Another Series White Wash In Test Is Expected
As predicted, white washing visiting Zimbabwe in the ODI series was easier than a cake walk even for a Bangladesh team depleted from unavailability of two key players Tamim and Shakib.
The series was also won comprehensively without major contributions from other three of the formidable five Mashrafe, Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah also. The third ODI was also won brilliantly even without two match winning bowlers Mustafiz and Mehedi.
Winning any series and white washing any ICC full member team is definitely an achievement. But this Zimbabwean team is so weak that it would have struggled defeating any leading club team of Bangladesh. Hence white washing them in ODI series must not make Bangladesh complacent.
Now beyond the Test series, Bangladesh should look into the prospect of the next series against West Indies. They next series may not be as easy as that against Zimbabwe. West Indies white washed Bangladesh comprehensively in Test series at home though they lost ODI and T20I series subsequently.
In the ongoing series against strong India they are proving to be a tough competitor. They have some skilled fast bowlers, much better spinners and skillful batsmen. Hope Tamim and Shakib would be available to play by then. That will further boost the strength as some weak links have been tested in the immediate past series.
Mahmudullah (capt), Imrul Kayes, Litton Das, Mominul Haque, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Ariful Haque, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taijul Islam, Abu Jayed, Shafiul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Mohammad Mithun, Khaled Ahmed, Nazmul Islam
Without taking away any credit from Bangladesh it should also not forgotten that those two Tests were played on wickets for which Bangladesh earned disrepute. That type of Hathurusingha prescribed wickets were disgrace and must not be prepared again if Bangladesh want to mature in Test cricket.
Bangladesh do not possess a strong balanced attack. Preparing sporting wickets providing opportunities to both batsmen and bowlers should be the strategy.
Mahmudullah is the right choice for leading the team in absence of regular captain Shakib. The BCB selected squad has raised few genuine questions. Test cricket requires different brand of cricketers technically more astute and have proven track records of playing consistently well in the longer version of cricket.
For that matter Nazmul Shanto and Ariful Haque cannot be preferred over Tushar Imran and Naeem Islam scoring tons of runs in domestic cricket over the years. Bangladesh have to prepare well for the upcoming series against stronger West Indies. There could be no better opportunity to Test two proven performers of Bangladesh domestic cricket in the Test series against Zimbabwe.
Nazmul Hossain Shanto and Ariful were in the ODI squad. Shanto did not play in any ODI match. Ariful was included in the last ODI where he was not required to bat. Soumya forced his way in the third ODI and proved strongly that ignoring changing and chopping him from the team in the recent past was not justified.
In absence of Tamim, Litton and Kayes will open the innings and talented Mominul would come at number three. We do not believe Mominul has been treated well by the team management. He possesses all the skills and temperament for an ideal number three batsman in all format. But biased and arrogant Hathurusingha plotted against him and his morale has been put to test by BCB think tank. Hope he proves himself yet again in Test.
Mohammad Mithun and Nazmul Hossain Shanto is not yet Test materials. They should be given more time to mature. In any case Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah would be automatic choice for number four and five. If Tushar was included he could bat at five with Mahmudullah at six and Soumya Sarkar at seven.
Soumya is not in the team though. Taijul, Mehedi Miraz, Shafiul and Mustafiz would make the ideal playing XI.
Tushar Imran is a prolific batsman in domestic cricket and is the only player scoring over 11000 first class runs. Test players mature with age.
The Test series is being played at home. It is a willful mistake, a crime. We believe ignoring well deserved Tushar Imran is not a justice done. We are not sure that pace attack has also been correctly picked. Rubel was not fit during the first two ODIs. He was not picked for the third. He needs match practice. He could play Tests.
Why not Ebadat included ahead of Khaled Mahmud? We do not know who rules the roost in team selection. Rumors are ripe that BCB selectors are heavily dictated by a vested quarter and are used as rubber stamps only. We still hope that Tushar would be given an opportunity in the second Test in Dhaka if performance is the criteria for team selection. A person scoring century regularly in domestic cricket must not have any issue with fitness.
Anyway against this very pathetic Zimbabwean team Bangladesh must not have a huge problem white washing them in the Test series. The bowling attack is poor. Some batsmen are good for 40- 50 runs but cannot kick on. Some of them know Bangladesh conditions well. But they must not cause big worries for Bangladesh.