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
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.
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
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.