Mike Holmans March 26, 2010

A modest triumph

Bangladesh are no longer a hopeless joke team who should not be playing Test cricket, but a weak team who still need to do a lot of work, much like New Zealand in the 1930s.
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"Bangladesh - catching up with the big boys in Test cricket" © Associated Press

Bangladesh v England was a very boring Test series, which represents a triumph, if perhaps a modest one, for Bangladesh.

Five years ago, a Bangladesh Test involved far more action than it should have. There would be a day and a half of their opponents gaily bashing their way to 500-6 or so, surrounded or followed by a day and a half of Bangladeshi batsmen throwing their twenty wickets away like confetti, and the whole ritual would be over in three days.

Now it takes five days to beat Bangladesh. They have enough batsmen with enough gumption to bat extremely boringly in the name of crease occupation and enough bowlers who may not be threatening but can at least bowl a line and length which keeps the runs down for them to have chances of drawing a game. Another fifteen overs batting at Mirpur and England would have needed 250 off 40 overs, which ought to have been possible to defend, which means Bangladesh came quite close to achieving a draw, which is by no means bad. If they had been luckier with the umpiring, England could well have had to bat for more than a day to get 350, which would have been an even more interesting prospect.

Five years ago, Mohammad Rafique was their only Test-class player; Habibul Bashar was thought to be, but he rightly acquired the nickname “Habitual Basher” and was soon shown to be nothing but a slogger. Now they have three definites and a couple of probables.

Shakib is that rare beast, the genuine Test all-rounder: with the possible exception of Sri Lanka, who might not have room for a slow-left-arm-bowling all rounder, and New Zealand who already have one, any Test side would be happy to pick him, and he would be worth his place in either discipline.

Tamim Iqbal will spend his career being criticised for throwing his wicket away, but since he is liable to have scored at least fifty runs before doing it, the criticism will miss the point. In the time he is at the crease, he can wreak havoc. Alastair Cook was clearly thrown badly off-course during his first-morning assault in the second Test, and such impact can make it easier for his batting partners. Well, some of them at least, because there is no helping Imrul Kayes, who is clearly not up to batting at Test level. But Tamim's ambition is clearly to be Virender Sehwag when he grows up, and there's little reason to suppose that he can't do it.

Mushfiqur Rahim is another class batsman with a rather more admirable temperament for Test cricket. He has some nice shots but also showed his tenacity and ability to bat for long periods. On the other hand, his wicketkeeping leaves much to be desired, being no better than that of Rahul Dravid or Marcus Trescothick, stand-ins who kept in ODIs in order to accommodate extra bowlers.

Junaid Siddique gained a lot of confidence from his maiden Test hundred at Chittagong and played very nicely at Mirpur, but I'm still suspicious that he can only cope with Test-class bowling on pitches which have been drained of all life. Mahmudullah, or “Armadillo” as my wife calls him, may have some talent too, but much more evidence is needed.

That is at least the nucleus of a team.

In cycling terms, they have still not caught up with the peloton, but the peloton is very much in view. One boost, and they will be there. That boost needs to be the discovery of a new bowler, preferably a quick, who is at least as good as Mashrafe Mortaza was before he broke down, seemingly irretrievably.

Without such a bowler, they have almost no chance of bowling a decent side out twice, which means that they are very unlikely to win any matches, but the coming years should see them drawing on a fairly regular basis. Bangladesh are no longer a hopeless joke team who should not be playing Test cricket, but a weak team who still need to do a lot of work, much like New Zealand in the 1930s. Achieving that milestone is a triumph.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Bijit on June 13, 2010, 8:49 GMT

    I think test cricket will be extinct by the time Bangladesh learns how to play it. Tamim is doing the right thing by scoring as many runs as quickly possible. who knows when Bangladesh will be off their test status. its much better to give up cricket than playing a test against Afghanistan and losing it someday.

    Its not the ability of Bangladeshi players to play better, its their mentality. Until they change their attitude and start believing that they can beat the opposition, there aren't any hope.

