Bangladesh in Zimbabwe 2012-13 May 9, 2013

Bangladesh batting collectively blunders

The Bangladesh top order seemed intent on sticking to their natural games rather than playing to the situation in the Zimbabwe ODIs; maybe it's time to shake things up by playing only six batsmen instead of seven

If Zimbabwe's 2-1 ODI series victory was fashioned by a collective effort, Bangladesh's loss could be put down to a collective failure. Most of the Bangladesh batsmen could not decide whether to stick to their own game or play according to the situation. A pragmatic approach would have been suited to the early morning conditions, but even when one of the batsmen headed down that road, it was not wholeheartedly.

In all three games, instead, the batsmen played their natural games. It started off well when Tamim Iqbal and Mohammad Ashraful added 65 for the first wicket in the first match of the series. They went after a rusty bowling attack, but later both were dismissed to deliveries on leg stump. The rest of the batting order didn't make much use of the start, as they went thrashing about. Soon it was 94 for 4, as they played one bad shot after another.

Not much time was spent dwelling on these dismissals or the general lax attitude towards the Zimbabwe bowlers, it seemed. The theme continued in the second match, which was against a better bowling attack that included the pace of Kyle Jarvis. The visiting batsmen kept on playing their shots, and sooner or later, they fell prey to their own attitude rather than the conditions.

One would have expected a bit of sobering up in the third game, but once again, nothing changed. This time, admittedly, Bangladesh were first forced into a corner by Brian Vitori's initial burst, but then three of their most experienced batsmen just gave it away. Captain Mushfiqur Rahim's slog sweep was caught at deep midwicket after he resurrected the innings. Shakib Al Hasan suddenly lost his composure as he too went for the slog and, in between, Tamim's heave only took an edge and ended up in the wicketkeeper's glove.

Of the three, to his credit, Tamim did slow the pace purposefully. Two early wickets had had an effect, and for a while he was content at grinding the bowlers rather than playing his own game. Soon enough though, he needed a release and out came the slog. He forgot to shift through the gears one by one, and instead went from first to fifth at one go.

He and Shakib have been nondescript performers on this tour, the latter probably still a bit out of touch due to the long injury break. Tamim is the type of batsman who decides for himself how to approach each game. He has been found out in this series, and has to find out a way out of mediocrity.

Ashraful had a series to forget, and it will put him under some pressure, he having made a comeback mid-season in Sri Lanka. He played one too many shots in the first two innings, before being knocked over by Vitori's bounce in the third game.

Inability to curb natural instincts apart, there are a few more theories as to why such talented batsmen failed so miserably over three ODIs. One of the popular ones is that that they were complacent, and that notion was backed by Mushfiqur's affirmative reply when asked about the same after the third game.

There was definite complacency to the Bangladesh batting, and that they play seven batsmen probably contributes to this relaxed approach in their shot-making; maybe these top-order batsmen are prone to play their shots when there is batting security in the dressing-room. For example, Nasir Hossain bailed Bangladesh out on three occasions, Mahmudullah also helped out, and even Abdur Razzak managed to carry them to a 250-plus score in the second game.

If the talk is about complacency, perhaps there is a need to make the batting line-up more efficient by playing six batsmen instead of seven. There will be more competition for places, and it could solve the problem of the No. 3 position as more batsmen will battle for that spot. By playing seven, the team management maybe courting lethargy, as now everyone in the top order seems to believe there is always someone at six or seven who can clean up their mess.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mehdi on May 10, 2013, 6:24 GMT

    There must be some kind of evaluation system about the past performance of a player besides how much *talented he is or was? Only new young prospect should get ample amount of opportunities to showcase their talents. Later those who failed first time need to perform heavily with consistent basis at domestic circuit to regain their place in national team. At least their should be some kind of strong evaluation regarding performance. It should be not only average but also approach, temperement in a particular situation of the match

  • Mehdi on May 10, 2013, 5:57 GMT

    Now it is up to the selectors how they want to shape future BD cricket team. i can say some of the players are getting more than enough opportunities but even their average is not up to the mark. End the day of the day, it is all about the average and their temperament according to match situations. Some time i feel sorry for lots of new comers those who are not getting enough opportunities for them. If this continues then some of the position in BD's top order batting will struggle for few more years.On the other hand few of top journalists and news papers are backing some of the players like i can say blindly. that's why those players are getting extra coverage, influence for their ageing carrier. Still i do not know why Mominul was not in 3rd one day. This guy is batting well and some how scoring and his average is telling everything. Others top performers in domestic circuit are waiting for long time without any luck. Now there should be some kind of evaluation system.

