It's 2:30 AM Bangladesh time. A thunderstorm rages on outside and power has
just come back after a nerve-wracking 8 minute outage. My Argentine team/room-mate
is snoring away, and there I am, hunched in front of the TV, in a Cox's Bazar
IB (Inspection Bungalow), watching a certain Habibul Bashar out-Caribbean the
Here is my take on the 1st day of the 1st Test between Bangladesh and the West
- Bashar remains the one batsmen on our side who is not cowered by opponents
and can put the bad ball away. Through out the day, our other batsmen struggled
on that aspect - witness the number of Sarwan full-tosses which should have
been dispatched but wasn't. Perhaps if we had taken advantage of those, Lara
wouldn't have felt confident about putting so many close-in fielders.
- Bashar is Bangladesh's Shewag. He cannot help but go after the ball. Therefore
the Bangladesh team badly need a Dravid. Someone who can be the Wall, but
can play all the strokes. Rajin tried today, but from the day's observations,
he is not someone who can dominate an attack as Rahul is capable of - stick
around like a limpet Rajin can, maybe but dominate no. Rajin would be well
served watching Rohan Kanhai videos - Rohan was, like Rajin a small-statured
batsmen, with a high-elbow stance, but one who learned to be effective pulling
- One wonders how heavy are the bats that Bangladesh batsmen use. Way too
many on-drives or firm pushes, that were otherwise well timed and coming off
fast bowlers, struggled to reach the boundary. Yet when you see a Tendulkar
or Hayden play the same stroke - which is essentially a finesse one - the
ball races away. (This staking into account the fact that the outfield may
have been slow).
- Tied to point number 3, Bangladesh really needs a couple of burly batsmen
ala Akram or Atahar in the side: Batsmen who can bludgeon the ball down the
ground and not always have to shuffle across to play onside strokes that uses
the pace off the bowler. Throughout the 1st day, there were only 4-5 booming,
lofted straight drives, and two came from Rafique and Faisal (one would be
hard-pressed to call Mr. Dickens well-built).
There is so many reasons for wanting batsmen who can drive hard but one that
is pertinent to Bangladeshi cause is that, with our Batsmen's faulty shot
selections at least if we whack the ball hard enough, the edges will go over
or through the close catchers.
- Speaking of faulty shot selection, Ashraful needs some Ritalin so he doesn't
loose concentration once every hour. Without fail Ashraful seemed to attempt
at least one ludicrous shot every 60 minutes. Witness the attempted sweep
to a Sarwan leg break that - like so many others - had pitched well outside
the off stump. Staying with Ashraful, I really hope he bought a lottery ticket
yesterday. I don't know which side of the bed he woke up from, but he should
make sure to use the same side tomorrow, and then with the 3 lives he was
given, he better get a century. On the flip side, if I were Rajin, I'd stay
away from the hotel casino tonight after his freakish dismissal (Anyway, Rajin
seems the namaji type so he probably doesn't gamble)
- Mushfique & Pilot really should have done better. Two experienced campaigners
like them, letting the pressure get to them like that? That too against part-time
bowlers? If only Rana had played instead of Mushfique. (rear-vision is always
- 300 is an attainable target and 350 not beyond our dreams. As was pointed
out in the Day one Verdict article, Ashraful has strike tomorrow; the ball
is still fairly new too. This current Windies attack only gets the ball to
do stuff when it's new, so the first hour or so tomorrow/today, Ashraful should
guide Rafique and see the shine off. Then target 350. Remember, Baisya has
a test 50 to his name.
- If Windies really dries up the run, then Bangladesh tailenders and Ash should
do a Nasser Hussain and just grind it out until lunch. Attrition is the name
of the game on this pitch, and the longer Bangladesh makes the Windies wait
to bat, the more impatient their Batsmen will be to get going. On this slow
wicket, Rafique and Mushfique should be able to exploit that.
- Bangladesh batsmen appear to struggle against disciplined, pressure bowling
- big time. Witness, some of our best batting performances came against undisciplined
attacks such as Pakistan and Windies. Against professional bunches such as
Aussies or England, we lose the mental war. Our batsmen should really take
a page out of Atahar and Bashar on how to not give a hoot about the other
team's attack. Being arrogant and confidant is good!
- Germaine Lawson's action still looks a little shady to me. There is still
some straightening of his arm when it's at the 3 quarters position.
- These guys are Fast Bowlers? Not one delivery during the day went above
86MPH. Fidel was mostly around low 80s. Tino, high 70s, while Pedro &
Germaine averaged around 70 MPH. Even with a slow pitch, at least the yorkers
and stuff should have reached 90 MPH.
- This attack will be dangerous in Sabena. It's way more bouncy. But then
again these guys, as aforementioned, lack any kind of discipline. With proper
shot selection they can be mastered. Again, the strokeless wonder Mr. Hussain
must be mentioned. All Bangladesh batsmen should be made to watch videos of
him batting against them earlier this season