  • mahfuz on May 26, 2010, 14:54 GMT

    tamim break the that was supposed to be broken by S. Anwar. saeed anwar retired 2 early. T. Iqbal is a duplicate of S anwar. Such lovely player to watch. 1 shot from tamim would trilling to watch , such lovely timer best, best, best , the best TAMIM IS THE BEST.

  • saleh mazumder on May 9, 2010, 20:53 GMT

    sunny you say whatever it wont change any fact or the future of Bangladesh cricket. your this analysis is worthless. before you comments have you count the average age of Bangladesh cricket team??? 23. I am wondering how they will play at the age of ave: 28, predicting the no one test playing nation in asia. dont think so ??? note it down.

  • Rashu on April 10, 2010, 17:22 GMT

    To procyni and Giza, I think you have no idea about international cricket. Bangladesh has beaten every major nations except England and they were very closed to beat them a few days ago. Your favourite Ireland has beaten only pakistan and Bangladesh in WC,2007. They also beat Bangladesh in T20 WC, besides they have no major success. They lost to Afghanistan a few days ago. Do you know they were clean sweeped by Bangladesh in Bangladesh 2008. Kenya has beaten some major but their last major win is 6 years ago. They were also clan sweeped by BD in home and abroad in 2006.How you can write such kinds of foolish opinion ?I think you have no idea about ICC ranking. Do you know Shakib is the number 1 allrounder in ODI and 3in Test format. Mushfiq is the 2nd ranked wicket keeper batter in test after Dhoni ahead of Haddin ,Boucher and Ur favourite Prior. Tamim is also appreciated by many batting legends. Ya we have some problems in our cricket administation but we are improving

  • Daniel on April 6, 2010, 9:47 GMT

    Sunny mate...Bangladesh in comparison to most other test playin nations are poor as a test unit, I'll give u that, we can't take 20 wickets at our own backyards...v ain't blaming umpires mistakes for that...but 4 wat is worth this side is very young both by age and number of games they played, perhaps the onus is upon the better teams to play against us, If u luk at our test or even odi matches to b playd dis year ull realise how little we get to play agaist the best of game. We ain't happy losing ESP the players out there who toil under the sun knowing they have been written off, even before a ball has been bowled!!! That the mental strength of our players we appluad...winning is tuff but to show up and play against all odds and give your ur best is worthy of appreciation. V ain't winning n never will till v learn by fighting n struggling against the best...all the best to boys in green dese hard toilin days shall 1 day pay dividends:)

  • hj on March 29, 2010, 7:22 GMT

    sunny i think you are right.your comments are true.sometimes the bangladeshis do things in the field which is not at all accepted.i am sorry if i am rude about english cricket.but the bangladeshis are slowly progressing.i know afew good shots can never win the game but at least they are trying to play those.you are right about low expectations.but a few years back we nearly gave up any expectations.i think problem of bd cricket is their administration.the icc should keep a good eye on the administration.and for the players,i think they should be given more facilities to improve their game and should stick together to grow as ateam.the other countries should help bangladesh to develop their cricket.it will be good for cricket itself

  • Sunny on March 28, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    @hj….look, if truth be told I am a fan of BD cricket and it is my frustration of seeing the slow progress being made by BD that spills over into my comments. I just get the feeling that BD demand so little of themselves that they are pleased with sub standard performance when they can do better. Many BD fans seem satisfied to see lots of good shots but lose the match and do not appreciate the true meaning of test cricket where two countries are pitched in a battle, albeit in a cricket field. You talk of England’s rankings and whether they are good. The point is not whether they are good but that you will always know that you are playing test cricket when you play them. The England eleven may not be the best that ever played but they will fight to win a match or to save it. That is not what Bangladeshis do.. they focus on a few good personal performances and the fans are happy and the administration (filled with mediocre cricketers) are happy. If you are a BD fan you should demand more

  • hj on March 28, 2010, 5:08 GMT

    sunny i think you have missed the entire point.i do believe that china should get test status because ihave read about their fast developing cricketers.the sucess of indian team has been achieved because of their fastly developing infastructure.but if they didnt have 1b cricket fanatic then i think this sucess coudnt have been achieved .england probably have the oldest and strongest domestic structure but stil they havent won the world cup and they are not amongst the top 3teams inthe test arenna.they have(english) all the tallent in the world but ithink they are missing the x factor.thats the problem with the bangladeshis too.and sunny another fact i want you to see shakibs bowling figures in the second test . i think his efforts in the match will tell you something

  • Min on March 27, 2010, 21:49 GMT

    Wait and see BD will show some sparks very soon again, just bare in mind BD won against all the major countrys apart from England and that will happen near future!