  • Mahtab on May 9, 2013, 17:15 GMT

    Dear Mohammad Isam Your explanation for the Bangladesh's failure is very true. Watching live, I could sense the result of the match just with Bangladeshi players body language and facial expression. We can blame the batsman this time. I feel it is more important to find out what made them to feel down from the beginning of the match. Then I find out Mushfique resigned. Not sure what went behind that. This is like an iceberg, under which lot more issues could be involved. Do these players get any kind of guidance or therapy to keep there spirit up and handle stress better? I appreciate your explanation and view about Bangladehi team. You have put together the real cause of the problem in simple English, which is very difficult to do. Thanks Mahtab from Ohio

  • Amir on May 9, 2013, 13:42 GMT

    Actually we do play 6 batsmen with Shakib being the 7th as an allrounder. I agree with All_The_Way for the most part with the exception of Naeem. IMO Mominul is a better player than Naeem for Test.

    Test Team: Tamim, Anamul, Rahim, Mominul, Nasir, Shakib, Mahmudullah, Gazi, Robiul, with 2 slots for Mashrafe/Shafiul/Zia/Sajidul/Rubel/Abul

    ODI Team: Tamim, Shamsur, Anamul, Rahim, Nasir, Shakib, Mahmudullah, Razzak, with 3 slots for Gazi/Zia/Mashrafe/Shafiul/Robiul/Sajidul/Rubel.

    Taskin needs to be groomed for another couple of years before making his debut.

  • Kher on May 9, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    @ AnanthX well said. I am a well wisher of BD cricket and i want some points to express. Since I like they play like a crickter and show talent. Ash is not a batsman at all, if he scores 100 out of 100 matches then i will say Saqlain Mushtaq is far better than him. We can judge a batsman how he plays not bad deliveries but good ones. Ash gets out on poor balls let alone good ones. Jahurul Islam has to work how stands and holds bat...he himself creats so much difficulty to hit a shot with his style..your style should show how relax you can play good shots..just see how Zim batsmen play for example SR Butt he is a geniune batsman..Shakib should practice to play effectively on front foot he seems always to play late cut. If BD wants to progress please search a batsman who looks like a batsman and has sound techniques but sorry to say just tamin has right techniques amongs whole BD team. Zim has good batsmen than BD and has more potential to play long innings but BD is a btter fielding sid

  • sadequl on May 9, 2013, 12:47 GMT

    ty @ Mohammad Isam for the nice topic. This is not new to us fans, BD batting is in such from very beginning. Earlier we also had the exact same scenario in test & in ODI's too. It's started more like before from Bashar's captaincy to till now. We failed to find or create some real solid batsman who can occupy the crease & score runs too. Sometimes this poor shows from top order's reaches up to lower down order too & it collapse like playing cards [i.e : in last ODI WC we had 2 worse performances & were all out 58 & 78].

    What have we not done to change this scenario, boys took army training, changed different coaches, bringing back 1 or 2 players to have a re-try, even though if their performance was ordinary but yet we couldn't came out from the deep whole of poor performance's of our batsmen.

    So what is left to do, should we give citizenship to other country's players to play for us or stop playing cricket until we can reach to a level where we can grow upwards not downs anymore ?

  • Shabbir on May 9, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    A good analysis of the current situation of the BD team. However we need to give, ZIM some credit in their performances as well.

    It's possible the reason for having 7 batsmen is because there may not be sufficient bowling options at international level for BD.

  • Chris on May 9, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    This should ideally be our 11 for Tests - Tamim, Anamul, Naeem, Shakib, Nasir, Rahim, Mahmudullah, Gazi, Robiul, the 2 remaining fast bowler slots either Shafiul/Sajidul/Zia/Mashrafe/Rubel/Abul.

    ODI 11 - Tamim, Shamsur, Anamul, Shakib, Nasir, Rahim, Mahmudullah, Gazi/Zia, Razzak and the 2 fast bowler slot Mashrafe/Shafiul/Robiul/Sajidul/Rubel.

  • Chris on May 9, 2013, 9:52 GMT

    Why Ashraful again? he will never change and his career stats reads 22 and 24 in the long forms. Nasir Hossain is averaging double that amount and almost has more test 50s than Ash so that says something about him. Jahurul what did he do besides that 50 he scored against an Indian bowling attack? NOTHING!!! and is a walking wicket. Both Shakib and Tamim are the most experienced players now and still they don't have the temperament to play a long innings. For example, Zimbabwe had 4 centuries on this tour thus far whereas Bangladesh still 0. Nasir Hossain should be batting at 5 because he's the perfect MIDDLE order batsman NOT bottom and you are just wasting him. Mahmudullah should bat at his usual place 7 because it has worked for him but for some silly reason, he in the test series been pushed up to 4. Mominul Haque is promising but his role should be lower down where currently Nasir bats so less pressure for him.

  • Ananth on May 9, 2013, 7:22 GMT

    "Such talented batsmen"? Please. Give me a break.

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