Do or die for Bangladesh

Today Bangladesh will appear in the second and the last test against Zimbabwe in a do or die situation. Win you level the series, lose you get white washed, drew you lose the series. Nothing can be more humiliating getting white washed or even losing a series and that too at home against a team whom only a few days ago Bangladesh comprehensively white washed in ODI series. [লাইভ স্কোর পেতে এখানে ক্লিক করুন]

Bangladesh players in delights after a fall of wicket
Bangladesh will look to win the second Test and avoid whitewash.

There has been enough post mortem of the lost match at Sylhet International Cricket stadium. Perhaps team management realizes by now what went wrong with the strategy, game plan and team selection. Hope the team has learnt bitter lesson. No one can alter what has happened. Deep in my heart I do believe Bangladesh has quality, resources and capabilities to bounce back and win the test. But to translate that believe into reality there must be horses for the courses and horses must run the race perfectly when it matters.

We hope everyone agrees Bangladesh did not select the right team for the first test. It is not sure what had driven them selecting an under resourced team . We are not sure whether selectors did it on their own or dictated? We know they were handicapped with Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan not match fit for the test and Mustafizur Rahman not hundred percent. Yet appearing with one pacers despite of having four in the squad was a wrong vision.

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Absence of Tamim and Shakib in the top order creates imbalance. To overcome this an experienced top order batsman could be ideal. There is a popular demand for giving prolific Tushar Imran an opportunity. How could Nazmul Hossain Shanto be given opportunity ahead of Tushar? Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Mithun could even be better choice. Inclusion of Shanto and playing him ahead of Mushfiqur Rahim unsettled the batting order.

Neither Shanto performed nor could Mushfiqur deliver out of his original position at four. Hope this puzzle would be solved today. If the team management has taken a vow that they would not recognize commendable performance of Tushar Imran or any other player in domestic cricket we can not change that mind set.

In that case much better performing at international level Mohammad Mithun must be given opportunity letting him bat at number five. We have no issue with Imrul Kayes, Liton Das and Mominul Haque playing in the original position . Hope the have come over the trauma of pathetic batting at Sylhet. Mushfiqur must bat at his favorite position of number four.

Mahmudullah Riyad would come at number six. Seven and eight can go to Ariful Haque and Mehedi Hasan Miraz. Among the ruins in Sylhet Ariful Haque looked gutsy and if he gets some freedom of playing freely he will only grow in confidence from here on.

Mehedi Hasan Miraz is a quality batsman. But under so much pressure of performing with the ball he is losing a stint. with his batting. Inclusion of Mustafiz will let Nazmul Hasan Opu sitting out the test as Taijul Islam will lead the led attack with Miraz. I think Khaled should be given an opportunity to see whether with raw pace he can unsettle the Zimbabwe top order. His pace coupled with Musfiz cutters may prove effective against not too deep batting Zimbabwe. We found if Bangladesh can get Masakdaza and Williams early the only other batsmen to deal with are Moore and Sikandar Raza whom spinners can take care off.

The bottom line is Bangladesh must bat well scoring about 350 -400 runs in the first innings against not so difficult bowling of the visitors. Jarvis and Chatara are not demon bowlers and there is no reason why our batsmen cannot decode Mavuta having played Rashid Khan and Mujib so well in Asia cup. If batsmen can bat to their potential Mustafiz included bowling attack can go for win and win easy.  Openers must not hurry and top order must not panic. Mushfiq and Mahmudullah as senior pros must shoulder the team . I am sure Mominul will play differently in this test. Batting must rotate around them.

Today few other events would dominate media for sure. Cricket icons Mahrafe Bin Mortaza and Shakib Al Hasan would formally express their intent for joining active politics. As citizen of a democratic country everyone has rights to join politics, go for election. Mashrafe and Shakib are competent citizen. No one should have any reservation about that.

There is nothing such anywhere that active cricketers can not get involved in politics. They re the most popular sports personality having millions of followers. But apart from that all eyes would be glued to electronic media and ears would be open to radio waves listening to injured tigers chasing Zimbabweans for a sweet revenge. Hope tigers tweet. Best wishes Bangladesh.

-Saleque Sufi


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