match. But we hope that coach Dave Whatmore and the Bangladesh players will be able to overcome all these limitations some day and get that special win soon.


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