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Bangla Tigers Are Ready To Set The Thames On Fire

June 22, 2015

Once a miracle, twice a coincidence; but when someone does something dramatic thrice in a row then one will have to say that it is no more a miracle neither a coincidence; it is his habit – and this Bangladesh team is making a habit of winning matches. We got the feeling in the World Cup 2015 that it was coming up. After a satisfying World Cup campaign they carried their form into the Pakistan series and played just about perfect cricket there. Then it was just a matter of time that Zimbabwe would be the next on the line to bite the dust. But the way they have completely outplayed the men in blue without allowing them to put up any significant fight has seriously raised the question“Have the Bangla Tigers finally found their way towards developing the killing instinct?”

Bangladesh cricket is probably going through the most important phase of its, a phase which can turn their tempo towards a new direction. This team is looking a whole new different one from any other of its predecessors in almost every aspect of the game. It has taken them a fair bit of time to discover the formula to succeed, however it’s never too late. Let’s have a look at the changes that came into play over the years putting us in a position from where there remains so much to be discussed about Bangladesh.

The biggest area of concern for Bangladesh team over the years has been consistency. Despite stunning the major teams in the past they used to lose their way almost immediately. Those days the tigers hunted rarely due to the lack of hunger. Everyone was aware of the fact that Bangladesh, on their day, can do anything to any opponent; however the day would come only once in 15 matches. But it looks like that this team doesn’t get satisfied with only a win or two, so they are keen to stay focused. This is the most significant of all the changes having kept in mind that you don’t win matches unless you don’t want to win.

Experiments are needed until you have a set combination working well. Sometimes these experiments pay off and sometimes they don’t. But the selectors have shown some real character by choosing the young blood when it mattered a lot. Equal credit should be given to the team management as well for assigning right roles to some of the players in particular. Mahmudullah, the one who had been playing throughout his career as a lower middle order batsman, was pushed up to no 4; and everyone could see the result. They were not afraid of experimenting even at the biggest stage where they went for some of the new comers instead of the relatively experienced players. The young Soumya Sarkar may not have flourished during the world cup as much as he would have liked to, but the decision of sending him top of the order is now turning out to be a fruitful one.

The present Green Brigade consists of a bunch of good players and it should not be difficult to say that this is the best team they have ever had in terms of potential, balance and performance. The youngsters know exactly what they are doing while the experienced players taking more responsibility. This is another notable aspect as in the past the team could not find players whose experience could come into play as a game changing factor. But now they are using the all-round skills of Shakib-al-Hasan to perfection, with the likes of Rahim, Mortaza and Tamim Iqbal being the other experienced campaigners, playing their part.

Another striking change has been found in the bowling unit of the team mentored by Heath Streak. They have really found some talented young guns who can fire all cylinders upfront. The way they have been bowling since the World Cup has really caught the attention of many experts. It seems like they have a definite plan for every batsman and they have done a handy job on field to execute the plans they made off the field. We don’t often get to see a youngster drawing such a huge impact in his first two ODIs as Mustafizur did. Successive five-wicket hauls against a team having a top quality batting line up is definitely a loud announcement made by the 18-year old.

May be it’s a little too early to say about how good a captain Masrafe Mortaza is, but one thing is for sure, he certainly brings a lot of aggression and positive energy to this side. I have always believed that the body language and attitude of the players in the field means a lot to the team. A good fielding effort can lift the whole side whereas a casual miss-field or a drop catch can also drop the soldiers down. In the potentially one sided matches the minnows have nothing and the favorites have everything to lose. So it’s important that the underdogs play fearless cricket right from the outset, which they had not been playing thus far. But it’s great to see the Bangladeshis coming out of their shell with some fresh ideas to turn the things around.

Now if all of the aforesaid things are the positive changes in order to put them in some kind of a position from where they can dream big, they must be thankful towards the only thing that remained unchanged over the years. Yes, I am talking about the crowd support. The fans have been ever so consistent with their enthusiasm and passion. Their team kept playing terrible cricket but the way they turned up in huge numbers every time and kept cheering for every single run and every single dot ball; was terrific. I can bet without their support even this team would have ended nowhere.

Bangladesh have now made it to the Champions Trophy. But would that have been possible if they were not given sufficient opportunities to play competitive international cricket? The answer is No. And yes, I am pretty sure about the fact that if the other associate nations are presented the same, they will not disappoint us. Bangladesh have just proved that the support I showed towards the associate nations during CWC15 was not a useless thing to do at all. Now ICC, it’s your turn to do the rest.

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From → Cricket, ODI

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