Winning formula for Bangladesh in Dhaka Test
A unique opportunity has emerged for Bangladesh Cricket team for winning UCB Test Series 2-0 against West Indies. The series whitewash against a team just above Bangladesh in ICC test ranking will mean a lot. [Read also: ঢাকা টেস্টের জন্য বাংলাদেশের সেরা একাদশ]
Winning the first test at Chattogram comfortably Team Tigers is in advantageous position. The test starts tomorrow at Sher-e Bangla National Cricket Stadium (SBNCS). Hope the wickets won’t be batsmen’s graveyard and would last for 5 days at it did in the recent test match between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
The wicket had turn and bounce but also had opportunities for Batsmen for grinding and grafting. Mominul haque and Mushfiqur Rahim played two epic innings. But in Chattogram this time wicket had unprecedented turn and bounce almost from day one and stumps second day became almost unplayable for the batsmen. The match was decided by the second session on day three.
Hope taking lessons from Chattogram test Bangladesh team management has worked out winning formula. The absence of Shannon Gabriel suspended for a test for his unsporting attitude in some way’s comforts Bangladesh. We are not sure whether Raymon Reifer or Paul would replace him.
Neither are as lethal as Gabriel. In any case SBNCS wicket is not express fast. If it is a turning track Bangladesh despite of West Indies having a tramp card Devendra Bishoo has far superior spinning combination. Taijul Islam, Shakib Al Hasan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz and new boy Nayeem Hasan together produces a very lethal spinning unit. In Bangladesh condition they are more than capable of taking 20 test wickets against any batting unit. But for that happening Bangladesh needs vast improvement in own batting. In Chattogram test other than Mominul’s extraordinary batting and the excellent back to the wall performance of Bangladesh later order batsmen in both the innings Bangladesh batting was very ordinary.
West Indies would definitely bounce back in Dhaka. Bangladesh top order needs to change and lot in quality and application, middle order needs showing test character. The test squad has already been announced. Let us work out a winning formula for team tigers. After the test series Bangladesh plays ODI and T20 series where Bangladesh would definitely be far more competitive as Tamim and Mashrafe would also return,
If we look back in retrospect, we find the Chattorgarm wicket was at its best on day one and Bangladesh was distinctly lucky in winning the toss. However, Soumya Sarkar failed once again embracing a dreadful duck. Kemar Roach bowled an extraordinary first spell. But Gabriel was a bit all over the place. Little Master Mominul looked graceful from start on his happy hunting ground. Imrul Kayes lived a charmed life.
However, this pair weathered the initial storm. But a sudden rush of blood caused Kayes losing his wicket just on the stoke of lunch. Mithun joined Mominul but could not stay long. Skipper Shakib joining Mominul after his recovery from finger injury also looked sublime. Mominul was picture perfect ruling the visitors attack. He went on scoring his 6th century at the venue and his 8th over all. We now know that Mominul has got 4 centuries in 2018 equal to what great Virat Kohli has done in 2018.
In December Virat Kohli plays test against mighty Australia in Australia. Mominul will have one opportunity of two innings at Dhaka to add more to his tally. Shakib and Mominul were going great till tea. But after tea a predictable Gabriel storm unsellted Bangladesh. Bowling fast and furious at length in the corridor he took 4/26 in an amazing spell taking the wind out of sail of Bangladesh. Mominul, Mushfiqur, Mahmudullah and Shakib were all done. However. Bangladesh late middle order Mehidy Hasan Miraz,(22) Taijul Islam ( 31*) and debutant Nayeem Hasan (26) batted superbly extending the innings beyond 300 . One must take hats off the debutant Naeem and always a team man Taijul for excellent grafting and application. Given what happened later their excellent performance was the turning points of the match.
Wicket started turning sharp and behaving uneven in bounce. Playing quality spinner Shakib on such a wicket is always an issue. He struck early putting West Indies in the back foot. Mehidy and Taijul kept proving. But it was Veni Vidi Vici performance of debuatnt Nayeem Hasan which bundled out West Indies to 246 all out.
Nayeem took 5/62 setting a new world record of 5 wickets haul in test on debut as the youngest player. West Indies innings were in tatters till Hetmeyer and Dorwitch playing in T20 mode gave it some respectability. Still 78 runs first innings lead was the key.
