Sunday, February 17, 2019
Updated: Sunday, July 25, 2004
Proposal for different Test and ODI teams

Asif Rahman

As it has become quite evident by now, most of our players perform better in tests than in ODIs. The best example is skipper Habibul Bashar, whose ODI average is around 18 - a big contrast to his test average of 35. He has been failing consistently, and it seem he is not very comfortable with the shorter version of the game.

Another example would be Mohammad Rafique. Although he has bagged 50 ODI wickets, one should also consider the number of matches that he has played. As threatening as he is in test matches, he simply is toothless in ODIs; bowling a tight line but not getting wickets, and sometimes leaving the field with expensive bowling figures.
Habibul Bashar, whose ODI average is around 18 - a big contrast to his test average of 35...

When our two best players are having problems coping with the demands of ODIs (and so are others), we might as well try developing separate teams for the two versions of the game.

Currently, however, we do not have many choices. We do not have hard hitters, or batsmen who can cope with the fluctuations in an ODI match by going into and coming out of a shell as required. Neither do we have batsmen who can really improvise on the opponent bowlers and punish even those balls which were not so badly bowled after all. Similarly, do we do not have bowlers who can actually trouble the batsmen with their accuracy, speed, flight and variation.

On several occasions, our players have found themselves in a situation where it has been difficult for them to score. Whereas the opposition batsmen have come in and showed them how easy it was to score quickly on those pitches. The same has been the case for our bowlers. This has been due to the lack of ability as well as application on the part of our players.

What we need right now is a group of players who are actually prepared, mentally, to strip off the opposition. We need people with the correct attitude as well as the aggressive mood that is required to convert the attitude into performance on the field.

Personally, I do not see anything like this coming in the near future. However, there are talented players in the under 19 level. We should look at developing these young guns in a way that is compatible with the demands of modern day ODI cricket.

In the match against Sri Lanka, Wasim Akram, one of the commentators, mentioned that Bangladesh need to bat out the first 15 overs in test style. This is not the way to play ODIs. This is not the way to win matches. I agree that it will save us a couple of wickets and enable us to initiate the fireworks at the end of the 40th over, but when all other nations look to take the advantage of the field restrictions in the first 15 overs, so should we. We desperately need batsmen who can improvise without the risk of getting out.

Therefore, now might be the right time to drop some of our main test players from the ODI team, select and develop players with the capability of playing genuine aggressive ODI cricket.