Did Bangladesh take Zimbabwe for granted?
It’s a fact that Bangladesh suffered the humiliating first Test defeat to Zimbabwe mostly because of their disastrous batting. The absence of Shakib, Tamim and Mustafizur was also a key reason. But was that all?
Going by the statements from Bangladesh Test captain Mahmudullah Riyad, it is all but certain that they did not take Zimbabwe as seriously as they should have had. They seemed to take the Zimbabwe for granted, and never had the real hunger and desire to win the game, which led to the shocking defeat.
In his pre-match press conference in Sylhet, Mahmudullah clearly said that they were not much concerned about the imminent match against Zimbabwe, rather their main focus was on the upcoming series against West Indies, who are believed to be Bangladesh’s closest rival in the Test arena at the moment.
Bangladesh won the ODI series quite comfortabvly, with a 3-0 margin. And that gave them huge confidence boost-up. But unfortunately, they missed out on utilizing the confidence the right way. They simply decided to pay no heeds to the Zimbabwe Tests.
Even after not having Shakib and Tamim, two of Bangladesh’s finest performers in this format, and of course in the other two as well, the Tigers did not seem troubled at all. They wanted to go about the matches with full comfort and relaxation.
This was reflected in the squad for the first Test, which missed the name of Mustafizur Rahman, who should have been one of first few names in the team-sheet otherwise. But instead of doing that, the team management opted to preserve the cutter master for the second match, mainly considering his future workload.
The future obviously indicates the West Indies series. But giving too much thought to that, Bangladesh had no time to think about the present. They forgot the glory and significance of playing any Test match, no matter who the opponent is.
There was a time when Bangladesh used to be neglected and ignored by the big teams’ arrogance. Now after winning the ODI series, and also recording some big Test wins at home, Bangladesh also became exactly that arrogant, that they always hated the most. And they got the price with the shameful 151-run hammering.
This should be a wake-up call for the Tigers: Don’t be over-confident, keep your feet on the ground, and play Test cricket in the way it should be played.