After failing to handle the pressure in the final of Tri-series, Bangladesh surrendered meekly at Mirpur and lost the Test series. The Bangladesh team are fragile temperamentally at present….
When the Tigers used to fight
In the second Test at Colombo last year, the Sri Lankan tail wagged and posted a competitive total in first innings. Bangladesh were in a state of bother in reply. At 198 for 5, Bangladesh fans were thinking of how to get somewhere near Sri Lanka’s first innings total rather than taking a lead. But it was a different Bangladesh unit. Since Chandika Hathurusingha had been appointed as the head coach of Tigers, they developed the habit of fighting adversity – a character which was much needed for this talented unit.
Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, and a young Mosaddek Hossain decided to fight back. Shakib notched up a Test ton while Mushfiq nd Mosaddek scored important half-centuries and helped Bangladesh to take a lead of 129 runs. In the post-lunch session of fourth day, Mustafizur Rahman’s late-swing and Shakib’s left-arm orthodox spin jolted Sri Lankan batting lineup and Bangladesh were needed to score 191 runs on Day 5.
Traditionally, Bangladesh are not very good chasers in fourth innings and against an inform Rangana Herath, the possibilities looked thin. But Chandika’s men would not bog down without a fight. From a shaky 22 for 2, Bangladesh clawed back into the match and registered their first win on Lankan soil in a Test match. The Tigers drew the series 1-1.
Rewind to 2016. At Dhaka, in the second Test, the English openers, Alastair Cook and Ben Duckett, scripted a tremendous counterattack on a turning track while chasing 273 in fourth innings. With two days still left to play, the total seemed to be a cakewalk for England who batted deep. But just after the tea break, Bangladesh changed its colour in a dramatic fashion.
England lost ten wickets for 64 runs. Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Shakib created havoc in English batting lineup. England surrendered meekly and Bangladesh showed the world how well they have developed temperamentally as a team.
Their roar was not only limited to 50-over formats but in test cricket, their roar could be heard from many parts of the world.
The Tigers don’t fight but surrender meekly at present
Chandika transformed Bangladesh into a bunch of fighters. But pathetic politics let him resign from the job. Sri Lanka appointed him as the coach to turn things around for them. While Bangladesh decided to face Chandika’s Sri Lanka’s team without a coach. The Tigers looked terrific at the start of Tri-series but as the tournament progressed, Chadika’s Sri Lanka gained the momentum and in the final, they outclassed the hosts in all three departments to lift the trophy.
A final is all about handling the pressure. Chandika’s Sri Lanka handled the pressure better than Bangladesh. The Tigers were poor temperamentally.
Bangladesh’s poor temperament was evident throughout the Test series. In the all-important second Test, Bangladesh’s lack of temperament led them to digest a disgraceful defeat. In the first innings, they lost five wickets for three runs while in the second, they lost five wickets for 23 runs which were neither due to track nor some outstanding bowling by Sri Lankans.
The Mirpur track was a typical turning track where one needs to spend time at the wicket more and shun exhibiting attacking strokes. Roshen Silva showed how to bat on this wicket. He hardly attempted any attacking strokes but always played with a straight bat and manoeuvred the strike consistently.
Yes, chasing 339 runs on a turning track would be tough, but with two and half days remaining, one cannot write Bangladesh off who had shown the stomach to fight against teams like South Africa, England and Australia not so long ago.
Moreover, just before the start of play of third day, Bangladesh’s veteran spinner Abdur Razzak said, “Chasing 300 is a difficult task, but it’s not impossible. It’s very possible. To me, the wicket looks more settled. I don’t think it’s that difficult to bat like the first innings”.
But to the astonishment of everyone, the Bangladesh batting lineup collapsed without showing any intention to fight. Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mominul Haque, Mahmudullah, and co were tamed not by some unplayable deliveries but lack of application and over-attacking instincts.
The wicket was not behaving wickedly but it was the batsmen of Bangladesh team who batted wickedly and in a bizarre fashion.
This Bangladesh team doesn’t play like a team. They don’t wish to fight like the past.
As soon as Chandika left, it seems, Bangladesh are losing their way.
Bangladesh need to fix their fragile temperament
In any sports or in any profession, a winning mentality plays a very vital role in achieving success. You win half the battle if you think you will win. But if you are afraid of losing or take things for granted, you are sure to suffer.
Either Bangladesh are playing with a defensive mindset or taking things for granted. The sheer professionalism and winning-mentality, which was evident last year is hugely absent at present. They are playing school kids and not men. And such a pathetic transformation in such a quick time is alarming for Bangladesh cricket.
The think tank of Bangladesh cricket needs to do a lot of hard work to fix the fragile temperament of Tigers.