  • Sunny on March 27, 2010, 19:01 GMT

    ..some hyper comments which has forced me to write again..

    @bbb..of the 10 "slow left arm bowlers who are skilled enough to play at international standards" Razzak must be the best to have made it to the final eleven and his analyses suggests that he take a wicket every 20 overs giving away 70 runs for each wicket in tests!! cannot think of a worst analyses for a specialist bowler at test level!

    @hj..presumably you think China is deserving of test status based on their billion+ population of which 15% who might love cricket! just having large population who love cricket should not be the criteria if the players themselves are sub standard. They do not pose any "test" for their opponents and demean the game.

    Bangladesh Cricket fans should get real and stop believing their own hype. Unless they identify the problem they can never devise a solution! The problem lies with their infrastructure (or lack of it), their poor quality administration and players lacking mental strength!

  • Bijit on June 13, 2010, 8:49 GMT

    I think test cricket will be extinct by the time Bangladesh learns how to play it. Tamim is doing the right thing by scoring as many runs as quickly possible. who knows when Bangladesh will be off their test status. its much better to give up cricket than playing a test against Afghanistan and losing it someday.

    Its not the ability of Bangladeshi players to play better, its their mentality. Until they change their attitude and start believing that they can beat the opposition, there aren't any hope.

  • mahfuz on May 26, 2010, 14:54 GMT

    tamim break the that was supposed to be broken by S. Anwar. saeed anwar retired 2 early. T. Iqbal is a duplicate of S anwar. Such lovely player to watch. 1 shot from tamim would trilling to watch , such lovely timer best, best, best , the best TAMIM IS THE BEST.

  • saleh mazumder on May 9, 2010, 20:53 GMT

    sunny you say whatever it wont change any fact or the future of Bangladesh cricket. your this analysis is worthless. before you comments have you count the average age of Bangladesh cricket team??? 23. I am wondering how they will play at the age of ave: 28, predicting the no one test playing nation in asia. dont think so ??? note it down.

  • Rashu on April 10, 2010, 17:22 GMT

    To procyni and Giza, I think you have no idea about international cricket. Bangladesh has beaten every major nations except England and they were very closed to beat them a few days ago. Your favourite Ireland has beaten only pakistan and Bangladesh in WC,2007. They also beat Bangladesh in T20 WC, besides they have no major success. They lost to Afghanistan a few days ago. Do you know they were clean sweeped by Bangladesh in Bangladesh 2008. Kenya has beaten some major but their last major win is 6 years ago. They were also clan sweeped by BD in home and abroad in 2006.How you can write such kinds of foolish opinion ?I think you have no idea about ICC ranking. Do you know Shakib is the number 1 allrounder in ODI and 3in Test format. Mushfiq is the 2nd ranked wicket keeper batter in test after Dhoni ahead of Haddin ,Boucher and Ur favourite Prior. Tamim is also appreciated by many batting legends. Ya we have some problems in our cricket administation but we are improving

  • Daniel on April 6, 2010, 9:47 GMT

    Sunny mate...Bangladesh in comparison to most other test playin nations are poor as a test unit, I'll give u that, we can't take 20 wickets at our own backyards...v ain't blaming umpires mistakes for that...but 4 wat is worth this side is very young both by age and number of games they played, perhaps the onus is upon the better teams to play against us, If u luk at our test or even odi matches to b playd dis year ull realise how little we get to play agaist the best of game. We ain't happy losing ESP the players out there who toil under the sun knowing they have been written off, even before a ball has been bowled!!! That the mental strength of our players we appluad...winning is tuff but to show up and play against all odds and give your ur best is worthy of appreciation. V ain't winning n never will till v learn by fighting n struggling against the best...all the best to boys in green dese hard toilin days shall 1 day pay dividends:)

