With pressure of qualify for the big events by maintaining the rankings in mind TIGERS faced the Afghans in the Rocket Bangladesh Afghanistan ODI series, the first ever bilateral series between them. Though this series was meant to be a dress rehearsal for the team Tigers before heading towards the well-settled team England who arrived without their skipper Eoin Morgan.
But the irony of fate what was expected from the team Tigers are by far missing of their volatile nature of cricket. This was hypothetical to be overwhelmed by the team tigers in their previous couple of meetings likes of Pakistan, India and South Africa.
Although they did managed to win their triumph of their 100 one-day international wins. Before heading towards the England series, team Bangladesh wants an uplifting and charming proceeding series against Afghanistan playing after almost 11 months. Team Bangladesh did undertake to win the series by the open-handedness of likes the number one all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and most runs getter in the series and man of the series ‘Tornado’ Tamim Iqbal.
However, a lot to improve before the England series starts. Unlike them team Tigers fielding was poor and discreditable in all of the three matches even though Bangladesh managed to win the series thanks to the poor and inexperienced batting display from the Afghanistan. A few issues to settle up before the real battle-
BATTING ORDER DILEMMA
Firstly, if opener gives you a delightful start then for rest of the batsman’s batting becomes relaxed. So the rest do not have to feel the pressure to score quick. But this was unexploited during the Afghan series and in return team tigers was under a bit of a pressure and eventually lose the second match of the series. In the first match team Tigers opener failed to achieve a fruitful partnership, Soumya Sarkar got out in his first ball without troubling the scorer.
But on the other hand opener Tamim Iqbal sails the scorecard ship and did manage to score a match winning score of 80 runs. But in the 2nd ODI, the tiger openers managed to put up a modest partnership. Tamim got caught by his aggressive nature of batting and played a rash shot and gave his wicket away. In the next over Soumya Sarkar gave his wicket freely by playing an irresponsible shot over the cover. This kind of thoughtless shot if plays by the two opener when they will play against the high-quality English team would find themselves without any mercy.
Secondly, their specialist one and two down spots needed to be fixed otherwise a big problem. As Mamudullah is uninterruptedly playing well in this position so they might keep them in this position as locked. Because past history spoke that chopping and changing in the 1st down wouldn’t help the cause for any team. In this series also once they tried and failed by sending Mahmudullah in later in the order and eventually damages the batting line-up and failed miserably.
There is still some doubt on which position fits the flamboyant Sabbir Hossain. In T20I, he played as number three with success but in the ODI line up his batting order may give pressure to Commander Mashrafe as he occasionally sends him onto bat in first down but played most of his matches in the lower order of the tigers line up.
In the last ODI, he did manage to score a rapid fifty and guided the team along with the senior pro Tamim Iqbal after coming as no.3 batter. Batting order in third, fourth and fifth – if comprises Sabbir, Mushfiq, Shakib might be a wise selection. As they are the most runs getter for team tigers and will bat in this middle order. Though Mushfiq is slightly out of touch. Skipper Mashrafe do often face problem whether to play a specialist bowler or to play an all-rounder.
This place once quite firmly maintained by Nasir Hossain. But due to his selection absence, this place is now vulnerable. Bangladesh team seriously missed a part time bowler and who also can score crucial runs in the later order as Nasir provided the team before. By the inclusion of the debutant Mosaddek Hossain, this place now seems to be getting stronger which is used to be for team Tigers. In his very first match against Afghanistan, Mosaddek showed temperment and compusure to this cricketing world and what he is capable of doing in the near future.
Team Tigers bowling has been a successful bunch during the past two years. Their bowling attack led by number one ODI all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan along with the man in charge Captain Mashrafe. Taskin Ahmed comes after the clearance of his suspected bowling action although he seemed a bit casual in the ODI’s but did manage to take wickets in every match.
His initial bowling spell was little awkward compared to what he is capable of. But now team Tigers are feeling the pressure to pick their 4th and 5th specialist bowler. As after recovery from injury, Rubel Hossain managed to play the first and the second ODI against Afghanistan but did not turn up with his best. So in the third ODI, he got dropped and also susequetly from the England series too.
In the absence of Mustafizur Rahman, he was a keyman. But with the inclusion of Al-Amin Hossain to the squad made the pace bowling attack solid. In the spinning department, team Tigers tried to introduce a specialist spinner, Taijul Islam. But Taijul could not do well in the series against Afghanistan.
As team Tigers have the world class spinner like Shakib and a balanced and efficient bowler like Mahmudullah, Introducing a specialist spinner and an orthodox lefty spinner may not help the cause against England. However, they kept Mosharof Hossain Rubel in the squad who made a stunning comback in the last ODI against the Afghans.
In the series against Afghanistan, Tigers fielding was imperfectly wrong. They missed the presence of Nasir in the outfield. Specially the close catchers were shockingly poor, dropped easy catches. Where in every successful fielding side they do have a specialist slip fielder but team Tigers may need to pay attention in this sector.
Inside 30-metre circle team Tigers performance was also going horribly wrong. This may cause Imrul Kayes to exchange his place with his other teammate. In the first match of the series, even the best in the fields likes of Soumya and Mahmudullah dropped dolly catches. It is hard to ignore the mistakes from Mushfiqur Rahim as his keeping is a liability for the team.
In the series decider for Bangladesh in the second ODI, keeper Mushfiq missed a crucial catch of settled Afghan batsman who went to make a big contribution. If that catch was taken than the situation might end up with a different figure. So team Tigers keep super close circuit eyes for fielding. England team is very good in fielding so compete with them will be a huge challenge but a big step to turn up right and show the world that TIGERS belongs to this world stage.