Let's face it. This was a disappointing series. We arrived at Harare the favorites
with dreams of yet another whitewash but we left 3-2 losers of the 5 match-series.
All analyses point the fingers of blame to us; the team, the individual players,
and the management. As I grade our sorry performance, I wonder whether the recent
past successes are just flashes in the pan.
Taking a look at the performance of our team here, are their grades before
the Kenya series:
Javed Omar: 3 matches, 24 runs @ 8.00, grade: F
Nothing needs to be said here...JO should not be in our ODI XI.
Shahriar Nafees: 5 matches, 248 runs @ 62.00, grade: A-
He would have had an A, but his ton came a little too late but not only did
he have an atrocious dismissal.
Rajin Saleh: 3 matches, 102 runs @ 32.00, 6 wickets @ 8.50, grade:
Nothing spectacular, but sure beats JO...if only the selectors can remember
Aftab Ahmed: 5 matches, 126 runs @ 25.20, grade: C+
Just one big game, and it wasn't that big...but he did score at a rapid rate
and for that he gets the +
Mohammad Ashraful: 4 matches, 81 runs @ 20.25, grade: C-
Another poor series and most frustrating was that he got starts twice and couldn't
even make a 50 out of them...performed just enough to remain in the squad.
Saqib al Hasan: 1 match, 30 runs, 1 wicket @ 39.00, grade: B+
Could be, along with Forhad, the genuine all-rounder we have been looking
for (aka Alok Kapali's worst nightmare)...seemed to be solid in his cameo debut.
Forhad had a good debut
Forhad Reza: 3 matches, 95 runs @ 31.66, 2 wickets @ 46.50, grade:
Looks to be a good find...probably won't be spectacular, but consistency is
what we need and he seems to fit the bill.
Khaled Mashud: 4 matches, 93 runs @ 46.25, grade: C
Batted too slowly, but did save our faces in one innings...the average is inflated
by batting so far down and so cautiously ...I think he did ok as a captain,
given that he was unprepared and couldn't do much more. Still with the rise
of more talented batting youngsters, his place in the side should become questionable.
Habibul Bashar: 2 matches, 45 runs @ 22.50, grade: C
A decent performance with a terrible one...you get a C, C-...his absence really
makes you appreciate his captaincy, flawed as it may be. Speaking of which,
we need to search for a future captain and groom him ASAP.
Mohammad Rafique: 5 matches, 4 wickets @ 46.50, 3.72 econ, 72 runs
@ 18.00, grade: B-
Batting was decent, especially when considered with the top order...but that's
nothing new...bowling was OK and still indispensable after all these years.
Abdur Razzak: 5 matches, 6 wickets @ 29.83, 3.73 econ, 31 runs, grade:
Played reasonably well except for one match.
Mashrafee Mortaza: 4 matches, 5 wickets @ 29.20, 4.17 econ, grade:
Just imagine if he had only conceded 16 runs in that fateful over...our perception
of him would have been completely different though his average and economy rate
would only be marginally affected. Still, he played well, but asides from the
1st game, he hasn't demolished anyone for a while.
Shahadat Hossain: 4 matches, 9 wickets @ 19.00, 5.23 econ, grade: B+
Took a hat trick, is still young and very green, and really ripped through
the Zimbabwe side at times...phenomenal average which would have been even better
had he not been hit for 44 wicketless runs in his final appearance of the series.
Syed Rasel: 1 match, 1 wicket @ 46.00, 4.60 econ, grade: B-
Played just one match, unfortunately.
Alok Kapali: 2 matches, 33 runs @ 16.50, grade: D
We don't need him anymore at all...should join the JO club
Only 2 batsman got D grades or worse, proving that the sum is, in this case,
actually lesser than the parts...batting looked lost, without purpose, and amateur
90% of the time. The only "positive" is that we still had the balls to win convincingly
in the finale, which just boosts our extremely low morale a wee bit
Yes, there were huge flaws...but there were also some pretty big bonuses...overall
it was pretty good. just a bit above an average performance. With just a few
more runs on the board, this bowling would have been more than enough to take
this series. Bowling may have lost us a game in the 3rd ODI, but overall, it
is undoubtedly our batting which really let us down.
Haven't seen much of the games, but from what I know, our fielding was pretty
poor, especially early on. Dropped catches, fumbles in the outfield, and poor
throws at the stumps. Hopefully we can recover in a week's time.
Selection issues: F
Our selectors aren't the best in the world, but they aren't usually this bad
either. As bad as it is to put JO in, its terrible that he came at the cost
of Rajin, and its an outright war crime that they persisted with him for 3 matches
before dropping him. And I am not a JO hater. They rotated the fast bowlers
poorly. Rajib could have been played all 5 games, but its perfectly fine he
was rested for the last match. But Mash should have been either rotated with
Rasel sooner, or they could have tried 3 pacers just once. If JO and Alok aren't
finished for good, the selectors will still score low with me, no matter how
many genius moves they may make in the future.