  • hj on March 29, 2010, 7:22 GMT

    sunny i think you are right.your comments are true.sometimes the bangladeshis do things in the field which is not at all accepted.i am sorry if i am rude about english cricket.but the bangladeshis are slowly progressing.i know afew good shots can never win the game but at least they are trying to play those.you are right about low expectations.but a few years back we nearly gave up any expectations.i think problem of bd cricket is their administration.the icc should keep a good eye on the administration.and for the players,i think they should be given more facilities to improve their game and should stick together to grow as ateam.the other countries should help bangladesh to develop their cricket.it will be good for cricket itself

  • Sunny on March 28, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    @hj….look, if truth be told I am a fan of BD cricket and it is my frustration of seeing the slow progress being made by BD that spills over into my comments. I just get the feeling that BD demand so little of themselves that they are pleased with sub standard performance when they can do better. Many BD fans seem satisfied to see lots of good shots but lose the match and do not appreciate the true meaning of test cricket where two countries are pitched in a battle, albeit in a cricket field. You talk of England’s rankings and whether they are good. The point is not whether they are good but that you will always know that you are playing test cricket when you play them. The England eleven may not be the best that ever played but they will fight to win a match or to save it. That is not what Bangladeshis do.. they focus on a few good personal performances and the fans are happy and the administration (filled with mediocre cricketers) are happy. If you are a BD fan you should demand more

  • hj on March 28, 2010, 5:08 GMT

    sunny i think you have missed the entire point.i do believe that china should get test status because ihave read about their fast developing cricketers.the sucess of indian team has been achieved because of their fastly developing infastructure.but if they didnt have 1b cricket fanatic then i think this sucess coudnt have been achieved .england probably have the oldest and strongest domestic structure but stil they havent won the world cup and they are not amongst the top 3teams inthe test arenna.they have(english) all the tallent in the world but ithink they are missing the x factor.thats the problem with the bangladeshis too.and sunny another fact i want you to see shakibs bowling figures in the second test . i think his efforts in the match will tell you something

  • Min on March 27, 2010, 21:49 GMT

    Wait and see BD will show some sparks very soon again, just bare in mind BD won against all the major countrys apart from England and that will happen near future!

  • Sunny on March 27, 2010, 19:01 GMT

    ..some hyper comments which has forced me to write again..

    @bbb..of the 10 "slow left arm bowlers who are skilled enough to play at international standards" Razzak must be the best to have made it to the final eleven and his analyses suggests that he take a wicket every 20 overs giving away 70 runs for each wicket in tests!! cannot think of a worst analyses for a specialist bowler at test level!

    @hj..presumably you think China is deserving of test status based on their billion+ population of which 15% who might love cricket! just having large population who love cricket should not be the criteria if the players themselves are sub standard. They do not pose any "test" for their opponents and demean the game.

    Bangladesh Cricket fans should get real and stop believing their own hype. Unless they identify the problem they can never devise a solution! The problem lies with their infrastructure (or lack of it), their poor quality administration and players lacking mental strength!

  • hj on March 27, 2010, 18:43 GMT

    some blogers are bragging about bangladeshes test status .they also think kenya and ireland are better than bangladesh.i must tell you that bangladesh doesnt have agood domestic structure but they organised some compatative one day leauges before getting test status.in some of them greats like wasim akram,jayasuria played .you wont see that in previously mentioned countries.kenya have reached world cup semifinals once but afew days ago they were whitewashed by bangladesh.bangladesh have produced players like shakib and ican bet that they wil produce even moe.we are not physsically strong but i think phisical strenth is the problem for the bangladeshis .they just need to be mentally strong

  • hj on March 27, 2010, 18:07 GMT

    prociny imust tell you that tell you that bangladesh have 150 million people who love cricket i dont thinl your better! (ireland ,kenya) have that much population . our players are not the best but they are good

  • bbb on March 27, 2010, 15:54 GMT

    if u take a closer look at bangladesh's 1st class cricket, you would see that there are minimum of 10 slow left arm bowlers who are skilled enough to play at international standards.

  • M Rana on March 27, 2010, 15:45 GMT

    keep your faith on us...we'll be start roaring...i bet..

