Bangladesh’s poor show in Test cricket continues…….
110, 123, 43, 144, 149, 168, 143 and 169!
These are not Virat Kohli, Joe Root or Kane Williamson’s individual scores in a Test match, but the totals of a team, where eleven men failed to surpass 200 runs in eight consecutive Test innings. Moreover, in the last 26 Test series, the team has failed to win one as the last series victory came in 2014 against Zimbabwe.
This is the story of Bangladesh, who were extremely upbeat to achieve the coveted Test status 18 years ago. They achieved the Test status in 2000, but sadly, the story has not been satisfactory as it should have been. Moreover, at present, it seems, the Bangladesh cricketers are not interested enough to wear white cloth.
Bangladesh just needed enough application on Day 4 of the first Test at Sylhet. The wicket did not crumble and the ball was not posing a threat like the spitting cobras. It was still a very good wicket to bat on and it would be a stupidity to blame the deck, which was a standard Test match wicket.
The new ball moved as usual in the morning session and Bangladesh openers, yet again, exposed their edges, but this time around, luck favoured them as the Zimbabwean fielders dropped two catches within 20 minutes of play.
Even luck was favouring the home team.
Kyle Jarvis was the epitome of discipline in the morning. He consistently attacked the stumps and extracted movement from a full-length. It was a testing session for the openers and their shaky stay at the crease scripted fifty runs, but Zimbabwe were just one wicket away from a collapse. Sikandar Raza trapped Liton Das lbw and in the twinkle of an eye, Bangladesh collapsed to 111 for 5 at lunch and lost the last five wickets within the first hour of play in the post-lunch session.
The batsmen of Bangladesh repeated the story of first innings and what is more alarming was the lack of application among the top order batters.
The way the Bangladeshi top order batsmen have been performing in the last eight innings, it simply forces a cricket follower to think whether the Tigers are interested to play Test matches or not.
Since that disastrous show at Mirpur in the second Test against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh’s progress in 50-over format has made them a force to reckon. But as soon as the format changes, Bangladesh play in such a manner as if a fish has been told to swim on the land and not water. The disinterest to play five-day matches are pretty evident among the players and surprisingly, Bangladesh forget, how grateful they are towards this Test status.
Had Bangladesh not been a Test nation, cricket might never have bloomed throughout the region like today. Still, now it would have been heavily limited to the elite divisions like Dhaka, Sylhet and Chottogram. For the Test status, Bangladesh are able to play against the big nations, which has ultimately helped them to improve.
Moreover, a team is mostly judged by their performance in five-day matches. At the end of the day, critics and experts would judge Shakib Al Hasan or Mustafizur Rahman by their contributions to Test matches. Don’t forget, people still talk and analyze about Sachin Tendulkar’s 241 at SCG more than those hundreds at Sharjah in 1998. As because, performance in Test matches bear enough weight. Be it Clive Lloyd’s West Indies, Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting’s Australia, Imran Khan’s Pakistan or Sourav Ganguly’s India; all received accolades after uplifting their performances in five-day matches.
Bangladesh’s lacklustre attitude in Test matches has been a disgrace. Without improving in Test cricket, Bangladesh cannot think about ruling the roost in upcoming days. Their body language simply conveys the message that they are not interested to play Test cricket. Even players like Shakib and Mustafiz also expressed their lack of interest in playing Test matches.
The Tigers need to ask themselves whether they are interested to play Test cricket or not. If they are serious, then they should dig deep and improve their skills. And if they are not serious, just take a sabbatical from the format as because, Bangladesh’s lack interest to play Test matches is insulting the hardly earned Test status a lot!