Spin is the best medicine

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Triumphant Bangladesh Cricket team after winning the maiden innings victory whitewashing West Indies 2-0 (UNB Photo)

Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’s epistolary novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses, 1782 contained the lines “La vengeance est un plat qui se mange froide” meaning revenge is a dish best served cold. The line later got revolutionized by the all-time classic crime thriller ‘Godfather’. How have the lines suited Shakib al Hasan and his men! Just after five months of being thrashed 2-0 in a pace dominant series in the Caribbeans, Bangladesh served the coldest dish to the visitors. Completing another Bangla-wash to Kraigg Brathwaite’s side in a spin-dominant Test series where all 40 Caribbean wickets have been capitulated by the Tiger spinners. Captain Shakib snatched the man-of-the-series award after a three-month hiatus due to injury serving a ‘just another Shakib thing’ phenomenon to world cricket.

Mehidy Hasan Miraz surpassed his own record by taking 12 wickets for 117 runs in the second Test to provide the home side their first ever innings victory in test cricket. There was a time when bowlers like Khaled Mahmud and Tapash Baishya would get tired of bowling to formidable sides like the Proteas, Kangaroos, even the Lankans and still Bangladesh would lose the test by innings difference within 3 days. Tigers have come a long way from that and are on their way to establish their very own brand of cricket in front of the cricket-aristocrats. Debutant Shadman Islam brought back the ‘Tamim’ style in the sole innings on the very first day which was later fulfilled by Shakib and Mahmadullah in a 117 runs partnership. The home side put up a mammoth 508 runs in the first innings; thanks to 136 from the vice-captain Mahmudullah; as the Windies crumbled to 111 and 213 in both innings and embraced a defeat by an innings and 184 runs.

Shakib and Miraz bowled the first 5 Caribbean batsmen out which is an incident that happened for the first time after 1890 in test. Only Shimron Hetmyer showed some attacking display, rest of the islanders succumbed to the blistering spin of the Bangladesh spinners. Steve Rhodes’s disciples introduced a ‘spin quartet’ to the world and all hope was lost for the introducers of ‘Pace quartet’. It shut all the questions raised by pundits seeing a pacer-less side in test cricket. Home advantage could never be less cruel.

One day series is coming up. The most successful Tiger ‘el capitano’ Mashrafe bin Mortaza will lead the side where the islanders are surely underdog. Yet the side cannot be taken less seriously as batsmen like Hetmyer, Hope etc. have shown that they are capable of playing better innings in a spin friendly wicket. Hopefully the audience will get to see a better sporting wicket as Rubel Hossain and Mustafizur Rahman looks set to regain their spot in the squad. Young guns like Abu Hider Roni might eye the series for making a stronger impact on the team.

All spinning wicket in both the Tests ensured Tiger’s first-ever Test clean sweep against the Windies on home soil. Now the battle of establishing ODI supremacy. Will Mashrafe and his men be able to clinch the series as dominantly as the Test series? To know the answer keep an eye on the tally from December 9.

  • DhakaCourier
  • Vol 35
  • Bahar Ahmed
  • Issue 22
  • Spin is the best medicine

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