A lack of solid defense cost Bangladesh against Pakistan
Bangladesh's poor hitting ability in the second Test against Pakistan in Dhaka has once again exposed its vulnerability in the longest format. Their performance in the longer format was always put to the test as the team did not take chances consistently, and they ended up paying for it in the two-game test series at home against Pakistan.
Bangladesh left Dhaka for the two-game test series for New Zealand after completing a disappointing campaign against Pakistan that also marked their entry into the second cycle of the ICC World Test Championship. With Pakistan claiming a 2-0 win, the main topic of conversation was the way the hosts fared in the rain-interrupted Second Test.
It came as no surprise when Bangladesh failed to manage the pace of Shaheen Afridi and Hasan Ali in the opening test, despite conditions favoring the clubs with even bounce and carry. However, her performance against Spin on the fourth day of the second test raises questions about her skills and her mental approach.
In the rain hit game in Dhaka, Pakistan declared 300 for 4 on day four and Bangladesh was thrown for 87, with offspinner Sajid Khan taking the best 8-42 of his career. Although Shakib Al Hasan (63 of 130), Mushfiqur Rahim (48 of 136) and Liton Das (45 of 85) performed better in the second inning after Bangladesh was asked to follow, the hosts ended up thrown in for 205 fading light.
Naimur Rahman, Bangladesh's first test skipper, questioned the Bangladesh Batters' ability to play defense and their approach. "When the wicket is bad it is difficult to play strokes but I don't think it's the same when defending, provided your defense is strong," Naimur told Cricbuzz. "You have to be able to defend when you need to. It's a team game and you have to play your part and the way they approached it never looked perfect."
Nazmul Abedin, the former BCB Game Development Manager who has worked closely with cricketers, shared the same opinion. "Probably our batsmen lacked confidence in their defense and if you lack it it is a problem because then you will choose risky options like nudges and pushes. Mushfiqur and Shakib were solid on their defense and they were almost successful and they have showed "correct approach but we didn't make it in the first innings and paid the price for it."
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“Basically we gave him (Sajid) our wickets. If we could play our real cricket, we could understand how good it is. But it didn't happen. If we could play defensively, they would have bowled more aggressively with more looping and flight, but we just attacked every ball and so they didn't take any chances.
“If the ultimate goal is a tie, you don't have to take any chances and if you defend with authority, bowlers will change their strategy if they can't beat the batsman. If his first plan doesn't work then he will go to the second plan, but it didn't, '' added Nazmul.