Cricket

Published on February 8th, 2017 | by Sandipan Banerjee

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A rare window of opportunity for Mushfiqur Rahim’s Bangladesh

It is a rare window of opportunity for Mushfiqur’s Bangladesh to play a significant number of Test matches within a year and improve as a Test unit. Talking about this particular schedule, Bangladesh test skipper first expressed his delight to get the opportunity to play so many away Test matches, but he also rued the lack of consistency while allotting Test matches to Bangladesh in recent past. The Cricket Guy writes more…

As a Test team, Bangladesh are often being criticised for the lack of significant improvement in the longer format despite spending 17 long years at the Test arena. So far in their Test history, the Tigers have managed to registered only eight Test victories, but the most significant thing is they have played only 97 Tests since getting Test status in November 2000.

Within the same time frame teams like England, Australia and India have featured in 210, 191 and 174 Test matches. This is the sorry tale of Bangladesh cricket and here lies the main problem.

Like other Test teams, Bangladesh are not being invited by the top side to play Test cricket at their own backward.It took 17 years for BCCI to invite Bangladesh for their first bilateral series on Indian soil. Bangladesh’s last tour of New Zealand was the first away bilateral trip for the Tigers in almost two years.

How can a team improve if they do not feature regularly in one particular format? Even the Indian skipper Virat Kohli highlighted this issue while talking about the development of Bangladesh Test team.

“I think they [Bangladesh] have the skill they just don’t play that many Test matches to gain confidence as a squad. It’s very basic. They have become a very good one-day side because of the fact that they play so many one-dayers and they have their set combinations. If you don’t play Test cricket very often, you will never understand the mindset.

They have beaten all the sides in one-day cricket, because they know how to play the format. You can practice as much as you want but game time is important. Ability is going to be there. It’s the mindset that changes from format to format. I am sure that if they play more Test cricket they will become solid Test players and a solid Test team as well. I think it should be pushed. They certainly have the ability to compete at the Test level,” Kohli was saying on the eve of Hyderabad Test.

However, the year 2017 has seen a significant improvement in Bangladesh Test assignments in the Future Tour Program. At the start of the year, they have already played two Tests in New Zealand and later the Tigers are scheduled to play more than 10 Tests against top quality sides like India, Sri Lanka, Australia, South Africa, Pakistan and most of the matches will be away fixtures.

It is a rare window of opportunity for Mushfiqur’s Bangladesh to play a significant number of Test matches within a year and improve as a Test unit. Talking about this particular schedule, Bangladesh test skipper first expressed his delight to get the opportunity to play so many away Test matches, but he also rued the lack of consistency while allotting Test matches to Bangladesh in recent past.

“I have been playing for 11 years and I have never had so much cricket, Test cricket, in one year. We went out of Bangladesh to play Test cricket after almost two years [In New Zealand]. That’s not acceptable. If you don’t give us an opportunity, but keep saying that we are no good, that can’t be fair,” an emotional looking Mushfiqur was saying.

“How will you know whether we have improved or not? I think that if we do well this year, if we make the most of this opportunity and get good results, then we will get more tours. Test cricket is the best learning curve. And we will improve if we play more and more,” he further added.

Talking about the long wait to play a Test match on Indian soil, Mushfiqur said, “Maybe it can be a surprise. As a Test playing nation, you are planning and you are dreaming to play every Test match, whether you are playing home or abroad. Playing against India is really a great occasion for us. As you say, it has been long time [since] we’ve come here. The boys are really excited to play the No.1 team in the world. And it’s our great opportunity to show some character and skill. Hopefully, we can [do that] in the next five days, we can catch-up or match-up with the No. 1 team.”

As a Test team, we all know what Bangladesh can do, especially in favourable conditions. The recent home series against England was a classic example of that. Now they need to up their level in the India Test and future assignments.

This is the only way they can earn respect from the cricket fraternity.

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mm

is our guest writer. He is a cricket journalist by profession and admirer of this great sport by nature.



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