Saturday, January 19, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, January 01, 2003
As Usual

F Waliullah
Bangladesh's home test series against South Africa has started today. Although the team spirit went up for Bangladesh in the Triangular series of TVS cup, but it did not show much at the beginning of the first test match. But the Day One proved one thing and that is our best top order batsman are Javed Omar and Habibul Bashar - there is no question about it.

Habibul Bashar scored a fifty today - his 10th test match fifty after a long time. It was the top individual score among all the batsman as well. His 83 run partnership with Javed Omar promised a lot, but in the end it turned out to be the only major partnership in the end. As nobody else could really manage to stick around for a while as well as score runs.

Some of the team's basic things were lacking - as shown by the TV commentators - like throwing to the bowler's end instead of the keeper's end. Mohammad Ashraful seemed to be too cautious at his approach. Akram Khan looks like somebody who is still struggling to get runs. But the shocker was when Alok Kapali was out for naught. A lot was expected off him.

With the cyclones and storms coming in, and electricity troubling all over the Dhaka city, it seems that the heat has also affected the team's performance. Compared to that, the end result was as usual - 173 runs all out. Tapash Baisya came in at number nine instead of his usual number ten position, but one wonders why Tapash Baisya should bat at number nine when there is somebody experienced like Enamul Haque. But that did not matter much as both Tapash and Enamul Haque had perished quickly.

The test debutant Mohammad Selim batted well, and also kept well - it was actually a team effort to score 173 that did not force the team or the fans to remember the names of Khaled Mashud or the recent test openers Hannan Sarkar and Al Shahriar too much, even though their recent test average is pretty good just over twenties.

This is good in a way that we are not missing experienced players like Khaled Mashud too much against a strong side like South Africa. But it is also discomforting to acknowledge the fact that our top national players do not have the quality at this level for everybody to be missed. When the 9th wicket had fallen, Bangladesh's score was around 144 runs, but it is good to know that somebody like Mashrafee Bin Murtoza coming in at number eleven can play shots to take the score to the 170s mark.

In the bowling department, it was Mashrafee again who was not doing much as well as he was doing with the bat. He was not bending his back enough to lift the short balls upto the batsmans' eye-line. And he was also not bowling as fast and as well as Tapash Baisya. But once Tapash got the wicket of the South African captain Smith through a poor shot by the batsman, Mashrafee started to bend his back and also got the reward by taking the wicket of Harchelle Gibbs.

Gibbs has not been looking too comfortable in this part of the world this time around, neverthelesss, he is a good batsman to get out early. Khaled Mahmud the captain did not score much with the bat, he is also not bowling well to take wickets, but he has certainly been bowling economically to stop batsman from scoring at one end. This tactics is going to be alright for the two new batsman, but it remains to be seen what he can do with the ball when the batsman are well set and are scoring freely.

One of the basic things that the commentators mentioned again that was lacking was regarding bowling which bowler at which end. But since the captain is a new captain and has not been around for a while longer, so his faults are negligible for now. But if he does not use the spinners well tomorrow on Day Two, then everybody will have a tough job at their hands.