By the time Bangladesh batted wicket was playing many tricks. Bangladesh top order again panicked. There was no application, no skill of playing on such a track. By stumps Bangladesh was reduced to 55/5 a slender lead of 133. In the morning session of day three Mahmudullah and Mehidy Miraz could extend the lead beyond 200. On such a wicket 204 target appeared gold.
Bangladeshi spinners Taijul, Shakib and Miraj proved too hot to handle and West Indies lost the match by 64 runs before even reaching tea time of Day three. Shakib the vendor of Bangladesh Cricket around the world earned the unique milestone of the quickest 200 test wickets and over 3000 test runs. His 54-test achievement is one less than that of great Englishman Sir Ian Botham.
What Should Be Winning Formula Now?
Tamim Iqbal still not fully recovered Bangladesh will have to sort out the puzzle of the opening partnership. Kayes has been dropped for his uncertain form. Soumya has been retained and teenager Shadman Islam has been included. Soumya Sarkar in two innings also did not impress. If he opens he must be mentored for leaving pitched up new ball deliveries out side his off stump.
He often drives away from his body or not coming to the pitch of the ball. It is now certain that Shadman would have his debut. He has forced his way into the squad for his prolific form in domestic cricket. He also impressed in his innings against the visitors. Hope team management would explore the option of playing Mithun as opener with Shadman letting Soumya bat at lower middle order.
Mominul as usual will be expected leading the Bangladesh batting with his calm, calculative skills and aptitude. Would suggest playing Mushfique at number four. It is not a right strategy not letting the best skilled Bangladesh batsman of highest pedigree batting at five or six. Shakib can bat at five and Mahmudullah at six. Soumya may bat at seven. Now Bangladesh has confident late middle order at 8, 9 and 10 with Mehidy , Taijul and Naeem. We are not sure whether Bangladesh would play with lone pacer Mustafiz . In that case Soumya may need to bowl.
However, for a winning strategy it will be useful playing speedster Khaled another go. He impressed all with his genuine pace and bouncers in Dhaka test against Zimbabwe . Mustafiz must be let bowling short spells a bit more often or not played at all keeping him fresh for ODI.
Shakib and Taijul on a slow low spinning track would always be a threat. Mehidy Miraz is a smart cookie. Debutant Naeem is in the right company for learning few tricks as he goes alone. Bowlers hunt in pairs. Bangladesh has now four. Remember how Parsanna, Bedi, Chandrashekhar and Venkataragabhan tormented all opposition at home in their time.
In any case batting sensibly will be the key. Top order must not hurry, must apply and grind. Middle order must not panic. Test cricket is played over five days over 15 sessions. If batsmen have patience bowlers can not bowl on the same length and line through out the day. Batsmen do not need blasting each and every delivery in test cricket. Leaving the ball, knowing about the stumps where they are and playing with soft hands in the gaps are essential elements of good sportsmanship in test.
If Bangladesh can score 350 plus runs in the first innings they will win. This West Indies team does not have to many capable batsmen of test quality. Bangladesh now possess world class spin bowling attack.
Another area Bangladesh need improving is the fielding. Catches need to be taken. With so many young players in the team now there is no reason why ground fielding must not be smarter also.
Bangladesh probable squad:
1. Shadman Islam, 2. Soumya Sarkar, 3. Mominul Haque, 4. Mohammad Mithun, 5. Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 6. Mushfiqur Rahim/Liton Das (wk), 7. Mahmudullah, 8. Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 9. Taijul Islam, 10. Nayeem Hasan, 11. Mustafizur Rahman
Windies probable squad:
1. Kraigg Brathwaite (capt), 2. Kieran Powell, 3. Shai Hope, 4. Shimron Hetmyer, 5. Sunil Ambris, 6. Roston Chase, 7. Shane Dowrich (wk), 8 Keemo Paul, 9 Devendra Bishoo, 10 Kemar Roach, 11. Jomel Warrican
A SERIES WIN, ANOTHER WHITE WASH IN THE MONTH OF VICTORY WOULD BE ADDED FILIP FOR BANGLADESH