Bangladesh cricket captain Shakib Al Hasan reacts after the defeat against Indian cricket team during the final Twenty-20 cricket match of NIDAHAS Trophy between Bangladesh and India at R Premadasa cricket ground, Colombo, Sri Lanka on Sunday 18 March 2018. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

How Can Bangladesh Get Back To Their Winning Ways?

At one point in time Bangladesh were hailed as the “dark horses” of cricket, the unknown quantity capable of defeating top sides. This is no longer the case. Afghanistan have firmly usurped them to be the loveable underdogs in cricket and Bangladesh are free-falling down the rankings tables. The “Tigers” find themselves sitting at a disappointing 10th in the T20 rankings, firmly behind Afghanistan. A 3-0 series defeat against the men in blue did not help this. It is imperative that Bangladesh find a way to return to their winning ways as they have a crucial tour of the West Indies fast approaching. Although they will be disappointed with their overall performance against Afghanistan, the series has highlighted several strengths among the weaknesses.

The Weaknesses

A worrying inability to play spin was a cause of concern for the Bangladesh side. Admittedly Afghanistan have one of the world’s best spin attacks in Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Rahman and Mohammad Nabi, but Bangladesh should have done much better agains them. In the final match of the series they could not even take nine runs off Rashid’s over to secure a consolation victory. The aforementioned spin trio picked up a remarkable 14 wickets between them and they all went at under five runs per over. No side should be struggling that badly to spin. Perhaps Bangladesh ought to invest in some more batting coaches who can provide sound technical advice about playing spin.
Embed from Getty Images
In terms of their team composition, Bangladesh are lacking a quality fast bowler to lead the line. Some could put this down to the absence of experienced Mustafizur Rahman, but they have a worrying lack in depth in their fast bowling department. Abu Jayed was their most successful fast bowler, but his economy rate of close to nine showed how little consistency or discipline he had. Their seamers never bowled tight spells and always served up a loose ball at some point. World class teams will punish that. Thus, Bangladesh have to turn to their domestic circuit and youth programs to find a seamer capable of holding his own in the international arena.

The Strengths

Bangladesh can take away some positives from this series. They will be especially pleased with how their middle order batted. Mahmudullah was particularly impressive, scoring 88 runs at an average of 44. Also, his strike rate was the second highest out of batsmen to have scored more than 50 runs in the series. Mahmudullah was neatly accompanied by the veteran Mushfiqur Rahim, who scored the same number of runs at a similar strike rate. The pair shared an impressive 84 run-stand in the final game but could not quite take them over the line. So, looking ahead to their tour of the West Indies, Bangladesh can rest assured that their middle order can bail them out of trouble.
Embed from Getty Images
Also, Nazmul Islam was very impressive with the ball. He bowled his full quota in each of the T20s and picked up two wickets with an economy of just above five. This will be a huge boost to Bangladesh as they have now unearthed some more depth in their spin department. Islam has only played ten T20Is and is still finding his feet at an international level, but this will really give him confidence moving forwards. Shakib Al Hasan was consistent as ever and they both made it very hard for the Afghanistan batsmen to get away.

If Bangladesh can remedy their weaknesses, they have a side that can challenge the West Indies. They have their work cut out for them. However, knowing how resilient Bangladesh cricket has been over the years, we can be sure that they will bounce back. Always be wary of a cornered tiger.

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images

LEAVE A REPLY

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.