Published on September 7th, 2017 | by Sandipan Banerjee0
A learning curve for Bangladesh
So, as feared by many, Bangladesh succumbed under pressure when it mattered. After conceding a lead of 72 in the second innings, the hosts needed their batsmen to put their hands up and come out with a steady effort to secure the match and the series. But, unfortunately, the Tigers decided to present their worst batting performance in the series to let Australia run away with the match within four days.
Indeed, it was a big slip up for the Tigers, especially considering the fact that a series triumph against Australia was at stake. The wicket was difficult, but it was certainly not 157 all-out track. In fact, at one point of time in the second innings, Bangladesh were tottering at 43 for 5.
Clearly, there was a lack application from the batsmen to battle out the difficult period.
Right from their inaugural Test back in 2000, there have been plenty of examples of Bangladesh batting faltering under the pressure of expectation. The occasion often gets the better of this batting line-up.
Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim, believes here the problem is more technical which leads to the mental tentativeness, which we saw in their batting effort on Thursday and on Day 1. Because of lack of enough exposure to such high-pressure situations, their batsmen seem to lack the maturity of bailing themselves out of the hole.
“We had a chance to draw the game in Galle [Last year]. In these critical situations, we end up having one really bad session which makes it hard for us. I think we lack maturity and there are some technical problems too. This adds to the lack of confidence when you are trying to play defensively. We have room for improvement in terms of our technique,” the skipper said in his post-match press conference.
“The experience of how to bat for a longer period on these wickets, how to score runs here – is very rare for us. In last two-three Test matches, we got opportunities to play under similar circumstances. But we could not deliver. We don’t get such opportunities in domestic cricket and you cannot learn those skills on practice sessions. So, at the international arena, if we don’t make the most of whatever chances we are getting, how can we learn and improve ourselves? So, I believe, determination is not enough, it is high time for us to work on this aspect, which we are lacking right now,” Mushfiqur criticised his boys, but in a constructive way.
To be a consistent Test team, it is important to keep learning from your mistakes and from the opponents, especially for a team like Bangladesh, which has recently started to show consistency.
For example, the knock of David Warner in the first innings is a perfect blueprint of how one can curve his natural instinct and play according to the condition.
Mushfiqur, in fact, urged his boys to take a note of that.
“Warner was a great example in front of us. He is an aggressive batsman but he probably scored his slowest hundred this time. I think, from the way he went about his knock, we can learn a lot from it.”
Also, at times we have seen Bangladesh depending heavily on the senior pros likes Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan and the captain, who are around for more than a decade now. However, to earn more respect as a team, they have to get rid of this over decency on individuals. This side has a nice blend of young and experienced cricketers and these talented youngsters are required to get out of the shadows of big names. The likes of Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Nasir Hossain, Sabbir Rahman are getting enough exposures at the highest level. Now the time has come for them to take more responsibilities in the team.
Within past 12 months, Bangladesh played out drawn series against England, Sri Lanka and now Australia. Later in this month, they will be travelling to South Africa for a full tour. So, they are on a learning curve right now and a competitive series like the last one is only going to mature Bangladesh as a team.
Hope they can put up a fight in the rainbow nation.