Saturday, January 19, 2019
Updated: Saturday, July 24, 2004
How can we perform better?

Mahmudul Huq Khan

I, like many others, have blamed our batting in most matches. To be honest our top order batting continues to fail consistently. That should be no mean worry for our team management. The law of averages has also failed in their case. Particularly, for ODIs it seems to be one-way traffic.

In spite of being 31 for 4, we ended up with 190. That is far short of being a good total. We cannot win matches with that kind of total on sub-continental pitches. However, that is not an embarrassing score by any stretch of imagination. Just for reference sake, India scored 183 and defended that in the 1983 World Cup final against West Indies. No one expected us to win against Sri Lanka after scoring 190. But what is beyond comprehension is why could our bowlers not even get a single wicket in this game? Were there not a single chance?

Mashrafe in action...
Some people say that our bowling attack would be much stronger once Mashrafe comes back...

Some people say that our bowling attack would be much stronger once Mashrafe comes back. He is one of the best that we have, but comebacks are not necessarily easy. It puts a lot of pressure on the player concerned. So we have to give him time to get his rhythm back. What about the ones that are playing now? Rafique seems to have lost the bite. He and Tapash were not too expensive, but they need to take wickets. Was their line and length not right? Do they not have variety? What is wrong?

I am not here to blame the bowlers. I have lost my words to write about our top order batsmen. Bashar and Rajin have been failing miserably and putting a lot of pressure on the #5 and 6 batsmen. Can we not expect the batting to click at least for once in this tournament (Asia Cup)? It is too pathetic and demoralizing for us to endure this scenario every single time. Our players are lucky that the supporters are not doing destructive things like some other team supporters do. I do not even approve of that, but there is enough reason for us to be upset. A lot of us have been more understanding and advocated for more time. Yes, but how much more. The ?lack of experience? line is no longer valid. More so, because, we are really not expecting much.

The next point is if this really is our maximum potential. May be our players cannot be expected to do much better and it is us - the fans - who are living in a make-believe world? Our team is like the 4th boy in this class of 4. We cannot expect the 4th boy to suddenly become the 1st boy, but we can expect the 4th boy to do better in Math (say, top order batting) and Language (say, bowling) with each passing exam. And may be slowly the 4th boy will one day become the 3rd boy.

The answer to our problems is not to play teams of lower standing such as Canada, UAE and others. I hope people who are saying these are doing so out of frustration and do not really mean it. If we fall into that trap of winning no matter against whom, it would take our cricket back many years. Nor does it make any sense, to me at least, to hear that we can win the next 2 games (as was said before the Sri Lanka match). People obviously will differ from my opinion, but I do not believe in making unrealistic comments. That makes us laughable. If one day, we do win a match against a test team, it will be recognized, irrespective of what we predicted earlier.

What else is left for us to do. Praying? I guess some of us are also doing that.

Dated: July 24, 2004.