It would be pretty much fair to say that the ODI series which Bangladesh Team has just finished against the Australians has been their most confused and colorless series in recent times. Much was expected from them this time around, but what the players and the selectors delivered were merely an array of symptoms of desperate, unplanned & hasty trials for making a big impression in front of the world. After a chain of successes against every opponent they played in the last one year, the BD players looked to be taking things too easy and taking it for granted that they will win some matches no matter how they play.
Obviously, the reality was quite different and many of our core performers (eg. Aftab-Ash) were practically flops making things even worse. But even more disturbing was the shakiness of the selectors/think-tanks in deciding
So... who wants to play in tomorrows game? Â© AFP
about the batting-squad or the batting order itself. Their spontaneous experiments in these matters backfired pathetically and could only expose that they were perhaps embarrassed by the outcome of each match. It was desperation that prompted them to come up with a more â€œperfectâ€ squad and batting order in every next game.
These series of obscure decisions and haphazard moving around were really hard to comprehend for the cricket following mass. If we analyze the playing eleven selections and batting order then it becomes clear that individual playerâ€™s reputation, form or the match situation experience had little to do with the selection. Let us go through some post-match evaluations:
- Putting Rajin Saleh in opening did not work. He was brought back in the ODI team after some long time and put straight to opening against the mighty Australians. Having his last match against Kenya, and a slow scorer in the AUS-Test Series he could probably be a good stable choice for #4 or #5.
- It was probably a complete childish decision on the selectors' part to let Bashar, the current best-in-form batsman, come at #5. Considering his form and the teamâ€™s top-order vulnerability, he should have come in one-down position in each of the games and should really have gone on to make a 100 in at least one of the matches.
- Another really annoying thing from the selectors' part was to play a different squad in each of the games. Established test nations rarely does that. If it did not work them, it will obviously not work for us.
- The â€˜Alok-Tusharâ€™ experiment completely backfired and was fruitless. Even though Tushar scored just 20 in the first match, he came at #6 and formed a useful 38 runs partnership with Bashar. It seems out of whim he was pushed to #4 position in the next game and was dropped in the last one to make room for Alok. Alok had scored a 10 and bowled 4 overs for 23 runs in the ODI-2 (in the same match, Tushar bowled 4 overs for 16 runs). In the last ODI, Alok just scored 5 runs and lofted the ball in the air for an easy catch. He did not get a chance to bowl either. What was the logic behind not letting Tushar play 3 straight matches (and preferably in same position) on his come-back?
- The positions of Pilot & Rafiq was pretty much experimental. Pilot was either brought in the game too early or too late. It just shows that BDâ€™s game plans do not adjust to the match situations promptly; rather they stick to a prefabricated mind set.
- Rafiq & all our tail-enders:
We are not too sure what is wrong with the famous BD-tail. They sure look either too careless or too frustrated to hang in there in recent times. This is another area of the team where the things need to be cured urgently. Loosing last 4/5 wickets for mere 20/30 runs is not only unacceptable, but also criminal offense.
If some sane and logical thinking is put into the team selection and batting order, then it would have probably looked like the following(for all 3 matches):
S. Nafees, Tushar, Bashar, Aftab, Rajin
Ash/Alok, Pilot, Rafiq, Mashrafe, Rajjak, Rasel/Shahadat
In the above line-up, the only gamble would be Tushar in opening. Without JO in the team, it would probably be a worthy gamble to try him there. Alok should not have been there replacing Tushar. He could have only replace Ash when he was dropped. Strictly no sudden-change in batting order and stick to the squad as much as possible. Dropping Ash in one game and bringing him back in next only showed how shaky the selectors were in taking bold decisions.
We know it is quite easy to come up with a possible batting order and squad after the series is finished. After acknowledging that fact, we also have to voice strongly over these careless childish team selection and batting order. Nothing justifies those choices by selectors and team management.
Previously, it was trademark for BD team to be disastrous in batting, but things are expected to be better these days. The opposition, the media, the TV commentators, practically everyone expect BD to do far better in recent times. Observing the recently concluded ODI series between Australia and Bangladesh it can be said that BD consistently and hopelessly â€˜under-performedâ€™. It was a tough series and the confused team management only made things worse.
Hopefully, this was a lesson learnt by the selectors and the management (never to be repeated).