A new Bangladesh in whites, yet to learn a lot

A new Bangladesh in whites, yet to learn a lot

As we see that Bangladesh have been improving greatly in Test cricket in recent times. The Tigers are certainly sending a huge message to the cricket world. Comparing to Bangladesh Test team 6/7 years ago, this Bangladesh team is completely different. We are seeing a new Bangladesh in Tests.

Before the 2016 England series, Bangladesh had seven victories in 93 games. Five of those wins were against Zimbabwe while two wins were against a weaker West Indies side.

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Things started to change for Bangladesh from last year. The year before, they drew matches against Pakistan, India and South Africa. Bangladesh played a Test in 2016 after a gap of almost 15 months.

The Tigers had three debutants (Sabbir Rahman, Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Kamrul Islam Rabbi) in the first Test against England in Chittagong in October. England were a very strong Test side. Personally, I didn’t believe that Bangladesh would be able to win against them.

But the winning belief came during the Chittagong Test. They fought with England equally even though they came out as a losing side by 21 runs. This match gave them and their fans the belief that Bangladesh can put up a strong fight against big boys in whites.

The dream of many fans came true when Bangladesh got the better of England by 108 runs in the second Test in Dhaka after a magical third session in the third day. Chasing 273, England lost all ten wickets for 64 runs in a single session after being 100/0.

Bangladesh found a new star, a teenage all-rounder Mehidy Hasan Miraz. He took 19 wickets in the series including 12 in Dhaka.

Bangladesh played two Tests in New Zealand in January this year and returned with a whitewash of 0-2. But Shakib Al Hasan (217) and Mushfiqur Rahim’s (159) massive partnership in the first Test was one of the terrific achievements for the Tigers.

Mushfiqur’s men lost their first-ever Test in India, the sole Test. Their next mission was Sri Lanka tour. The Tigers were humiliated in the first Test in Galle but gave a strong reply in the second Test. They became victorious in their 100th Test. After losing four back-to-back Tests, that win gave Bangladesh a huge confidence.

Bangladesh hosted Australia after 11 years in August. The series was threatened by Australia’s pay war. However, an agreement was reached and Steve Smith’s side landed in Bangladesh for two Tests.

Australia’s poor record in Asia, slightly inexperienced side and Bangladesh’s confidence- gave the Tigers belief that they can win against Australia. The first Test in Dhaka was very competitive in which spinners dominated. Tamim Iqbal’s matured knocks, Shakib Al Hasan’s excellency with bat and ball helped Bangladesh taste their Test first victory against the might Aussies by a narrow margin of 20 runs.

Pat Cummins’ early blows in the first day and David Warner’s century looked threatening for Bangladesh. But the spin department of Shakib, Taijul Islam and Miraz managed to bowl Australia out for 244 from 158/2.

In both England and Australia victories, Bangladesh showed that they can win a game from any position.

Bangladesh’s batting and fielding errors have let them down in the second Test in Chittagong and in the end lost by seven wickets. Bangladesh drew their second consecutive Test series, fourth consecutive at home. Bangladesh will be disappointed with their efforts in the Chittagong Test.

A series draw against Australia is also a great achievement. Bangladesh should be proud of their performance and try to work on their mistakes ahead of important South Africa tour, starting from this month.

Bangladesh need a stable batting order and more useful pacers like Mustafizur Rahman to continue to perform well. An overseas tour won’t be easy for this young side. But it will do world of goods for their experience

 

-Ruffin, Correspondent, bdcrictime.com