Plenty of accolades, pats in the back and the usual ?could
have beens? are proliferating, but at the end of the day we were left
with a 0-3 whitewash. As loyal fans of our cricket, we swallow it, take a deep
breath and pick up the pieces. The top order batting failure seems to make up
most of those ?broken pieces? and remains the main cause of our demise.
Disturbingly, deeper problems with the mindset of our ?star?
players seems to be bothering
Whatmore. Let?s hope these nagging problems can be sorted out real
soon. After all, the team has plenty of help and with the latest technical tools
at hand, such as the ?Matrix? among others, we sincerely hope is
that the management and the selectors will analyze and come up with viable solutions.
Now, how about having a stab at a letter grade report card for
our boys? Real simple, A through F. It?s based on observations, statistics
of the series, and of course, personal opinions. The tour is not over and so
we?ve added some ?recommendations? too. Dig in!
An unsung hero for Bangladesh, he has always been in the shadows of other
more illustrious players. He gave his heart out and richly deserved his haul
of 6 wickets with some very intelligent bowling. Most importantly, he has
made conscious efforts in limiting the number of wides that had afflicted
his performance on earlier occasions.
All he needs to do is generate more pace and he is well on his way to become
a permanent fixture of the team. Even better, if he could develop a doosra (we use this term loosely, a cutter would be a better term, but the doosra has an air of mystery to it),
a customized mystery ball of his own that would not require a lot of speed
to be effective.
Khaled Mashud Pilot
Stellar performance behind the stumps, solid batting and an ebullient personality
that always encourages his teammates. Considering his current form, a deserving
A+. This man has been a stalwart and will remain so.
Definitely a keeper. No pun intended. To really make a difference for Bangladesh
he needs to devise a strategy together with our think tank about ways to raise
his batting averages. At times he tends to slip off his tried and tested means
to score runs. That is fine but he has good years ahead of him and a personalized
batting coach would be a much-needed bonus for the team.
Manjural Islam Rana
He had an outstanding performance with both ball and bat except for the third
ODI where he was unable to accelerate when the team needed his contributions.
This may have been more a team management fault than his since he is not known
as a slog-hitter. Would have been an A+ had it not been for dropping two sitters.
Definitely a regular face in the team but the management could try to groom
him for more of a leadership role. However, doubts remain as to whether he
is a natural opener and he may well be suited lower down the order.
This series has not been a particularly happy outing for Rafique with the
ball, emerging wicket less after the series. But on the other hand he did
very well with the bat especially in the first ODI. That 42 run unbroken partnership
with Mashud brought about a respectable and defensible (on hindsight) score
after the team was tottering at 82 for 8. Even though he did not get a single
wicket, he does share the lowest economy rate of 3.5 with Rana and troubled
the WI batsmen often.
Rafique and Pilot gave us a glimpse of a good low order batting partnership.
Having seen the top order collapse, it would be prudent to leave these 2 batsmen
adjacent to each other. Rafique could be moved up a notch in the one-dayers.
With regards to his bowling, which is crucial for the team, he needs to muster
more agression to match WI conditions. Intelligent variations in the third
ODI did magic to contain the opponent but we want to see more wickets in the
We only saw him in one game, the rain-curtailed 25 over 3rd ODI. He did what
he was sent in for, upping the run-rate with rapid-fire 16 ball 17 with 2
outstanding hits to the fence. And it helps to hear encouraging words from
the coach, such as the now famous, ?finger
on the pulse of the game? remark.
Given his current form, he should be a given more opportunities. The next
games are longer version; he should be tested in the practice match before
seriously considering for the Tests, as his full abilities were likely not
exposed in just one ODI.
Mushfiqur Rahman Babu
Mushfiq's physique and prowess in the field has been impressive. His composed
catch of Sarwan was probably the most crucial blow to the Windies in that
first match that handed the tigers a psychological advantage. In the first
ODI he stalled the Windies attack by hanging on for 54 minutes and stabilizing
the innings with a valuable 13.
His experience and temperament is more suited to the test game and it is there
that we will expect to see his real contributions. Again, he is another veteran
that could do with some one day batting coaching. In the overall team picture,
once Masri returns, he will easily be the essential third pacer and with some
useful runs he can seal his place in the one-day outfit.
His 36 runs off 55 balls in the 2nd ODI were reassuring. Of all the batsmen,
it is Hannan that is expected to put a damper on the effects of the Windies
attack. Part of the problem lies in the perennial dilemma of finding a reasonably
fast and stable opening pair for the ODIs.
He is another player that feels more at home in the test team. A typical test
batter, his best, hopefully, is yet to be seen.
Rajin demonstrated his steadfastness by producing a middle order salvage operation
together with Ashraful. His bowling came through and took the prized wicket
Keep him in his current batting slot where he should continue to establish
a middle order. A long-term contribution in the ODI team is expected from
him and the think tank should start grooming him in the duties of a one-day
captain. Here is one guy, we think should seriously focus on improving his
batting, and not think of himself as a bowler. He has the right height, power,
and concentration for a good batsman.
