Bangladesh played three matches one unofficial and two other ICC organized matches in preparation for the ensuing World Cup. Winning against Oman A as expected was cakewalk. Bangladesh lost two other matches against Sri Lanka and Ireland. We do not consider that these would do much harm to the cause of Bangladesh, yet these have served timely wake up call. Even winning the qualifying round matches would not be so easy. Batting looked terribly poor; bowlers lacked penetration. Over all team did not look at all impressive, battle ready. Off course Shakib Al Hasan is still engaged in IPL, captain Mahmudullah is struggling with his hamstring injury. There is very little time left for regrouping and putting things in order.
A high-flying Bangladesh with hat trick of series wins –against Zimbabwe on tour, against Australia and New Zealand at SBNCS, Dhaka went to UAE and Oman with high hopes. Considering BCB Executive Committee Election must more election much more important no necessity was felt for sending any tour manager. Perhaps none was interested going there leaving his chair insecure. Many felt winning three series back-to-back, especially winning against whatever teams came from down under put Bangladesh on good stead. Only few thought trapping Aussies and Kiwis on slow, low, ranked turners did not give ideal preparations for team tigers for the world cup. Few even disputed about the composition of the team especially the lean batting resources. The withdrawal of star opener Tamim Iqbal at the very last minute further complicated Bangladesh situation. There was no time to try other options.
BCB knew what kind of wickets would be there at Oman and UAE. Why they opted for slow, low, turning tracks against weakened Australia and a New Zealand team having not even a single player of their World Cup unit? This was discussed many times earlier and would be in discussion long time into the future. Did Bangladesh at all plan for this world cup? If so, why it had to send to send a team with seven rookies while all teams West Indies, Pakistan, New Zealand, Australia, England and India sent experienced T20 specialists?
We found nothing wrong losing against almost equal strength Sri Lanka but losing against lowly Ireland created a big worry. Bangladeshi bowlers including tramp card Mustafiz made no impression on Irish batsmen plundering fours and sixes at will. Ireland put up a very impressive score of 177/3. Gareth Delany smashed 88 in 50 deliveries literally toying with Bangladesh bowling. Only Taskin with his pace caused a little bit of issues taking 2/24 in his four overs. Mustafiz, Shoriful and Nasum were all very expensive. If this happens to our bowling attack against Ireland it is not very difficult anticipating how this attack would be treated against major opposition? Hope inclusion of Shakib would add a big boost. That is the hope against hope we all can have.
We are particularly worried about batting. Liton and Naim looked very ordinary. Mushfique is passing through a very unusual lean patch. Soumya had start in both the matches against Sri Lanka and Ireland but could not convert to a substantially substantive innings. Sohan and Afif as well could not stay longer. The effects of playing on different surfaces playing at home before going to World Cup mission were clearly visible.
Luckily Bangladesh does not have to play against formidable opposition in the qualifying rounds. After the performance against Ireland there arose some doubt how the team would perform against Scotland in the very first match. Hope Bangladesh would learn lessons from the practice matches. Addition of Shakib and Riad would inject fresh blood in the venom. Three matches should make Bangladesh battle hardened for the Super 12.
BDST: 1146 HRS, OCT 16, 2021