Unprepared Bangladesh Risking Kiwi flamboyance
Completely unprepared Bangladesh Cricket team is going to New Zealand for ODI and Test series. None of the players had any exposure to longer version cricket over the past several weeks.
BPL type T20 series dominated by international players on low slow wickets of even bounce can not prepare any international player for much seaming and swinging conditions of New Zealand against some fearsome pace bowling attack of the New Zealand.
Moreover, Bangladesh had a disastrous tour last time getting comprehensively whitewashed in all formats. New Zealand on the other hand had two tougher opponents Pakistan and India to encounter in the recent past in UAE on tour and at home. Even formidable India was stretched to their limits.
Even in BPL other than Tamim and Mushfiqur, none of the main batsmen were in any short of form. Main bowlers Mashrafe, Shakib, Mustafiz, and Rubel however bowled well. Yet they need to adjust in changed conditions.
Bangladesh has to play three ODIs on 13, 16 and 20 February. 8 Players have reached New Zealand and rest will be reaching early tomorrow. Bangladesh will struggle fielding even a playing eleven for the only warm up match scheduled for 10 February.
This series is going to the last bilateral ODI series that Bangladesh would play before the ICC World Cup in May. Any reverse in the series will dampen the spirit of the team.
Wonder why BCB could not plan better? Wonder how much BPL contribute towards the quality of Bangladesh Cricket. Bangladesh cricket has not attained the pinnacle of professionalism that the team can adjust quickly with any condition. In such situation we can only pity the decision of BCB.
Bangladesh ODI Squad:
Mashrafe Mortaza(c), Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Litton Das, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rahman, Mehidy Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Nayeem Hasan, Shafiul Islam
The only chance Bangladesh has is competing well in ODI. The main concern is batting. None of two probable partner of Tamim was in any sort of form in BPL. Soumya and Litton both struggled. Imrul was in imperious form against Zimbabwe at home. He did not look at all bad in BPL .Yet he was overlooked.
Sabbir playing one good innings was included before completing his suspension term in controversial manner. Against red hot form of Trent Boult, Tim Southee and co, Bangladesh batting may struggle. Hope team management will tutor their charge analyzing the video footage of the recent India New Zealand.
Bangladesh must score 250-280 in every match to make these competitive. it will be again left to Tamim, Shakib, Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah doing bulk of the batting. We are not sure that Mithun, Soumya or Litton can adjust quickly in different condition of New Zealand so quick.
If recent form is yardstick for selection why not Mosaddek and Kayes not included in the team? Mashrafe, Mustafiz and Rubel will like bowling friendly conditions. Shakib and Miraz should bowl well if they can adjust quickly.
Taskin was in great form in BPL. But unfortunately he got injured and was replaced by Shafiul. Hope he bowls well. The bowling condition will suit his type of bowling.
We understand BPL was re scheduled given that national election was held in December 2018. Bangladesh desperately required extensive practice for the New Zealand series.
Bangladesh Test Squad:
Shakib Al Hasan(c), Mahmudullah, Tamim Iqbal, Shadman Islam, Mominul Haque, Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim, Litton Das, Mehidy Hasan, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Abu Jayed, Khaled Ahmed, Nayeem Hasan, Ebadat Hossain
All teams including India, Australia, South Africa, and England struggle playing Tests against New Zealand in New Zealand. Bangladesh is not expected to match New Zealand also in testing conditions. Yet scheduling the ODI series before Test will give time to players common in both squads to adjust with conditions.
Special arrangement has been made for practice of players not in ODI squad. I think that is a smart decision. Khaled and Ebadat are expected to bowl well alongside Mustafiz and Jayed in Test.
I am not sure Bangladesh afford playing three pacers. Rather Shakib, Mehedi and Taijul will be in Test squad. There may be temptation for playing Nayeem as well. It will be a success if Bangladesh manages drawing a Test or two and avoid white wash.
Anyway we must not expect miracle happening and at the same time we must not stop dreaming as well. But my concern is why BCB let Tigers go unprepared. Will they become lamb in the slaughter house?