In the tri-nation series, the deficiency of Bangladesh was visible in the four places
Bangladesh lost all four matches of the tri-nation T20 cricket series in New Zealand after losing today’s match against Pakistan.
Shakib Al Hasan led team lost by 7 wickets against Pakistan in that match in Christchurch.
This year, Bangladesh have played against all sorts of teams, strong and weak, but have not managed a win in the T20 format against any team above them in the rankings.
The T20 World Cup is starting this month in Australia, and the Bangladesh T20 squad played the last match today before playing on the main stage of the World Cup.
In Christchurch today, Bangladesh batted first and scored 173 runs, but Pakistan answered the challenge quite easily. The opponents of Bangladesh won with one ball and seven wickets in hand.
In the current year 2022, Bangladesh has played 15 T20 matches so far, out of which the team has lost 11 matches.
The worst news is that the four matches that Bangladesh have won in 2022 only highlight the pathetic condition of Bangladesh. Bangladesh have won one match each against Afghanistan and Zimbabwe so far this year, and two against the United Arab Emirates.
Not only did Bangladesh lose all the remaining matches, but some of them lost by a large margin.
So the question arises as to what will be the right combination of the team before the T20 World Cup. Who will be able to win the match, or if any 11 players will get a winning result, these questions are still swirling in front of Bangladesh.
But analyzing why the party is doing so badly, there are several reasons.
Death over bowler
It was once thought that Mustafizur Rahman was the answer to the challenge of bowling in the final overs – and he could bring his magic to Bangladesh’s side in any match. But that Mustafizur Rahman is no longer available in the field.
Mustafiz averaged 40 in 15 T20 matches in the last one year.
No other bowler in Bangladesh had a worse average during this period.
Mustafiz bowled 48 runs in 4 overs in the first match of Christchurch in the ongoing tri-series against New Zealand and Pakistan.
Naturally he is left out. But the problem is that those who came in his place, they are not able to do well.
Like Mohammad Saifuddin. He last played in the T20 World Cup before getting a chance in the Bangladesh team for the Asia Cup in August.
He conceded 22 runs in an over against Sri Lanka in the first match of last year’s T20 World Cup main event, effectively ending Bangladesh’s chances of winning that match.
He then returned to T20 cricket for Bangladesh in the 2022 Asia Cup match against Afghanistan. In that match too, Saifuddin conceded 22 runs in an over while defending a low-scoring target. After that, Bangladesh could not return to the match.
In Christchurch today, Saifuddin gave a total of 19 runs including no ball, wide ball in an over in the middle of the innings.
In T20 cricket, scoring less runs is often more important than taking wickets. The team management of Bangladesh needs to rethink how to give less runs to the opponent by giving more dot balls.
In a press conference yesterday, Bangladesh coach Alan Donald said that the tri-series is a good field for Bangladesh to explore new things, and the team is looking into such things.
Captain Shakib Al Hasan is also not satisfied with his bowling.
After today’s match he said, “If someone had told me at the beginning of the day that I have to defend 170 runs, then I would have said it happily. But my bowling was not good, I have to work on it.”
Doubts about the opening pair
Bangladesh fielded several opening pairs in this tri-series, but still did not get off to the expected start.
Nazmul Hossain Shanto and Soumya Sarkar – started well in couple of matches but could not pull their innings properly.
Soumya has returned to the national team after a long time.
Liton Das usually opens for Bangladesh but this time he has been dropped at number three, a position played regularly by Shakib Al Hasan.
This is one area where Bangladesh’s plan worked – Liton Das and Shakib both batted well in the tri-series.
Shakib has batted at an average of 51 and a strike rate of 151 in 3 matches. Liton Das has also maintained a strike rate of over 140 in this series.
But in T20 cricket, if there is no good opening pair, it becomes difficult to use the powerplay properly, says Syed Abid Hussain Sami, cricketer and cricket analyst of the domestic league of Bangladesh.
Nazmul Hossain Shanto’s words come as an example. Bangladesh’s opener’s failure with the bat was eye-catching.
In today’s match as well, Shanto scored one run in the opening 9 balls of his innings – he ended up getting out for 12 runs off 15 balls.
Abid Hussain feels that Shantar’s performances at the net and on the field are completely different.
“Shatan is one of the favorites of the Bangladeshi coaches in practice. He had a very good session. But it has not been implemented on the field so far. So, even though the net session is optimistic about him, the team management is not seeing the results he expected on the field,” he said.
Nazmul Hossain Shanto could not score any runs in the first over in today’s match against Pakistan. And it is well known that a maiden over in T20 cricket can have a big impact on the outcome of the match.
Yasir, Afif, Mossadeq – suddenly out of form
Bangladesh’s poor performances in T20 matches this year have become a regular occurrence – and the failure of Bangladesh’s top order is the most noticeable in this case.
But now there are concerns about the lower middle order as well. Sometimes Afif Hossain or Mosaddek Hossain Saikat played some good innings in these positions and took the team to a fair position.
But only Yasir Ali’s innings of 42 runs from 21 balls in the tri-series in New Zealand did not see much role from the lower order.
Afif scored 64 runs in four matches at a strike rate of 101. And Nurul Hasan Sohan scored 37 runs in 4 matches.
On the other hand, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat scored only 11 runs in 3 matches.
Even today, Bangladesh managed to score only seven runs in the last ten balls.
Fielding has always been a concern for Bangladesh
Bangladesh is not able to overcome the weakness of fielding. A couple of seemingly easy fielding misses were made on the boundary line today, paving the way for Pakistan to tie the match.
While Babar Azam was batting, Saifuddin dropped a simple catch on the boundary line.
In this series, the New Zealand cricket team has nailed this one place. They have saved several runs on the boundary line in almost every match.
Today’s match did not show any extra drive to improve fielding among the Bangladeshi fielders – at times Mohammad Rizwan and Mohammad Nawaz easily pushed the ball beyond thirty yards to take two runs.
Journey to the World Cup without a win
The tri-series was a confidence booster for Bangladesh, but the results may tell how successful the team is in that mission.
After losing four matches in a row, no team gets any confidence.
Cricket analyst Tausia Islam told BBC Bangla that Bangladesh needed to win at least one match in this tournament.
That expected victory did not come. But according to Tausia Islam, it can be a curse.
“We saw in the 2021 T20 World Cup, Bangladesh went to the UAE with a false confidence after defeating Australia and New Zealand at home,” he recalled of Bangladesh’s plight in the last World Cup. In the main stage of that tournament, Bangladesh lost all the matches and left from the group stage.
“At least Bangladesh can come out of that situation (after failing in the tri-series), aware of their shortcomings,” argues Tausia Islam.
“Bangladesh played cricket at home with a false confidence, which will not happen this time. The problems of the Bangladesh cricket team are now clear,” added the analyst.