Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Bangladesh make changes to avoid whitewash in the ODI series

Bangladesh think tank has opted for couple of changes in the third and final ODI against Sri Lanka in a desperate bid to avoid whitewash. Sri Lanka have already gained an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three match Laqshya series by defeating Bangladesh comfortably in the first two ODIs.

Mahmudullah Riyad, can a new face help saving blushes?

Mahmudullah Riyad, can a new face help saving blushes? © Cricinfo

To bring solidity to the top order batting, Bangladesh have picked veteran opener Javed Omar in place of struggling Shahriar Nafees and Tushar Imran, who made a duck and 9 in last two matches, is also dropped in favour of uncapped off-spinning all-rounder Mahmudullah Riyad.

Bangladesh have shown some improved performances in the bowling and fielding departments in the ODI series, but top order batting has let them down throughout the tour.

Bangladesh pace spearhead Mashrafe Mortaza failed to recover from his sprained right ankle and is ruled out of the third ODI. The match will be played tomorrow (Wednesday) at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.


Bangladesh: Mohammad Ashraful (Captain), Tamim Iqbal, Javed Omer Belim, Mushfiqur Rahim, Aftab Ahmed, Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah Riyad, Farhad Reza, Abdur Razzak, Shahadat Hossain Rajib, Syed Rasel.

Sri Lanka (From) : Sanath Jayasuriya, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Chamara Silva, Tilakaratne Dilshan, Chamara Kapugedera, Jehan Mubarak, Farveez Maharoof, Dilhara Fernando, Lasith Malinga, Malinga Bandara, Nuwan Kulasekera, Upul Chandana

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Bangladesh look to youth in the first ODI against Sri Lanka

Bangladesh team management have announced a youthful playing XI for the first one day match against Sri Lanka leaving out veteran opener Javed Omar and lanky pace bowler Shahadat Hossain. The match will start tomorrow (Friday) at 4:30 GMT at P Sara stadium in Colombo.

The average age of the Bangladesh squad is only 22 in which left arm spinner Abdur Razzak is the oldest at the age of 25. The fearless attitude of Bangladesh youth brigade earned significant respect after defeating

Bangladesh look to youth in the first ODI

Bangladesh look to youth in the first ODI ©Cricinfo

India and South Africa in the last world cup, and team management will be hoping a similar performance to salvage the pride after a poor Test series.

Bangladesh were completely outplayed by Sri Lanka in the Test series and lost the series 3-0. Bangladesh is desperately looking for some credible performances from the young guns to turn the table around in the ODI series.

Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful wants to build on the ODI success achieved over the last 12-13 months and is confident to put up a much better performance on the field compared to the Test series.

"We have played a lot of one-day matches over the last 12-13 months and have a good success rate. I am confident that we will put up a much improved performance in the ODI series. We want to win at least one match”, said Ashraful.

"We want a good start whether it is in batting or bowling. I think if that happens then that will set us up nicely for the rest of the match as the players would feel a lot more confident", he added.


Bangladesh: Shahriar Nafees, Tamim Iqbal, Tushar Imran, Mohammad Ashraful (capt), Shakib al Hassan, Aftab Ahmed, Mushfiqur Rahim, Farhad Reza, Mashrafe Mortaza, Syed Rasel, Abdur Razzak

Sri Lanka (from): Sanath Jayasuriya, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Chamara Silva, Tilakaratne Dilshan, Chamara Kapugedera, Jehan Mubarak, Farveez Maharoof, Dilhara Fernando, Lasith Malinga, Malinga Bandara, Nuwan Kulasekera, Upul Chandana

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Where do we stand now? Part -2

Bangladesh started their campaign in international cricket through a 22 run victory in a low scoring match against Fiji in 1979 ICC Trophy. After playing 41 ICC trophy matches with mixed success (26 win, 14 loss, 1 no result) and equal number of ODIs with even lesser success (3 win - Pakistan, Kenya, Scotland and 38 loss), Bangladesh was awarded test status in June, 2000. Bangladesh played first ever test match in November 2000 against India at Bangabandhu National Stadium. After gaining test status they played 44 test matches with a solitary win against Zimbabwe and lost as many as 39 matches. We enjoyed some reasonable successes in ODI and managed 25 wins out of 102 outings.
Awarding test status to Bangladesh is one of the most heavily criticized decisions of ICC and Bangladesh still remains under the microscope of cricket pundits as a test nation. After obtaining the elite status Bangladesh suffered hiccups with religious regularity raising constant concern about the future of Bangladesh cricket.
The picture looks gloomier in the longer version of the game. Apart from Shahriar Nafees and Habibul Bashar in batting and Mohammad Rafiq and Mashrafe Mortaza in bowling, we really don't have players to challenge quality opposition, let alone winning. Habibul Bashar scored about one fifth of all the runs Bangladesh scored in test cricket while Mohammad Rafique took more than one third of all the wickets Bangladesh took in test matches he played. These simple stats only illustrate the poor show by the rest of the players.
In batting, Bangladesh must find suitable alternatives to veteran Javed Omar, Alok Kapali and Tushar Imarn. Neither of them returned enough to keep the faith on and their inclusions make the fragile test batting even more brittle. Mohammad Ashraful must improve his consistency to keep his place in the side. Aftab Ahmed so far failed to take the responsibility of test batting. And the rookies Sakib Al Hasan and Farhad Reza lack technique and experience to seal a deal. Rajin Saleh looks gritty at times but again lacks both consistency and technique which saw Bangladesh paid dearly in some matches. Like ODI team, Bangladesh must find a decent wicketkeeper batsman.