  • jamil on March 27, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    @gizza: u've right to comment but i'd like to say pls try to know more about cricket before comment in that way. i believe, talkers like u never be good doers, am i right?

  • TV Subramaniam on March 27, 2010, 13:57 GMT

    I think the biggest mistake ICC made was to grant Bangladesh 5 day tests instead of 4 day tests initially. That would have ensured that they would have drawn more games consequently enhancing their confidence levels. It would also have been a challenge for the opposing teams to try to win in four days.

  • poka005 on March 27, 2010, 12:39 GMT

    "IF NEW ZEALAND PUT 19 RUNS FROM 13 OVERS AGAINST AUSSIES THAT'S FIGHTING, BUT IF BANGLADESH DO THE SAME IT WILL BE BORING ..". I think that's nothing but a idiot opinion.

  • Sunny on March 27, 2010, 12:39 GMT

    @Tigertalk33....you make an interesting point, however I wonder if the likes of Kenya, Ireland or Afghanistan had Ashraful in their squad would he make the final eleven? You see he only averaged 16.33 in tests over the last 27 months (ref Cricinfo)!

  • kzed on March 27, 2010, 12:08 GMT

    @Rock, my apologies, an oversight!! England in division 1 ofcourse, and both both countries in no.6 drops to div 2.

  • tahitian on March 27, 2010, 11:53 GMT

    1) BD loses dumb wickets shortly before breaks; 2) in the field, heads drop too easily - in home conditions; 3) the conversion ratio of fifties to hundreds of the batsmen in the second test is barely 20% at first class level (ie, mostly, vs BD first-class bowling).

    I think the players are not fit enough. BD has no tradition of excellence in any sport I know.

    I'd look at the combination of their diet, training and equipment to increase the endurance of the individuals in a group of players who are, mostly, of a quite small stature.

  • nafee on March 27, 2010, 9:24 GMT

    we show our bench strength in this series............we have players like ash, mash,rock,alok,sahariar nafeez still coming back.........future looks very bright for bangladesh

  • Rock on March 27, 2010, 8:46 GMT

    @kzed, you probably didnt consider england to play cricket.

  • AtishG on March 27, 2010, 7:57 GMT

    Just keep watching Bangladesh. Corners have been turned and they may surprise a few people yet.

  • Tigertalk33 on March 27, 2010, 7:06 GMT

    Gizza you didn't need to make a comment on Bangladesh cause you have no idea about Bangladesh cricket. Show me an Ireland, Kenya or your favourite Afghan player as good as Shakib, Tamim, Mortaza, Ashraful, Mushfique,Mahmud Ullah or give me a bowler from the associates who can bowl at 140 kmph + like Shafiul and Rubel hossain. Actually, these facts are wasted on you cause you don't do research and don't know anything about international cricket. I bet you don't even know that Shakib is currently the number one all-rounder in the world! F O mate!

  • ty on March 27, 2010, 2:41 GMT

    bangla, is making cricket progess,but losing constantly is what u r going to b judge by.in the 1 test umpiring didn't cause them to lose.in the 2 test like the many others recently, it shows they need a breakthru bowler.also the batting has potential, but lacks discipline. not every lolipop needs to b hit for a 4. in the 2 test, 2 innings, last 3 outs were selfish n irresponsible 4 team n country.a draw was very possible,it would hav been good 4 their moral n progess.

  • kzed on March 27, 2010, 2:40 GMT

    I would have a 2 tier test structure to bring back interest at the lower half of the test table. This would involve the elevation of Kenya, Ireland and Afghanistan to a lower division test status and the table would look like this…………

    Division One (playing 5 day test cricket)

    1. India 2. Australia 3. South Africa 4. Sri Lanka 5. New Zealand 6. West Indies or Pakistan

    Division Two (playing 4 day test cricket)

    1. West Indies or Pakistan 2. Zimbabwe 3. Bangladesh 4. Ireland 5. Afghanistan 6. Kenya

    Within each division each team would have to play each other a 3 test series (home and away) over a 3 year period. At the end of the 3 years the bottom team of division 1 gets relegated to div 2 and the top team in div 2 gets promoted to div 1 and the process restarts.

