Why so careless?

Why so careless?

Bangladesh players walk back to the dressing room following their defeat in the first T20I against Sri Lanka in Mirpur ThursdayDHAKA TRIBUNE/Md Manik

How quick the side can complete the tasks is the main challenge, with only around two weeks left before they travel to Sri Lanka for the tri-nation T20I series involving India and the host nation.

Bangladesh cricket team going through a series of defeats is nothing new. They had only started rising as a powerful cricketing nation around three years ago, more precisely since they made it to the quarter-final of the 2015 50-over World Cup.

But the manner in which the Tigers hit the latest low in the past one month or so has raised concern.

Bangladesh were quite happy after international cricket returned home last month, following a gap of four months. The Tigers were excited to play their favourite format – ODIs – after an interval of 15 months at home. But one could not imagine in the wildest of dreams what was in store in the coming weeks.

The month-long engagement for host Bangladesh started on a flying note, with dominant wins against Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka in the tri-nation ODI series. But that was pretty much the only success Bangladesh can lay claim to. Bangladesh were hot favourite in the tri series only to see Sri Lanka, a team struggling in transition, have the last laugh. The Lankans first won their last group stage match against Bangladesh to qualify for the final and then lifted the trophy registering yet another victory.

Also read: We’ve paid for our mistakes, says Mahmudullah

The manner of the two defeats had rang the bell of the majority as to what could be coming next with the two-match Test and T20I series up ahead against the island nation.

Bangladesh in the ODIs were doomed due to severe batting failure and in the final, were mentally affected after perhaps their best cricketer Shakib al Hasan got injured. Shakib while fielding during the Sri Lanka innings in the final had incurred a finger injury which ruled him out from the remainder of their home series’ against the Lankans.

Going into the Test series, the Tigers, riding on Mominul Haque’s batting heroics were able to draw the first Test in Chittagong’s Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Cricket Stadium. But in the next game, on a spin-friendly wicket at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka the home side were thrashed by Sri Lanka, who bagged a massive 215-run win within three days.

And as it always happens, the defeats, besides exposing the on-field lackings now brought into attention the operation of a dressing room which was being run without a head coach. The Bangladesh Cricket Board, floating on unprecedented success of the Tigers in the recent times was a bit extra confident perhaps and thought it best to leave the team’s responsibility upon a “technical director” and the senior cricketers.

Also read: Lankans hammer final nail in Tigers coffin

However, this only attracted negative attention through some unconventional selection decisions, like releasing cricketers from the dressing room to attend domestic competition. Mosaddek Hossain was at the centre of this discussion after the batsman was dropped from the second Test and released to play in the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League 2017-18 season, despite being a member of the 15-man squad.

Mosaddek was key behind the draw Bangladesh achieved against the Lankans in the first Test but the selection panel thought it better to bring in Sabbir Rahman, who was busy decorating his newly bought flat in Dhaka.

The national selectors included Sabbir for the second Test with the thought of giving the batsman some match practice as he is not playing domestic cricket. Sabbir is serving a domestic ban but it is no justification to include him in the side.

Bangladesh had hoped to salvage their reputation through the T20I series, in spite of the fact that they are probably the weakest in the shortest format. The mission was unaccomplished for the Tigers, who handed six debutants in the two matches which they lost by six wickets and 75 runs respectively. In both the games, the bowlers had let the team down while the batsmen were exposed.

Bangladesh stand-in captain Mahmudullah following the T20I series defeat in Sylhet Sunday had opined that they need to sit with the coaching staff and rectify the flaws. But how quick the side can complete the tasks is the main challenge, with only around two weeks left before they travel to Sri Lanka for the tri-nation T20I series involving India and the host nation.

Source: Dhaka Tribune.

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