Bangladesh test team needs to upgrade some fundamentals of cricket, to become more competitive in test format. Right now, they are going nowhere as a team in the test format.
Following the process, We are going to identify the loopholes and recommend some changes in Test cricket for Bangladesh.
1. Sub standards first-class cricket
When the matter comes to test cricket, first-class cricket does play the most significant role in producing players for the National team. But low domestic standards are hurting the cricketing fraternity of Bangladesh very awkwardly.
Let’s look at some of the drawbacks of Bangladesh first-class cricket :
- There are very few opportunities for the players of the first-class level to use the bowling machine.
- Lack of fitness facility which is the need for the highest level of cricket(for example a gym, swimming pool, etc.)
- The point system of NCL refreshed in several instances during the last decade.
- A rule introduced a few years ago that pacer can not bowl more than 15 overs in a day. As a result, it is not helping to encourage faster bowlers’ development.
- The scope for the players to practice limited due to the lack of practice ground.
- The pitches are always shallow and slow, which does not encourage to produce results.
In the last three years, Bangladesh has got the most of the players from the U-19 circuit. Likes of Mehedi Miraz, Mohammed Saif Uddin, Saif Hasan, etc. The under-19 level can not be a permanent solution, as they got very little time to enhance their potential. A better first-class structure can help to produce a player with better techniques. For the long-time success in the test cricket, there is no alternative to first-class cricket.
2. Technical deficiency causing the downfall of Bangladesh test team
Sound technical skills are the indissoluble part of the test cricket. However, the Bangladesh cricket team is lacking in this particular area.
The skill level of Bangladesh’s batsmen has exposed terribly against India in the Indore test recently. India was not an alien condition for them by any means. But they looked in complete disarray as a batting unit.
They not only looked very tentative outside the off stump, but also the technique of playing against the swinging ball was very questionable. Mushfiqur Rahim was the only exception for Bangladesh in both innings. Apart from him, no other batsmen have not been able to show any reliance.
Since 2000, Bangladesh has bundled out 150 or less precisely 48 times in test cricket. They are standing at the top in this pedigree by quite a few distances. Besides, among them, Bangladesh all out below 100 runs ten times.
After Bangladesh, Sri Lanka is the second in the list with 31 occasions. Australia has done very well in this category, as they just all-out seven times 150 or less since 2000. This graph is showing how the Bangladesh team is operating as a test unit, as compared to other top nations.
It is a no brainer to understand what happens when a team score curtailed 150 or less. The team supposes to lose most of the games.
Since 2000 top test nations performance in overseas condition
3. Jack of all trades, master of none
Each format of the cricket demands players with distinctive skill sets. But the Bangladesh team is over-dependent on an individual group of players. As a result, their performance deteriorates while playing each format of the game.
They are struggling as a team in the overseas conditions, as they have won only three matches in the last ten years in the away tours. All of them are against the comparatively weaker team, Sri Lanka, West Indies, and Zimbabwe.
4. Pacers hardly get the chance to play
Day by day, the role of the pace bowlers in the test team is shrinking. Team management seems very much reluctant over picking the pace bowlers in the group. The Pacers are not getting the chance to develop their skills at the highest levels. Consequently, they are not delivering even in the pace friendly conditions.
5. No culture of playing the practice match
If we look at the successful team of the test format, we can discover that all of them play at least one practice match before starting every overseas tour. It does help to adapt to situations in a significant deal. But very surprisingly Bangladesh test team seems very reluctant to play the tour matches. Hence, so often, they stumbled in the abroad conditions as a team.
6. Lack of Intent while performing the test :
It is crucial to play with the right intensity to do well in test cricket. However, Bangladesh looked very much less intent about the original form of cricket.
Other top test nations have a substantial number of assigned players for the test format, who are devoted to the test cricket. But very sadly, there is no such culture in Bangladesh cricket. It does not matter if a player is passionate about playing test cricket or not. To be precise, this is not a matter of consideration during the selection procedure.
As a fan, it is hurting to see completely different body language while they play test cricket. They seem not interested in playing the test match. There is a massive following of cricket in Bangladesh, and fans do invest a tremendous amount of emotion while Bangladesh plays. However, they seem very less affected by the fact.
Some feasible solutions that may help the Bangladesh test team
Revamp the first-class structure:
- Increase the number of sporting wickets for first-class cricket to produce more quality players.
- Expand the facility for the players at the first-class level to boost the motivation of choosing cricket as a profession.
- Make the mandatory rule for the national team player to play first-class cricket.
- Take some initiatives to improve the quality of umpiring.
- Introduce the live telecast of the matches at the first-class level, to allow the players to work on their weaknesses through video clips.
Improve the technical skills
- Bangladesh players need to work with the weakness of the individual player on a broad scale.
- In test cricket, it is crucial to remain technically sound for existence. Players need to learn the art of adopting different conditions.
- In the batting department, they need to understand their role before anything else — different batting positions demand different skills. So they need to develop their skills based on their spot and expectations of the team.
Specialist cricketer for each format
- Bangladesh test team needs specialized players for each form of the game.
- It is requisite to give the highest priority on skill level while selecting a player for test cricket. To be precise, the players who can adapt to different conditions.
Encourage the pacers
- Need a consistent selection of the pace bowlers, no matter what is the pitch is demanding.
- Some proper planning and guidelines are needed to groom the skills of the quick bowlers.
- As a bowling group, the Bangladesh team needs some bowlers who can bowl on a consistent line and length regularly to challenge the opposition. Also, they need to adopt the art of bowling in different match situations — for example, the ability to swing with the new ball. Moreover, reverse swing with the older bowl, etc.
Fitness level and mental strength
- It is essential to stay at the top conditions in terms of fitness in international cricket to perform well. So why Bangladesh’s players need a vast improvement in their competence to become more proficient in the test cricket.
- Fitness should be the most decisive factor in the selection process. If any players do not pass the fitness test, he can not be part of the team; it does not matter how talented the player is. However, it is also true that Bangladesh is not famous for such a rule. But they need to make it mandatory to do well in the test cricket.
- Mental strength is a very imperative element of modern cricket, while Bangladesh players at times seem over flooded by emotion. As a result, they break down as a team in the crunch moment. They need to control their feelings to become a better team in test cricket.
Mandatory practice match
- At least one practice match before starting the overseas tour.
- The practice match will be a perfect test of temperament before the actual examination.
As a dye hurt fan of Bangladesh, it is heartbreaking to see continuous struggles in the test format. I am very upbeat that over the period, Bangladesh’s cricket team will improve as a Test nation to justify the emotions of the fans.
Blog post by Shibatus Bhattacharjee