Bangladesh need to be at their very best in the second Test and self-belief would be the key in scripting a bounce back……
Rise from the ashes.
Well, that’s what is Bangladesh are hoping for in Jamaica following the Antigua disaster. Having been bowled out for 43 and 144 and losing the game by an innings and 219 runs in the first, it will be nothing short of a miracle if the Tigers manage to be competitive against the in-form Windies in the second and final Test of the series, starting from Thursday (July 12) at Sabina Park.
But, here the question is — does the Bangladesh camp believe, they can fight back?
In Antigua, it took just 59 overs for the Windies attack to wrap up the entire Bangladesh batting line-up, twice. This was the least overs a side had bowled to take 20 wickets in a Test in last 66 years. On a sporting wicket, against the raw pace and movement of Kemar Roach and Shanon Gabriel, almost all the Bangladeshi batsmen seemed like a fish out water. Their inexperience and inadequacy as a Test batting line-up were completely been exposed. In fact, senior pros were dismissed in a similar manner in both innings, in the space of two days. And their bowlers were equally disappointing.
Hence, following such an embarrassing performance, their confidence level, as well as the self-esteem, have taken a huge blow. Potentially, they are a far better team than this. But in order to prove their potential on the field, the first and foremost the Bangladesh camp needs to restore their self-belief. They should first convince themselves that this team is capable of competing against the home side, irrespective of the pace-friendly conditions. And in his second Test match as a coach, Steve Rhodes, as well as the senior members in the squad, need to put up their hands and play the role of mentors here.
Thankfully, Tamim Iqbal has already come forward and spoken in the same line.
“Like all of you [Fans], we are also in a shock about our last Test match,” Tamim said in a video posted in the social media. “Our performance is by no means acceptable. We are a better side than this. We are not looking for excuses. We made mistakes which caused this performance. We hope to do well in the next Test.
“We have to keep on believing as a team and as individual players that we can do well, we can win. The way Sohan [Nurul Hasan] and the lower-order batted, it proves that if you can stay in the wicket, you can score runs. I hope that [in the] Jamaica Test [there] will be a much better performance.”
Here, quite rightly Tamim has provided the example of Nurul Hasan’s 74-ball 64 in the second innings. At No. 8, he batted with an aggressive mindset, showed a lot of positive intent and was successful to put the Windies bowling under a little bit of pressure for a brief period towards the end of the contest.
Going into the Jamaica Test match, for the Bangladesh batting line-up, Nurul’s innings has to be a classic testament of how to survive and score runs under difficult circumstances. Also, they way Liton Das battled the conditions and Windies pacer up-front in the first innings, showed the glimpses of the talent this line-up possesses. He showed excellent temperament, played the ball as late as possible with soft hands. Unfortunately, the rest of the batters couldn’t show a similar kind of technique and temperament.
So, it is time for Bangladesh to learn from their mistakes in all three departments of the game. The quickly they can rectify their mistakes, the chances of being more competitive on this tour will increase further. And once again, self-believe is going to be a key factor. Meanwhile, Roach’s unavailability for the second Test may provide them with some sort of a breathing space.
“We must trust our own ability and believe that we can score big runs in difficult conditions. We have to believe that we are better than our opponent, both individually and team-wise,” explained Tamim.
It is time for the Tigers to show that they are a far more capable unit than what we have seen in Antigua. Until and unless their ego is hurt, Bangladesh cannot improve as a team at the highest level.