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February 9, 2002
Bangladesh showed some improvements in the one-day matches they played against Pakistan. If they seek a momentary solace throughout the series in the game's both versions, they can put forward their good efforts in the limited over matches as evidence.
As for Tests they couldn't hang on to the crease for full three days yet. Many controversial remarks have been made on Bangladesh's horrendous performance in the Tests already. Sometimes the top-order was blamed and sometimes the middle. An impartial observer would find a good number of incongruities in Bangladesh's so called strong batting line-up and in the team selection as well.
Selectors have been trying to make a good opener out of Al-Sahariar, undoubtedly one of the most gifted batsmen in the country. But sorry for Al-Sahariar that he couldn't accomplish the duty he was given (I would rather use the word "Imposed") as a makeshift opener. He is most likely the most unfortunate victim of the reckless decisions carried on by the selectors. He was tested in all slots from number one to number six. How it is possible for a batsman to go on well against such odds?
It's right that he couldn't bat with the prudence of an opener, as he was repeatedly seen carried away with the nasty prods he made out side the off stump. But we must remember it side by side that Sahariar has been playing in the middle-order for years and he feels pretty relaxed there. The selectors shouldn't gamble with Al-Sahariar against a team like Pakistan.
Mohammed Ashraful, a prodigy without a shred of doubt, is obviously playing under pressure since his sparkling debut against Sri Lanka. They way he batted in the first Test leaves ample evidences that he was succumbing to that pressure he tried to improvise shots against the cunning Pakistani bowlers, who are at any rate more skillful and experienced to baffle such boyish efforts.
Besides that he is yet to learn the patience needed to play the longer version matches. A century knock in the debut doesn't make a fixed grade of a batsman. Instead of being pompous of what he achieved in the past Ashraful should develop skills to play judiciously against the better bowlers in the world.
He was too aggressive against the prominent Pakistanis, tried to outplay them by his fiery efforts as he successfully did in Colombo last year. But little Ashraful has to discover that these efforts don't have good snaps in them always. No matter how tough a cookie he is, he should be warned by his seniors and others over this matter. Otherwise, he might face set backs in his auspicious career.
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