Bangladesh enjoyed a great day with the bat on a track which they wished during the final of Tr-series. It was a jolly bash on their wishful wicket…
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) sought an explanation from Sri Lankan curator Gamini Silva for preparing a slow wicket in Mirpur for the final of Tri-series between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka where the much-fancied hosts digested a heavy defeat. Without a doubt, the Tigers batted poorly on a wicket on which 222 runs were still chasable, but rather than pondering over their own mistakes, Bangladesh media made Gamini the scapegoat to hide the poor display of hosts.
Depending on the reports of a private television channel which was based more on doubts and not solid proofs, BCB media committee chairman, Jalal Yunus, wished to seek an explanation from Gamini. Mr. Jalal said, “We wanted to know from Gamini why the wicket behaved like that. It was a wicket of 320 runs. All of a sudden it turned out to be a slow wicket. This is a routine explanation, which we can always seek from an employee”.
According to Hindustan Times, “Officials said the slow wicket was contrary to the requirements of home team with experts identifying it as one of the main reasons behind the hosts’ debacle in the final”.
From a neutral point of view, it seems pretty illogical to blame a wicket for the defeat where the batsmen were dismissed or scripting poor shots and on the same track, Mahmudullah Riyad played an absolute gem and conveyed the message, there were no demons underneath the wicket.
But, sadly, the blame game and making scapegoats are a very useful tool Bangladesh.
Anyhow, Bangladesh always wish for wickets which would suit them more and being the home team, their wish is justified. But, there should be a difference between having result-oriented wickets and wickets which offer nothing but a jolly bash! A positive team would wish for winning a Test rather than enjoying a picnic on feather beds.
Bangladesh should wish for result-oriented wickets and not dead wickets as it’s a defensive approach.
The highly-rated local curator of Chittagong named Zahid Reza dished out a wicket, which is similar to National Cricket League of Bangladesh where eleven bowlers are used to dismiss the opening batsmen! Bangladesh wished for a 300-run track in Tri-series final and Mr. Reza fulfilled their wish at Chittagong without even thinking how appropriate is such a wicket for five-day matches.
The wicket for the first Test between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka at Chittagong was like a road with nothing for the bowlers. A batsman could fetch runs with minimum footwork and defence while the bowlers found the going tough as neither was there any movement off the pitch for pacers nor air nor any sharp turn or grip for the spinners. There are plenty of runs hidden inside this wicket and the track might aid the spinners from Day 4 due to uneven bounce produced by the footmarks of bowlers but still, their impact might be minimal. Until and unless any team bats very poorly, this Test might end as a dull draw.
Bangladesh had a great day with the bat though. The stand-in captain Mahmudullah Riyad elected to bat first after winning the toss without a second thought. From the word go, Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes, dominated the Lankan bowlers and their departure led to the commencement of a long and tiring day for visitors.
Mominul Haque and Mushfiqur Rahim batted with enough ease on a batting paradise and stitched a partnership of 236 runs for third wicket. It seemed, we were watching National Cricket League of Bangladesh, where the bowlers punished for their past sins as the batters keep on scoring daddy hundreds without facing any tough challenges. Mominul and Mushfiq batted in a picnic mood – on featherbeds such moods crop up automatically.
But still, at the fag end of Day 1, a lapse of concentration denied Mushfiq of a hundred while a misjudgment of length on such a dead track scripted the end of Liton Kumar Das. Blimey! Two quick wickets even on such a dull deck? Credit goes to the batsmen rather than the bowler.
Bangladesh’s jolly bash on their wishful track was a good one!
International Cricket Council (ICC) is busy these days regarding the state of wickets. Over the years, we have seen them to rate some of the wickets of heavyweight venues as poor. The Wicket of Johannesburg, which was used for third Test between South Africa and India, has been rated as poor and ultimately the ICC handed the venue three demerit points alongside the poor rating.
It seems, whenever a track aids the bowlers a bit, the ICC is in a habit of handing them demerit points and poor ratings, but in fact, that is not the case. Even dull decks have earned the same last year.
The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) for the Boxing Day Test against England faced penalties which included a warning and a fine of up to $20,000 “given together with a directive for appropriate corrective action” fine for the deck which produced just 24 wickets over five days resulted in a tame draw.
So, before preparing a wicket it would be better for a curator to think whether he is taking his decisions emotionally or logically. His emotional decisions might backfire!
Meanwhile, the tendency to think too much about batsmen must come to an end. Cricket is game of battle between bat and ball. If everyone only thinks about the batsmen and their safety, who’ll think about the bowlers? Yes, watching a batsman scoring runs is always a treat to watch but it becomes a joke at the cost of a bowler’s misery who toils hard on dead tracks.
Test cricket cannot afford the dominance of only one aspect of this game, but it would be justified enough if a wicket is prepared by keeping in mind the benefits of both.