As mentioned previously, bowling is a major concern in our test side. Apart from Mohammad Rafiq no single bowler has the bite in their bowling to win test matches. Enamul Huq Jr. is a very good bowler but still lacks wicket taking ability against quality oppositions, more so on foreign grounds. Mashrafee Mortaza's success in ODI never really translated in tests mainly due to his fitness problem. There is some real hope in Shahadat Hossain who showed the aggressiveness required to be a successful test bowler. The situation looks even ominous unless someone comes up in style and takes the candle from aging Rafiq on time.

The overall situation might look depressing but it is the painful reality. In this situation the ray of light is the young generations who started playing competitive cricket knowing that one day they will feature Bangladesh in tests. These young players have dominated their counterparts in age group level and they believe they can continue dominating them in the world arena. They are declaring their emergence in the domestic circuit as well. It is really encouraging that we have emerging players in almost every discipline. Bangladesh Cricket Board has already taken initiatives to improve domestic infrastructure and formed long cherished Cricket Academy for potential young players. Now, it’s very important to guide and nurture them properly before throwing them in the deep. They are the ray of light, the future of Bangladesh cricket.
Read full

This is what I wrote in February 2007 and was published in my column "Ray of Light" at BanglaCricket. After todays loss I was revisiting the column and really disappointed to find that situation hasn't improved at all.

Some thing changed like captaincy and coach, but the overall performance of the team have probably dipped alarmingly low.

Bashar forgot to score runs, Rafiq has lost his touch, Masharfe is looking simply ineffective. There goes all the hope. Rajin is tirelessly proving his inability and SN is losing his temperament. Aftab has lost his place in the Test team.

The only change is probably Ashraful who secured his place and became captain. Another development can be Mushfiqur Rahim, a more capable wicketkeeper batsman.

The most frightening part is the last paragraph where I mentioned that the young generation will see us through Test cricket. and will do the rescue act. It looks they are not ready yet to play Test cricket. It's early to comment but both Sakib Al Hasan and Mehrab Jr. looks shaky as a Test player. Razzak is not at all penetrating in Tests like ODI, and Enamul Jr. is appeari8ng as a completely different bowler compared to what we saw in 2005.

Now who is around the corner to rescue? I don't see many assured faces. I hope the series against Sri Lanka is really a one off one, transition period after Dav Whatmore, new captaincy and tough opposition, all contributed for the downfall.

I would like to believe that situation will only improve from here, but to be honest, it's looking more ominous than ever before.

Where do we stand now?

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Bangladesh aim to restore pride in the dead rubber

Bangladesh, mauled by the Lankan Lions in the first two Test, are desperately looking for some rescue act by top order batsman to restore some pride in the thirst and final Test match of the Laqshya series due to start tomorrow in Kandy Asgiriya Stadium.

Bangladesh have flown in A team captain Tushar Imran to stabilise the fragile middle order who had an excellent Sri Lanka tour

Tushar Imran is flown in to perform rescue act

Tushar Imran is flown in to perform rescue act © Cricinfo

with Bangladesh A team in early this year. Mehrab Hossain Jr. who made his debut in the second Test lost his place to make way for Tushar.

Bangladesh is approaching the match with three pacers and left arm paceman Syed Rasel finally received the nod of the team management ahead of out-of-sort Mohammad Sharif who played in the first two Tests without any success.

Traditionally the wicket of Kandy is pacer friendly and offers movement in early hours. Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful is expecting to win first toss as Captain to exploit the condition. Bangladesh lost the toss on previous occasions and were blown away in their first innings in both Tests played in Colombo.

On the other hand, Sri Lanka are aiming the whitewash to keep the momentum going. Sri Lanka have brought in all-rounder Farveez Maharoof in place of Chaminda Vaas who was released after the second Test for his county duty with Middlesex.

Upul Tharanga, who suffered a hairline fracture on the left foot during a practice session, is set to start in the third Test and Sujeewa De Silva might get the chance to impress as Sri Lankan management wants to explore the reserves in the dead rubber match.


Bangladesh from: Javed Omar, Nafees Ahmed, Rajin Saleh, Habibul Bashar, Mohammad Ashraful (capt), Tushar Imran, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Syed Rasel, Mashrafe Mortaza, Mohammad Rafique, Shahadat Hossain.

Sri Lanka from: Upul Tharanga, Michael Vandort, Malinda Warnapura, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Chamara Silva, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), Farveez Maharoof, Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando, Muttiah Muralitharan, Sujeewa de Silva.