Bangladesh in England, 2010 June 7, 2010

Tamim goes global, the rest go missing

Bangladesh battled hard for long periods of their two-Test series against England, but were prone to dramatic collapses with both bat and ball. Cricinfo picks through the rubble to assess the 13 performers

Tamim Iqbal - 9

Imperious, audacious and compelling viewing. Arguably not since Mohammad Azharuddin charmed Lord's in 1990 with an 87-ball hundred has a lost cause been pursued with such freedom, talent and enjoyment. He came into the series with a wrist injury that was expected to restrict his mobility, but nothing of the sort transpired as he walloped a 94-ball hundred at Lord's and a run-a-ball ton at Old Trafford, and the only time his aggression boiled over into recklessness came when he resorted to slogging in the nervous nineties. His talent was well known coming into this tour, but a global star has been born this month.

Imrul Kayes - 6

He came into the series with a top score of 33, and having been bounced out by Stuart Broad on a shirtfront in Chittagong, he arrived with a target on his forehead as well. But to his immense credit, Kayes fought against his frailties to improve on that career-best in three innings out of four. He did so, for the most part, by slipstreaming Tamim, but there was no shame in that approach, especially when you consider how often and easily the rest of the line-up crumbled. The most improved batsman on show, by a distance.

Junaid Siddique - 6

A tale of two Tests for Siddique, who looked a classy cricketer during his pair of half-centuries at Lord's - a first-innings 58, in which he knuckled down with rare determination to leave England sweating for breakthroughs at 172 for 2 at the close of the second day, and an excellently paced 74 to capitalise on Tamim's onslaught in the follow-on. But in keeping with his colleagues, he found the going much tougher when the conditions were in the bowlers' favour, and at Old Trafford, he was cannon fodder, snicking off to Swann and Anderson for a total of seven runs.

Jahurul Islam - 5

Another player who enhanced his credentials at Lord's before shrivelling dispiritingly in the Old Trafford debacle. Until he was suckered by the part-time seam of Jonathan Trott, Jahurul had helped carry Bangladesh to 289 for 2 in the follow-on, a position of untold riches that promised England a problematic fourth-innings run-chase. But that was the high-water mark of his tour. One match later, he was done by a Swann beauty in the first innings, before signing off with an awful dab to the keeper second-time around.

Mohammad Ashraful - 3

So much promise, so little reward. An unlucky lbw undermined him at Lord's, and Anderson later extracted him in a superb new-ball over, but a player of his class can't blame accidents for his shortcomings. At Old Trafford he had no such excuses, as he wafted a cut to point and lobbed an edge to slip, and ensured that his ever-shrinking career-average continues to plummet towards the teens.

Shakib Al Hasan - 5

Seven for his bowling, three for his batting, which was a greater disappointment even than Ashraful's, given how committed he had been in the return series back home. He made 52 runs in four innings - appropriate statistics for a captain whose team collapsed like a deck of cards - but provided one of the highlights of the series with his Warne-esque ripper to bowl Ian Bell at Old Trafford. His five-wicket haul was due reward for his perseverance, as his tally of 80 overs was 29 more than any of his colleagues managed - further evidence of the shortcomings of their attack.

Mushfiqur Rahim - 3

A genuine disappointment. The Mighty Atom's battling qualities were in scant evidence as he was washed away in a flood of collapses, one in each innings. Only at the very end did he revive his nuggetty tendencies, when he overcame a blow to the finger from Shahzad to survive for 42 balls and revive Bangladesh from 39 for 6. But then, in a sadly appropriate sign-off, he flicked a leg-stump half-volley to midwicket to complete a series tally of 40 runs @ 10.

Mahmudullah - 5

A puzzling performance from a man who seems to be selected entirely as a plan B. Shakib showed little interest in his more-than-effective offspin, limiting him to a partnership-breaking role, while his appearance at No. 8 in the order seems a waste of a player who scored a maiden Test hundred in New Zealand earlier this year. Showcased his abilities by thwacking 38 in a lost cause at Old Trafford, but it was little more than a walk-on role.

Shafiul Islam - 7

A real prospect. Missed out at Lord's but atoned in style at Old Trafford, swinging the ball with pace and aggression to claim two first-hour breakthroughs and explode the myth that Bangladesh cannot produce fast bowlers. His subsequent troubles with cramp undermined his efforts and left his team lacking a cutting edge just when they most needed to pile on the pressure, but at the age of 20, he's a talent worth investing in, and to judge by the manner in which he outwitted Jonathan Trott, he has a cricketing brain as well.

Shahadat Hossain - 6

The first Bangladeshi to write his name on the Lord's honours boards, and that is a moment he will treasure for the rest of his days. It has to be hoped that he doesn't milk the moment too much, however, because his follow-up effort at Old Trafford was pretty poor. Despite his energetic grunts, his pace rarely pushes 80mph, and so anything less than a perfect line and length - which was what earned him his Lord's rewards - will be punished. As indeed it was at Old Trafford.

Abdur Razzak - 5

His selection alone gave Bangladesh a massive lift in the early stages at Old Trafford, as it meant that they had returned to the spin-dominated line-up with which they have more familiarity, and hence confidence in the field. And when he bagged Alastair Cook with his first ball of the series, the decision suddenly looked like a masterstroke. Didn't quite maintain that level of effectiveness thereafter, although while he and Shakib were in tandem after tea on the first day, it was almost as if we were back in Mirpur.

