Bangladesh squad was announced two days back for the T20 series against South Africa beginning from Sunday. Some of the in-form players were left out of the team. However, it has become quite regular for the team in last several months. Players like Mominul Haque, Rony Talukdar are not getting chance in the T20 or ODI squad. Even, Anamul Haque, who has had an excellent domestic record, is not getting chance in the national squad.
Reserve bench of Bangladesh is quite strong now. The bowling attack is no longer dependent only on spinners. We also have a good pace attack in our arsenal which indicates that Bangladesh is growing to be a strong team.
Before terming ourselves a strong team, we need to look back at the performance of the team in 2015. Analysing individual performances and team successes, it can be said that Bangladesh are moving forward. Players now do not give any room to criticise them.
Again before talking about the performance in 2015, we should remind the readers of Tigers’ performance in the previous years. The spirit what we see in Tigers’ body language today has not come from out of the blue.
The spirit was there sometimes. The only question was about it was its continuity. Bangladesh whitewashed New Zealand for the first time in 2010. Everyone thought Bangladesh would continue the performance since then. However it did not happen.
After that, Bangladesh defeated the full strength West Indies team in 2012. Then, the Tigers again whitewashed the Kiwis in 2013’s ODI series and drew in the Test series. Everyone again expected that the performance would continue. But, Bangladesh again went to the back gear in 2014. The team lost against teams like Hong Kong in T20 world cup and against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup.
Bangladesh started changing during the Zimbabwe series at the end of last year. Some major decisions of the cricket board played an important role in the change. The first among them was giving the ODI captaincy to Mashrafe Bin Mortaza. It was really a big decision. We have to thank the people behind the decision. It worked as a ‘turning point’ for the Bangladesh team.
It was a right decision to make Mashrafe Tigers’ skipper. We have to appreciate that the body language of the team changed under Mashrafe’s captaincy.
Eleven cricketers play in the field. But, a number of people work for them behind the scene. A massive change came in the coaching unit after last T20 world cup. The coaching unit was fully reorganised. Head coach Chandika Hathurusingha, bowling coach Heath Streak, fielding coach Richard Halsall, spin coach Ruwan Kalpage and trainer Mario Villavarayan joined the unit within months along with local physio Bayezid Islam Khan. Khaled Mahmud joined the team as the manager.
We have to talk especially about coach Hathuru. His tactics and plan are really different. He made ‘Australian wickets’ in Mirpur before Tigers’ visit for the world cup in Australia-New Zealand! He used granite slabs to create artificial bounce. Ball usually comes in chest height with extra pace in such granite wickets. Another major characteristic of coach Hathuru is to give freedom to the cricketers to play their own game.
If we want to have talented young players, we must change the type of wicket we usually play in the domestic league. We have been asking bouncy and pacy wickets for domestic cricket for a long time. The wicket has to be sporting. However, the condition of wicket is better that what it was earlier. Batsmen are getting habituated with playing their natural game. Both spinners and pacers are getting help from the wicket. We have to thank curator Gamini Di Silva for this.
Overall, performances of the players, brave decisions of the team management and proper planning of BCB are behind the success stories of the team. But we are looking forward to have much better days in future. Our expectation is now skyrocketing for the players’ performance. And, it is their responsibility to fulfill our expectation.