    With the top teams refusing to host the likes of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in the FTP beyond 2010, the 2 division structure would bring much needed interest in the game at test level and the matches would be more meaningful.

  • Gizza on March 26, 2010, 23:13 GMT

    @Procyni you are right. Ireland and Kenya would have performed better. Sri Lanka improved at a far better rate. Even India and New Zealand in terms of Test matches had to started to draw and win more frequently. (Note: It still took a long time but that was because they didn't play as often as Bangladesh do now).

    I have a feeling even Afghanistan could outperform Bangladesh given their more determined culture.

  • Hasan on March 26, 2010, 21:03 GMT

    @Procyni: Please learn more. Bangladesh has been playing test cricket for 9 years not 15 years.

  • Procyni on March 26, 2010, 20:18 GMT

    After 15 years in Test Cricket, Bangladesh should not be flattered by a 'boring' 2-0 loss to a half-strength English side. An England who are not known for their accomplishments while touring the hot and humid subcontinent! The continued patronage of Bangladesh's 'efforts' in losing causes is probably why they have a culture of mediocrity in their cricket. I sometimes wonder if Ireland or Kenya would have achieved more,had they been elevated to test status in the same period. Ireland have certainly caused more upsets in the big tournaments they have been part of in the past 3-4 years. And Kenya once made the semifinals of the World Cup

  • plmx on March 26, 2010, 16:40 GMT

    What if Swann, Treadwell, Broad, Bresnan, Finn were Bangladesh players bowling at Cook, Pieterson, Colly, Bell. Trott, et al (like they did to the Bangladesh batsmen) would England have scored significantly more than 704 runs (BD’s 2 innings total)? How much more? If Tamim, Shakib, Mushfiq et al faced Razzak, Shafiul, Rubel, Shakib (like the English batsmen did) would they have scored something close to the English runs? How close?....and what if all the umpiring howlers were reversed and England were at the receiving end....would that have affected the nature of the contest and the mood in the England camp? The Bangladesh bowling looked hopeless at times but then it was a hopelessly dead wicket.

    I tend to enjoy test matches where a real battle is fought between two sides even if the two sides do not possess the best bowlers or the best batsmen. Bangladesh failed to put up a real fight and must be marked down on this more than on the skills test. I would welcome your views on this.

  • S. Sen on March 26, 2010, 16:10 GMT

    What a gratuitously nasty and patronizing little report.

  • Dr.Iyer on March 26, 2010, 15:50 GMT

    I ld rate this Bangladesh team highly. They are growing in stature and few good debuts - one genuine quick or medium pacer and one more for middle order you ll have a very decent team. They have a good captain in Shakib.

  • Jackie L on March 26, 2010, 13:43 GMT

    Perhaps if you call a Test Series boring because of crease occupation - and there were three centurions Cook, Bell and Colly - that has a familiar ring to it - then maybe you shouldn't be writing about it Test cricket. I thought Bangladesh showed spirit and the conditions were difficult - 94 percent humidity and 40 degrees is tough - their big problem was poor fielding and not to fight to the finish. But their spin bowlers posed problems for England, especially Carberry, Trott and our tail past Bresnan. And there was some fine batting from both sides. This report is too trite.

    [Mike: Very little fine batting and very little fine bowling. Most of what we saw was no better played than a division 2 county match.]

  • Reza on March 26, 2010, 12:24 GMT

    They are at least starting to believe in themselves. I think that's the biggest gain of a team which is used to losing. Good luck to them.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Reza on March 26, 2010, 12:24 GMT

    They are at least starting to believe in themselves. I think that's the biggest gain of a team which is used to losing. Good luck to them.

  • Jackie L on March 26, 2010, 13:43 GMT

    Perhaps if you call a Test Series boring because of crease occupation - and there were three centurions Cook, Bell and Colly - that has a familiar ring to it - then maybe you shouldn't be writing about it Test cricket. I thought Bangladesh showed spirit and the conditions were difficult - 94 percent humidity and 40 degrees is tough - their big problem was poor fielding and not to fight to the finish. But their spin bowlers posed problems for England, especially Carberry, Trott and our tail past Bresnan. And there was some fine batting from both sides. This report is too trite.

