Series up for grabs

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Mominul scored 120 off 167 balls with 10 boundaries and 1 six (ICC Twitter Photo)

Shakib-Al-Hasan can lift with ease, if that is what we were looking for from the recently ended opening test between Bangladesh and West Indies. ‘The Spinners Ltd’ ensured a comfortable 64-run victory over the visiting Caribbeans. The captain sparkled with ball yet still looks far away from match prowess with bat. Then again it’s Shakib; guess no one will be amazed if he scores a hundred in the very next match. But the ruthlessness was found in captaincy as the four spinners turned the all-turning-wicket into a breathing inferno where the visitors suffocated. Some ‘Hope’ and ‘Chase’ were seen from islanders but in the end it didn’t really mattered. Bangladesh successfully executed their spinning wicket formula into action and takes command in the two-Test series.

Every Test cricketing country ensures a winning formula in their backyard nowadays, and it is no sin. The lonely pace-man from the home side Mustafizur Rahman bowled only 4 overs. Rest of the 99.5 overs were all bowled by the spinners. Unfortunately it raises the all-important question: can this side win away from home? But what is more alarming is that surprisingly the batting unit of a quality spinner side can’t play spin! If BCB as well as the Curator cares for the negative points that have already been awarded to Mirpur Cricket Stadium, then we might see a sporting aka batting wicket in the “nest” Test. And we would again loose another golden opportunity to show the actual quality of our batsmen. Mominul Huq’s batting beauty makes us hopeful that, with may be a little more determination, we can get a quality batting side. Batsmen have to understand the fact that if they can bat for at least 7 sessions in a Test then it will be a challenging job for any opponent.

As for bowling, the team have to upgrade its pace bowling capabilities. Abu Jayed Rahi could have been a handy inclusion in second Test. But any pacer will definitely improve the variety as of now. Shakib gloriously celebrated Ian ‘Beefy’ Botham’s birthday with yet another milestone. And with the enigmatic captaincy character he can lead the team into a quality Test side. As a Test playing side, Bangladesh has still its team character to prove. Taijul Islam gradually taking up the baton from Shakib is probably the most encouraging sight. And with Naeem Hasan and Mehidy Miraz the spin department looks quite set. Naeem might lose the spot if there is any pacer inclusion. The fielding over all has got to improve. Liton Das may be a handy inclusion in this connection, thanks to Soumya Sarker’s carelessness in both innings.

The visitors looked shaky against spin. But the pacers hinted for a fight with any total they have and that is a very positive thing. Shimron Hetmyer caused some real trouble but as a unit they need to pass more time down in the crease. The captain Kraig Braithwaite himself is capable of playing longer innings. If the total is healthier they still can save the series. But with another spin heaven as wicket, it will be a herculean task.

First Test win against the West Indies on home soil is off the list now. And the series is up for the grabbing for the home side. Braithwaite and Co. must find their way back up the game if they wish to avoid a series defeat here in Bangladesh.

  • Series up for grabs
  • Issue 21
  • Bahar Ahmed
  • Vol 35
  • DhakaCourier

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