Khaled Mahmud Sujon
One good performance with the ball in the first ODI does not have a too positive
impact on his overall grade. In the team as an all-rounder, his batting has
not been something to write home about. He was unable to up the tempo in the
slog overs in the 2 rain-curtailed games and was very expensive with wayward
bowling in the 3rd ODI. The man deserves some credit for his enthusiasm and
fielding, hence the +.
His time has passed and the team needs that position filled with a handier
all-rounder. Faisal Hossain, Tarek or Razzak Raj seem to be current contenders
but the drama may not be over yet for Mahmud as we may yet see him in another
Ashraful is still reestablishing his batting credentials in the team. The
shift in his batting positions in the current ODI series may have slightly
put him off in his path.
He needs a stable position and especially if he is to be a permanent feature
of the test team. His main obstacle seems to be his mind, his most outstanding
characteristics being his inconsistency. If he is able to tame those shortcomings,
we see the makings of possibly an international star. Above all, it is his
youth and repeated inconsistencies in the field that would warrant a few more
years of handholding.
Habibul Bashar Sumon
He was a failure with the bat in the first two ODIs and got out to a couple
of atrocious shots, either playing across the line or hooking. In the first
ODI, his pre-meditated swipe that got him out was simply horrible. He kind
of redeemed himself in the 3rd ODI. His on-field captaincy decisions leave
something to be desired further affecting his grade. Giving the ball to Rajin
Saleh in the first ODI when the West Indies had 1 wicket left, and the batting
order selection in the second were dubious decisions.
Needless to say, he needs to consider the team position before he tries to
bat in his usual aggressive style. The third ODI was reassuring but he definitely
needs to work on his proclivity for the hook shots and annoying habit of too
many early dismissals.
This poor man has had a horrible series and is going through a very lean patch.
There is no one thing one can identify as to what may be wrong here.
He needs to be rested but the think tank might have other plans.
Shahriar Hossain Bidyut
This has been a rather horrible series for him; ducks in the practice match
and ducks in the first ODI. Nothing more needs to be said.
Bidyut needs to work on facing the pace bowlers and coming up with an effective
way to deal with fiery pacers in the first few overs. He got out by edge and
slip catches when more was expected. He, however, should be included at least
in one of the tests, since we will face plenty of pace attack. He usually
reads the fast ball very well. He was never shy to take on the aggression
of the bowler. He needs to do it patiently. Once he is set, he can easily
contribute 60-70 runs. Press reports are indicating that he is on the way
home after having been injured after the second ODI so we will have to wait
to see him in Tests.
- The ODI
series is over and the best thing that Dav and the think tank can do now is
to cook up some sensible plans for the tests. The strategy of going for a
result and hopefully a win should be kept.
- The Windies
weakness for spin should be further probed and an Enamul/Rana combination
should be put to test in the matches.
may prove to be indispensable in both the Tests but he may need a partner
in Tarek to form a semblence of pace in the team.
- As Lara
is back, we should think of whom in our seamer category is the most likely
to achieve success. I would try Mushfiq and Tapash and build a strategy around
them to get Lara out. Lara gets impatiant with outside off stump deliveries
and often gifts catches. It will be no use to try contain him.
The Bangladesh cricket team is on an upward learning curve at
the moment. Although it is not a steep improvement curve, it is still a curve
and it is going up. A Cricinfo? article recently pointed out the improvements
under Dav Whatmore, poignantly backed up by hard numbers. From time to time,
we at BanglaCricket will also evaluate our team?s performance. We will
grade them and will issue report cards for our fans. On one fine day, all of
our cricketers will pass with flying colors, and on those special occasions
we promise an ?A? grade for all of the boys. Yes, you all get an
?A?, for every time the team scores a win. Now, study hard, and
Brought to you by GM Bashar, M Billah and Z Kazi.
Bangladesh Batting and Fielding
Name Mat I NO Runs HS Ave SR
Manjural Islam Rana 3 3 2 40 33* 40.00 74.07
Khaled Mashud 3 2 1 39 30* 39.00 45.88
Hannan Sarkar 2 2 0 40 36 20.00 58.82
Faisal Hossain 1 1 0 17 17 17.00 106.25
Habibul Bashar 3 3 0 44 42 14.66 88.00
Rajin Saleh 3 3 0 38 20 12.66 38.38
Mushfiqur Rahman 3 3 0 35 14 11.66 49.29
Mohammad Ashraful 3 3 0 20 17 6.66 41.66
Alok Kapali 2 2 0 6 5 3.00 20.00
Khaled Mahmud 3 3 0 5 4 1.66 41.66
Shahriar Hossain 1 1 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
Mohammad Rafique 3 2 2 36 32* - 55.38
Tapash Baisya 3 0 - - - - -
Name Mat O M R W Ave Best Econ
Manjural Islam Rana 3 20 2 70 5 14.00 3-21 3.50
Mohammad Rafique 3 19.4 1 69 0 - - 3.50
Khaled Mahmud 3 20 3 78 3 26.00 2-15 3.90
Tapash Baisya 3 16 2 69 6 11.50 4-16 4.31
Mushfiqur Rahman 3 15.1 1 67 2 33.50 1-23 4.41
Alok Kapali 2 3 0 16 0 - - 5.33
Rajin Saleh 3 2 0 11 1 11.00 1-11 5.50