Robiul Islam - 3

Picked to make his debut at the home of cricket, no less, but the occasion overawed him, despite Jamie Siddons' faith that he had a technique that would be ideally suited to English conditions. Discarded for now, but he's young enough to learn.

Rubel Hossain - 3

Bowled Bell through the gate with a beauty at Lord's, but that delivery was at odds with the rest of his performance, which is possibly why it took the batsman by such surprise.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on June 9, 2010, 12:21 GMT

    7 for Shafiul for 2 wickets to show and 6 for Shahadat for Lord's honor board performance? Otherwise a pretty fair assessment. Nice to see Imrul coming out good.

    As for BD team selection,going with 8 batsman is one too many. This gives a false sense of security. Drop Ashraful, Bring Mahmudullah back to no.5.Strengthen the attack with 4 regular bowlers or 3 bowlers plus 1 bowling allrounder alongwith Sakib and Mahmudullah.That way 3 pacers can always be choosen which will give balance to the attack.

    Other than the abject failure of the middle order batting, Bangladesh played creditably.Keep it up, keep on improving. Best of luck for Asia cup.

  • Abhay on June 9, 2010, 4:20 GMT

    The planning of Siddons is silly. He is more of a commentator than a coach. Look at Mahmudullah who along side Tamim seems to be the best batsmen, but just to accomodate the worthless Ashraful, Mahmudullah is send at no 8!!!! Also i feel give Shariar nafees a fair try. So Tamim, Kayes, Nafees, Junaid, Mahmudullah, Shakib can form a decent top order.

  • Abdullah on June 9, 2010, 1:32 GMT

    In addition to providing India with an automatic vote in the ICC,Bangladesh cricket also provides well paid jobs to a large number of officials,coaches,trainers,physios etc who live off the poor players who take all the blames and public's abuse.It is a good thing that when England next sees a Bangladeshi test cricket team, 10 years will have passed and the Bangladeshi boys might have grown up by then both as men and cricketers.

  • Aamer on June 8, 2010, 15:24 GMT

    Bangladesh have shown nothing in last10 years thatthey deserve to be a test playing nation. India needs a vote in ICC and thus carries Bangladesh while in the meantime Bangladesh make a mockery of test cricket. Some snse needs to prevail and downgrade Bangladesh till they show some promise.

  • Jason on June 8, 2010, 15:04 GMT

    Bangladesh are very much an improving side, and I disagree fully with those who feel they should be stripped of Test status. What I would say is that I don't think burdening the best player with the captaincy is a good idea, and also that they need to rethink how to use Mahmadullah, who is a fine batsman and bowler, but seems trusted to do neither. Incidentally, what has happened to Aftab Ahmed, who looked a good prospect but is nowhere to be seen at present?

  • Jono on June 8, 2010, 14:05 GMT

    Bangladesh are clearly developing a nucleus now that looks promising. It's nice to see the top three batsmen starting to gain a little consistency and in shakib, rahim and mahmudullah they have some depth to the line up. Spin bowling looks pretty solid and when Mashrafe comes back the seam attack will look a mile better. They remind me of the Sri Lankans back in the 80's. They had Arjuna and Aravinda but it wasn't until the likes of Gurusinha, Tillekeratne, Jayasuriya, Vaas and Murali came along that they looked threatening. In Tamim, Shakib, Mashrafe they have a start, Razzaq, Mahmudullah, Kayes, Rahim and co. must be the next wave... Only a matter of time.

  • Shaikh Saad on June 8, 2010, 14:02 GMT

    It is very wrong to say that BANGLADESH should not be allowed test status...they are an improving side...they are ought to learn from their mistakes...taking away test status would only cause them to sink more into the gutter...if it were possible, i believe all countries should have test status...cause the more they play...more they'll football...where almost 199 countries are allowed international has to expand for its benefit...and this is only possible through the provision of more cricketing nations all over the world..back to the match...they have failed to display the skills that they possess and is showing signs of overdependence...all should learn to contribute...

  • Dummy4 on June 8, 2010, 12:43 GMT

    England were lucky in the matches completed as they got the favorable conditions. It is interesting to see how they will perform under unfavorable conditions against even a minor opposition like Bangladesh.What would have happened if Bangladesh batted first in the second test..... lol

  • Dummy4 on June 8, 2010, 11:15 GMT

    Well Bangladeshis have improved but i don't think so that they are good enough to beat Zimbabwe..its time for ICC to decide that either Bangladesh TEST status should be taken or they give Zimbabwe their test status

  • Mudassir on June 8, 2010, 11:06 GMT

    @lodger67 i think u failed2notice that Shakib WAS given 7 for his bowling and 3 for his batting.its obvious Andrew averaged out the score.moreover,Shakib is the captain and being classed as the top 5 all-rounders,he shudv played with more responsibility n integrity.I think Andrew rated them based on their capabilities too.while I think jahurul deservd the 5,Junaid n Kayes shudv been given 7.Still a fair comparison between the players.@Zahidsaltin yeah i agree sum of the english players were overrated,esp Cook but the thing is-Bangladesh ratings r by Andrew"Miller" n English ratings r by Andrew"McGlashan"

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