Bangladesh have taken humiliation to a whole new level in India. This is not the way a team should fare after spending 19 years in Test cricket…..

 

What’s next for Bangladesh? This has been one of the commonly asked questions by my inner instincts after each shambolic Test series of Bangladesh. Over the years, the question has not changed and after the end of a series away from home, this same question haunts me again, again and again. For a while, Chandika Hathursingha’s Bangladesh stopped this task of bloody haunting, but as soon as he left the scene, gradually, it has returned with new vigor and vim.

Just how poor Bangladesh have been in the Two-Test series in India? Of course, those of us, who have been a follower of Bangladesh Cricket since the days when football ruled the roost here, have seen the worst of Bangladesh cricket, such things are nothing new. But those were the days when Bangladesh had little under their repertoire to deliver the goods – there is a huge difference between the Bangladesh of past and present. The present Bangladesh team is neither an Associate nor a new Test nation.  They have been rubbing shoulders with the big boys of Test cricket for the last 19 years.

19 years in Test cricket in this modern is a long time. You just don’t achieve big things at home but let your voice heard loud in abroad as well. Sri Lanka struck gold away from home after 15 years, while Afghanistan bagged their first away-win after spending one and a half years in Test cricket. The Afghans created history on Bangladeshi soil, which only added a new disgrace in Bangladesh’s Test history.

And a few months later more disgraces are to be added.

At Indore and Kolkata, the meek surrender of Bangladesh batsmen against India has only put the credibility of their Test status under the microscope once again. While the first Test lasted for two and a half days, the second lasted less than that.

For a single moment, it never seemed that Bangladesh were focused enough to prove a point. The mistakes at Indore were repeated at Kolkata as the visitors would leave the Indian shores with eggs on their faces.

Regarding the Kolkata Test, one can say, Bangladesh had no experience of playing against the pink ball, but the same can be said about the hosts as well. Their struggle was evident when Ebadot Hossain and Al-Amin were making the pink ball to take, which also raises the question of whether India would play a pink-ball Test against the likes of Australia, England, New Zealand or even West Indies. Whatever BCCI did was on an experimental basis and they could only proceed because the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) agreed. Now, why the BCB and players agreed to be part of a humiliating experiment without preparations remains a moot question!

But when one point a finger towards Bangladesh’s dismal show at Indore against the red ball the no-experience-against-pink-ball-logic loses its credibility.  The only explanation that crops up regarding Bangladesh’s horrendous show in India are nothing but the lack of interest of players in playing Test cricket – no patience, no focus. As if all of them were in a hurry to catch the flight to Dhaka as soon as possible.

Except for that gritty little Mushfiqur Rahim, none of the batsmen seemed to be interested to bat in white clothes – the feet didn’t move. The head moved away from the line while playing defensive strokes on the front foot. No intention to leave, but poking outside off had been a regular feature until the end of second Test.

You can’t play a 5-day match in this fashion, can you?

But Bangladesh can play in this fashion and after every disgraceful Test series a joke named Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) comes to the rescue and sweep everything under the carpet. The problems persist and the intent to solve them is either sapped by BPL or any other off-the-field-issues, which are nothing but works as a tool to shift the focus.

What’s next for Bangladesh?

Strict action!

Whether Bangladesh feel defeated and disgraced after such humiliations, I don’t know. But as a follower of Bangladesh Cricket since the Pre-Test era, I feel that the Tigers are playing with the passion of all those fans out there. They are insulting Test cricket. They have taken this Test status very lightly, which demands strict actions.

 

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