    [Mike: Very little fine batting and very little fine bowling. Most of what we saw was no better played than a division 2 county match.]

  • Dr.Iyer on March 26, 2010, 15:50 GMT

    I ld rate this Bangladesh team highly. They are growing in stature and few good debuts - one genuine quick or medium pacer and one more for middle order you ll have a very decent team. They have a good captain in Shakib.

  • S. Sen on March 26, 2010, 16:10 GMT

    What a gratuitously nasty and patronizing little report.

  • plmx on March 26, 2010, 16:40 GMT

    What if Swann, Treadwell, Broad, Bresnan, Finn were Bangladesh players bowling at Cook, Pieterson, Colly, Bell. Trott, et al (like they did to the Bangladesh batsmen) would England have scored significantly more than 704 runs (BD’s 2 innings total)? How much more? If Tamim, Shakib, Mushfiq et al faced Razzak, Shafiul, Rubel, Shakib (like the English batsmen did) would they have scored something close to the English runs? How close?....and what if all the umpiring howlers were reversed and England were at the receiving end....would that have affected the nature of the contest and the mood in the England camp? The Bangladesh bowling looked hopeless at times but then it was a hopelessly dead wicket.

    I tend to enjoy test matches where a real battle is fought between two sides even if the two sides do not possess the best bowlers or the best batsmen. Bangladesh failed to put up a real fight and must be marked down on this more than on the skills test. I would welcome your views on this.

  • Procyni on March 26, 2010, 20:18 GMT

    After 15 years in Test Cricket, Bangladesh should not be flattered by a 'boring' 2-0 loss to a half-strength English side. An England who are not known for their accomplishments while touring the hot and humid subcontinent! The continued patronage of Bangladesh's 'efforts' in losing causes is probably why they have a culture of mediocrity in their cricket. I sometimes wonder if Ireland or Kenya would have achieved more,had they been elevated to test status in the same period. Ireland have certainly caused more upsets in the big tournaments they have been part of in the past 3-4 years. And Kenya once made the semifinals of the World Cup

  • Hasan on March 26, 2010, 21:03 GMT

    @Procyni: Please learn more. Bangladesh has been playing test cricket for 9 years not 15 years.

  • Gizza on March 26, 2010, 23:13 GMT

    @Procyni you are right. Ireland and Kenya would have performed better. Sri Lanka improved at a far better rate. Even India and New Zealand in terms of Test matches had to started to draw and win more frequently. (Note: It still took a long time but that was because they didn't play as often as Bangladesh do now).

    I have a feeling even Afghanistan could outperform Bangladesh given their more determined culture.

  • kzed on March 27, 2010, 2:40 GMT

    I would have a 2 tier test structure to bring back interest at the lower half of the test table. This would involve the elevation of Kenya, Ireland and Afghanistan to a lower division test status and the table would look like this…………

    Division One (playing 5 day test cricket)

    1. India 2. Australia 3. South Africa 4. Sri Lanka 5. New Zealand 6. West Indies or Pakistan

    Division Two (playing 4 day test cricket)

    1. West Indies or Pakistan 2. Zimbabwe 3. Bangladesh 4. Ireland 5. Afghanistan 6. Kenya

    Within each division each team would have to play each other a 3 test series (home and away) over a 3 year period. At the end of the 3 years the bottom team of division 1 gets relegated to div 2 and the top team in div 2 gets promoted to div 1 and the process restarts.

    With the top teams refusing to host the likes of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in the FTP beyond 2010, the 2 division structure would bring much needed interest in the game at test level and the matches would be more meaningful.

  • ty on March 27, 2010, 2:41 GMT

    bangla, is making cricket progess,but losing constantly is what u r going to b judge by.in the 1 test umpiring didn't cause them to lose.in the 2 test like the many others recently, it shows they need a breakthru bowler.also the batting has potential, but lacks discipline. not every lolipop needs to b hit for a 4. in the 2 test, 2 innings, last 3 outs were selfish n irresponsible 4 team n country.a draw was very possible,it would hav been good 4 their moral n progess.