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It's 2:30 AM Bangladesh time. A thunderstorm rages on outside and power has just come back after a nerve-wracking 8 minute outage. My Argentine team/room-mate is snoring away, and there I am, hunched in front of the TV, in a Cox's Bazar IB (Inspection Bungalow), watching a certain Habibul Bashar out-Caribbean the Caribbean attack. Here is my take on the 1st day of the 1st Test between Bangladesh and the West Indies.

Day by Day Match Analysis: Day 1

Published: 30th May, 2004

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It's 2:30 AM Bangladesh time. A thunderstorm rages on outside and power has just come back after a nerve-wracking 8 minute outage. My Argentine team/room-mate is snoring away, and there I am, hunched in front of the TV, in a Cox's Bazar IB (Inspection Bungalow), watching a certain Habibul Bashar out-Caribbean the Caribbean attack.

Here is my take on the 1st day of the 1st Test between Bangladesh and the West Indies.

Bangladesh Batting

  1. Bashar remains the one batsmen on our side who is not cowered by opponents and can put the bad ball away. Through out the day, our other batsmen struggled on that aspect - witness the number of Sarwan full-tosses which should have been dispatched but wasn't. Perhaps if we had taken advantage of those, Lara wouldn't have felt confident about putting so many close-in fielders.
  2. Bashar is Bangladesh's Shewag. He cannot help but go after the ball. Therefore the Bangladesh team badly need a Dravid. Someone who can be the Wall, but can play all the strokes. Rajin tried today, but from the day's observations, he is not someone who can dominate an attack as Rahul is capable of - stick around like a limpet Rajin can, maybe but dominate no. Rajin would be well served watching Rohan Kanhai videos - Rohan was, like Rajin a small-statured batsmen, with a high-elbow stance, but one who learned to be effective pulling and cutting.
  3. One wonders how heavy are the bats that Bangladesh batsmen use. Way too many on-drives or firm pushes, that were otherwise well timed and coming off fast bowlers, struggled to reach the boundary. Yet when you see a Tendulkar or Hayden play the same stroke - which is essentially a finesse one - the ball races away. (This staking into account the fact that the outfield may have been slow).
  4. Tied to point number 3, Bangladesh really needs a couple of burly batsmen ala Akram or Atahar in the side: Batsmen who can bludgeon the ball down the ground and not always have to shuffle across to play onside strokes that uses the pace off the bowler. Throughout the 1st day, there were only 4-5 booming, lofted straight drives, and two came from Rafique and Faisal (one would be hard-pressed to call Mr. Dickens well-built).
    There is so many reasons for wanting batsmen who can drive hard but one that is pertinent to Bangladeshi cause is that, with our Batsmen's faulty shot selections at least if we whack the ball hard enough, the edges will go over or through the close catchers.
  5. Speaking of faulty shot selection, Ashraful needs some Ritalin so he doesn't loose concentration once every hour. Without fail Ashraful seemed to attempt at least one ludicrous shot every 60 minutes. Witness the attempted sweep to a Sarwan leg break that - like so many others - had pitched well outside the off stump. Staying with Ashraful, I really hope he bought a lottery ticket yesterday. I don't know which side of the bed he woke up from, but he should make sure to use the same side tomorrow, and then with the 3 lives he was given, he better get a century. On the flip side, if I were Rajin, I'd stay away from the hotel casino tonight after his freakish dismissal (Anyway, Rajin seems the namaji type so he probably doesn't gamble)
  6. Mushfique & Pilot really should have done better. Two experienced campaigners like them, letting the pressure get to them like that? That too against part-time bowlers? If only Rana had played instead of Mushfique. (rear-vision is always 20-20 )
  7. 300 is an attainable target and 350 not beyond our dreams. As was pointed out in the Day one Verdict article, Ashraful has strike tomorrow; the ball is still fairly new too. This current Windies attack only gets the ball to do stuff when it's new, so the first hour or so tomorrow/today, Ashraful should guide Rafique and see the shine off. Then target 350. Remember, Baisya has a test 50 to his name.
  8. If Windies really dries up the run, then Bangladesh tailenders and Ash should do a Nasser Hussain and just grind it out until lunch. Attrition is the name of the game on this pitch, and the longer Bangladesh makes the Windies wait to bat, the more impatient their Batsmen will be to get going. On this slow wicket, Rafique and Mushfique should be able to exploit that.
  9. Bangladesh batsmen appear to struggle against disciplined, pressure bowling - big time. Witness, some of our best batting performances came against undisciplined attacks such as Pakistan and Windies. Against professional bunches such as Aussies or England, we lose the mental war. Our batsmen should really take a page out of Atahar and Bashar on how to not give a hoot about the other team's attack. Being arrogant and confidant is good!

Windies Bowling

  1. Germaine Lawson's action still looks a little shady to me. There is still some straightening of his arm when it's at the 3 quarters position.
  2. These guys are Fast Bowlers? Not one delivery during the day went above 86MPH. Fidel was mostly around low 80s. Tino, high 70s, while Pedro & Germaine averaged around 70 MPH. Even with a slow pitch, at least the yorkers and stuff should have reached 90 MPH.
  3. This attack will be dangerous in Sabena. It's way more bouncy. But then again these guys, as aforementioned, lack any kind of discipline. With proper shot selection they can be mastered. Again, the strokeless wonder Mr. Hussain must be mentioned. All Bangladesh batsmen should be made to watch videos of him batting against them earlier this season

 

About the author(s): Razab Q. Chowdhury feels particularly adept at being an armchair critic based on his past history of playing school cricket and dispatching a slew of West Indian cricketers while at college. He deigns to grace our forum as RazabQ and is a forum moderator.

 

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