Thursday, January 17, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, March 01, 2005
An analysis of Bangladeshi batsmen's test innings

Syed Kamal

Batting consistency in Bangladeshi Batsmen is an issue we all are concerned about for a long time now. We see some improvement in batting performance once in a while, and then it keeps falling behind again. Once in a while a magical individual innings keeps our hopes alive and then we wait for long time to see another. Many times we discussed about the skill, ability, technique and temperament of our batsmen. And also too many times we heard from cricket experts that as far as skill, ability and technique is concerned, our players are good enough to produce competitive scores consistently. But as we all see from the scorecards, ability and skill never matched.

Certainly, skill and ability of our batting side often does not translate into competitive scores. There has always been a difference. How big is the difference? Our players often can?t keep their patience to convert a moderate score into a big one. But actually can they even produce a moderate score? After playing test matches for around 5 years, may be it?s time to actually look at the overall big picture.

In 36 test matches Bangladesh fielded 40 players with a test cap. These 40 players included 18 specialist batsmen; 3 wicket keeper batsman; 3 all rounders (Mahmud, Naimur & Mushfiq); and 16 specialist bowler ( like Manjurul Rana & Rafiq. These 40 players played in a total of 768 individual test innings for Bangladesh. If we categorize these 768 Test Innings into "Score Range", we get the following statistical picture:

Score Range Innings in Score Range % of Total Innings
0 to 9 Runs 390 50.78
10 to 19 Runs 136 17.71
20 to 29 Runs 95 12.37
30 to 39 Runs 48 6.25
40 to 49 Runs 31 4.04
50 to 59 Runs 21 2.73
60 to 69 Runs 15 1.95
70 to 79 Runs 13 1.69
80 to 89 Runs 6 0.78
90 to 99 Runs 3 0.39
100+ Runs 1 1.30
Total: 768 100

It was really unpleasant to see that almost 51% of all test innings played by our players is below 10! And 621 out of 768 test innings are within the 0 to 29 run score range. Which means that almost 81% of all test innings played by our players is below 30! Just DUCK innings account for 133- which is almost 18% of all our test innings. (Note: 15 of those 133 is Not Out "0" innings).

It is natural to see bowlers who will produce low scores and batsmen are expected to score big enough to compensate for those. Sometimes bowlers also chip-in some runs and so eventually produce a highly competitive score for a test side. By including 3 all-rounders, 3 wicketkeepers and 2 batting-capable bowlers, 26 out of our 40 test players could be considered as our batting strength side of the team. Now let us have a look at how these 26 players performed in batting so far:

Score Range Innings in Score Range % of Total Innings
0 to 9 Runs 240 41.52
10 to 19 Runs 115 19.90
20 to 29 Runs 83 14.36
30 to 39 Runs 45 7.79
40 to 49 Runs 29 5.02
50 to 59 Runs 20 3.46
60 to 69 Runs 14 2.42
70 to 79 Runs 13 2.25
80 to 89 Runs 6 1.04
90 to 99 Runs 3 0.52
100+ Runs 10 1.73
Total: 578 100

Still almost 42% are single-digit innings from our batting-strength. 76% of the innings is below 30!

This statistical analysis does not allow us to come to a happy ending. This clearly suggests that the skills and ability of our players fails to match the scorecard so often that it might allow some ?cynical? people to cast doubt about the so called ability and skill itself.

Too many times our batsmen fail to produce even a moderate score. It hurts as our dream is to expect a big ton from them. But the glimpses of glamorous batting we see from our players, even for a short moment, do not allow us to disbelieve in their talent and we do not want be too cynical. We want them to keep these glimpses of batting skills alive longer just to shine a bright torch full of spirit, power and endurance. The sooner they believe in their own skill and ability, the brighter will be our hope to become a stronger cricket nation someday.