Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Updated: Thursday, July 29, 2004
Major Changes to Team Unlikely?

Rafiq Ahmed

Despite calls for massive team reshuffling as the Asian Cup comes to an end, dropping a significant number of these players may not help. In fact we have achieved steady improvement over the last year when some of the chopping and changing stopped and a core group of players were selected.

I think they will stay with the same core, even including the Notorious Chacha, and add at most a couple of new faces for the next tour. Likely an allrounder (Nadif?), a new batsman and maybe Mashrafee returns.

Rajin had looked out of sorts earlier in the tournament but was a different man today and was really looking set when he got out. I don't think he will be dropped.

Alok is just out of form and any absence from the team will only be temporary - he is technically superior to most of these batsmen, and is just making the wrong decisions.

Left arm spinners become too predictable

Left arm spinners become too predictable

I would rather see Faisal getting dropped. For all the hoopla surrounding his inclusion in the team, he has shown nothing to indicate he deserves a place. His footwork is non-existent, and on Dhaka pitches that's OK because I suppose you can just stand there and clobber the ball. In fact footwork is sorely mising from most of the top-order batsmen, leaving one to wonder why they chose this profession if they cannot learn one of the fundamentals skills required to be good at it.

On the bowling front, Tapash's lack of wickets belies the trouble he causes in the first few overs. He gets tired after 4-5 overs, however, so it could be that Bashar is bowling him too long in the opening spell for want of a good change bowler. This problem rectifies itself with the return of a genuine strike bowler to the lineup. I am not sure our spinners are all that effective as they don't have enough variation - 2-3 left arm spinners together makes the attack too predictable and, and these days there is more pace than spin from the likes of Rafique. We need to figure out how to improve in that department as well.

We do have some positives to be taken away: Javed Omar's return to form, in the ODI format no less, and with Ashraful finally clicking in the opener role (except today's sorry innings), maybe there will be no further changes in the opening lineup for now. And Razzak Raj has been a solid find.

At the end of the day, no one expected Bangladesh to win the major matches but it would have been nice to see more life out of the team. My guess is they are playing too much cricket, and the top order's consistent failures may be now dragging the entire team down. At a very minimum, more time needs to be spent on facing quality bowling, batting technique and better game strategies to deal with the adversity that inevitably happens to our batting.

The author is a distinguished member and staff of banglacricket forum and goes by the nick "rafiq" - editors