Good Morning / Evening Everyone!
After a three days of good night's sleep and conceding the defeat right after the coin toss, now I can really relax and analyze the game without being biased. See, what a good night's sleep can do to you, as it did to Pilot, Mushfiq and Rajin contrary to Javed, Ashraful and Nafis? Today, I am in a very good mood. Therefore I will do the hard part and will focus only on the positives. I will leave it to our sleepless disgruntled BC members to point out the negatives, which, as it seems, to be the easiest task of all.
Lets begin by evaluating each player, one by one:
Nafis: He just scored a 49 in the last test. Therefore he should have 2 life lines left as one was already used in this test. I think he worries too much. Also see what a sleepless night can do to you. My advice to Nafis: "Just relax and play, every thing will be fine, you will not be canned so quickly, just look at Alok. Take a long good night sleep before each game."
Javed: Just like his new opening partner, he accrued 3 life lines in the 1st innings. He is safe for the winter. He was unlucky not to get any chance / life in the 2nd innings. If he continues to survive and keep getting couple of new lives, he will serve us some 50+ scores once in a while.
Rajin: Another case of "victim of sleepless night". His 2nd innings was much better than the 1st as he was much relaxed and was able to attack the bowlers to vent the pressure out. I think he started to learn that, while protecting the wicket is all right, too much defensive play may be counter productive. Also, I think too much overseas travel takes its toll by messing up his internal system and it shows as he tends to play test as if it is an ODI and ODI as if it is a test. Well, it happens to me too every time I pay visit to Bangladesh, sleeping all day long and staying up at nights. But I'm sure, this is fixable, just a matter of timely adjustment.
Ashraful: He played some decent scores recently, therefore can be excused for few more series. However something smells fishy. There are three theories floating around:
Theory # 1: There always seems to be a bad spell. Someone in the team will always complete a pair. Since Hannan is no longer in the team, the spell is on Ashraful. I think the best remedy is to bring back Hannan and let him score the ducks and let Ashraful score the centuries.
Theory #2: It was a special instruction from the higher ups to make sure Alok does look like the worst player in this test.
Theory #3: He is in the brink of scoring another century. He is practicing how to score 0's, then he will score a 1 and then the 100. I don't know which one true, hope it's the 3rd one.
Aftab: 20 and 28 may not look very impressive, but with time and opportunity he can be a very essential part of the team in near future. I see noting but positives in him.
Alok: Alok proved us all wrong. He is not the worst player in the team; at least for this test. It's a competitive team that we have; everyone is fighting for that honor. Last time it was Hannan, this time it looks like our favorite Ashraful will be the winner.
Masud: This test again proved that how good a batsman he is. He can play, and play very well whenever he wants to. It seems to me that he lost either "concentration" or "the sense of what is the team's real goal is" after scoring 50 in the second innings.
Mushfiq: Very proud of him the way he batted. See what one dose of medicine from Dr. Dave does to you? Alok, Hannan and Ashraful should learn from him how to take advantage of new opportunities. Reading the cricinfo, his out also looked like unfortunate to me. Good job Mushfiq. But he needs to elevate his performance a little bit more as Tapash is just breathing behind his back.
Tapash: We all know, when Mashrafe comes back Tapash will be a Paposh or "Bolir Patha" for them unless either it's a FB pitch or he can reclaim his case with some stunning performance in the 2nd innings. And boy! He did it in a stunning way! So I changed my mind completely (for now) and will call him a "wall rug" instead of 'paposh'. He pretty much solidified his position for the one day series. Just think about it, our number 10 batsman is the highest individual scorer for the team in this test. In my mind he pretty much solidified his position for the next series as well.
Rafique: He is the MVP of the squad. End of conversation.
Enamul: He is 142 for 2 and not out in both innings. Mathematically his average (score/out) should be an infinity, right? I hope he gets more chances to prove his worth. I have a feeling he is much better than the number 11.
Rana: By not selecting Rana, actually the selectors did a favor to this young all-rounder. Now for future matches his position is more affirmed than before. Good job Faruque and Co.
In the first Test BD scored 177 & 126, a total of 303 runs. In the second test it is 444 (182 and 262). That's 141 more runs than the 1st test. In both innings of the second test they scored more than any innings of the 1st test. Also they performed better in the second innings, even with the deteriorating pitch conditions. That's a positive. If we had a 6 test series with NZ, at this rate of improvement, theoretically, we should have scored 400+ runs per innings during the 5th and the 6th tests.
In First test, the tigers batted for (99+55) 145 overs while in the second test, only (71+71) 142 overs. Seemingly, they failed to break yet another milestone by mere 3 overs. Well quality (i.e. efficiency) not the Quantity that matters. We also don't know what else goes behind the curtain. May be Dr. Dave asked the boys to treat the 4th day as if it's a one day warm-up match. You never know.
In recent days, the "mighty" Sri Lanka scored 208 all out while the "we will be number 1" India scored 185 and 200 all outs. On the other hand, the so called "tooth less tigers" scored 262 all out. If the mighty and the future number 1 can struggle, there's nothing wrong for us to struggle a bit, I guess. We may struggle and we may still not have our wisdom teeth out, but we are not toothless at all after all.
Within last two days the superstars from India & Sri Lanka scored the following:
Sehwag 22 & 58, Dravid 21 & 2, Tendulkar 21 & 2 Laxman 8 & 2, Atapattu 44, Jayasuriya 26, Sangakkara 13 and Jayawardene 16.
Compare these with our young cubs:
Javed Omar: 58, Tapash 66, Aftab 20 & 28, Rajin 35, Pilot 51, Mushfiq 15 & 20, Rafique 32 & 30. Feel better now?
See, there are lots of positives in this test to take home to. You just need to be a little picky. And suddenly you will feel better. Therefore relax, cheer up, and be positive!
When is the next series?
The author is a distinguished member of banglacricket forum and goes by the nick "Fazal" - editors