Bangladesh cricket arena after a holiday mode will be back in action from today. Sri Lankan test squad arrived for playing a two matches test series as part of ICC Test Championship. 2022 so far is a mixed bag for Bangladesh cricket. In 4 test against two major oppositions New Zealand and South Africa (both were unconquered territories) Bangladesh rocked cricket world beating the world champions in Kiwi land. But apart from that lone victory big losses in remaining three matches specially getting bundled out for 53 and 80 runs in two innings in two tests against second unit of depleted South Africa brought memories of Bangladesh cricket in 1980s and 1990s when Bangladesh was struggling to get into big league. Notwithstanding above on measure of experience (Tamim, Shakib and Mushfique have 15 years experience) Bangladesh with home advantage starts as favorite. But on recent form can Bangladeshi fan home against home ? Can they dream?
Sri Lanka may not have veterans like Shakib, Tamim or Mushfique but their average standard is not something to ignore . On recent form they have capability of shocking Bangladesh. Bangladesh did not success stories at home in the recent past. Sri Lanka is above Bangladesh in test ranking. Trapping Lankans on slow low gripping wickets may also boomerang . The big worry is batting which lacked consistency . In South Africa they looked panicked and out of sorts against quality spin bowling. Unfortunately BCB s-electors did not care for reinforcing batting with some senior experienced batters playing consistently in domestic circuit .We have noticed some of them has been s-elected for the 2 days practice match. What happens if Anamul Bijoy , Mithun and Rahi perform ? Will they be considered for Dhaka test if Bangladesh fails in Chottogram?
Taskin is in England nursing shoulder. Shoriful and Ebabad are not 100%. Are they not burned a bit for too much cricket off late? Why Rahi was not used at all in the recent past? Why he has been pruned from the squad? Why not Mohammad Saifuddin given opportunity? Mustafiz is back into his brilliant best in white ball cricket. He must be preserved for T20 and ICC World cup not too long in the future. Why he has to be pressurized for red ball cricket? Persons talking about it giving sermon, “Patriotism must be valued above money” . Does he practice that in his own case? In the same breadth it is said that “ Tim Southee, Trent Boult play in all formats, why not Mustafiz ? It is also said seniors have options. Is not this contradictory? Mosaddeq has been picked at the last moment to cover for injured Mehedi Miraj. He should have been matured in the team by this time.
Setting aside all these we must say Sri Lanka series at home is going to be a major challenge for Bangladesh. Another cyclone or a tornado is also approaching Bangladesh coast. We are not sure with what ferocity it would strike or strike at all . But Lankan Lions are not definitely going to make it a cakewalk for Bangladesh. For personal reasons it will also be a defining series for Mominul and Mushfique. Return of Shakib would make a gulf of difference. A perfect blend of youth and veterans must keep Bangladesh floating. Hope Joy and Shanto would deliver, Liton would glitter. Shakib and Taijul will plot schemes for taking 20 wickets in two tests. Let us keep our fingers crossed hoping that Bangladesh think tank has learned some lessons from burnt fingers in South Africa.
BDST: 1510 HRS, MAY 09, 2022