Having got white washed in ODI and T20 series and unfortunately losing the first test drifting from a comfortable position Bangladesh is on the edge of getting comprehensively white washed in all formats in New Zealand tour.
The whitewash in ODI series is going to cost Bangladesh dropping down to 8th position in ICC ODI ranking. With Captain Mushfique and opening batsman Kayes unfit for the final test match starting tomorrow at Hagley Oval Christchurch the task is well cut out for Bangladesh. Bangladesh must play for pride. True absence of two key players, accomplished batsmen would hurt yet the confidence from batting superbly in the first innings of Wellington test must work well on the psyche of Bangladesh batsmen in Christchurch.
Soumya due to open innings withstand in skipper Tamim can make a useful contribution with bat and ball if he can carry his form of last two T20 into the test match. He needs to make a judicious choice of his strokes. If he takes rediscover his fluent form Bangladesh can wrest initiative early on as his senior partner already showed the way how to counter attack Kiwi quicks early on to unsettle them. Soumya will add pace bowling option affording an opportunity for inclusion of Taijul Islam as the third spinner beside Shakib and Miraj. He is a better batsman than the other tailenders. Bangladesh can hurt Kiwi batting more with spin than by pace of inexperienced bowlers. I would suggest playing Rubel and Rabbi for the test. It is not that Subhashish and Taskin did not bowl well. But Bangladesh can make inroads into Kiwi batting by spin. Taijul is a good bowler and can bowl longer spells. Hagley Park wicket having bounce will suit his type of bowling. Bangladeshi bowled well in some spells but could not do that consistently. At times the bowling was too short to cause discomfort for Kiwi batsmen. They could not bowl in pairs. Perhaps nerves of inexperienced bowlers led them doing that. The addition of Rubel and Taijul may work better.
More than bowling Bangladesh must get out of batting trauma of the second innings. Mushfique showed the technique of playing and leaving short deliveries. Tamim should take a different approach to the test as he will not be having two seasoned batsmen in the test. He must guide his flamboyant partner Soumya in settling down before getting aggressive. Mominul is expected to play his role. Mahmudullah is due for long innings. Early order batsmen must set a platform for stroke makers Shakib and Shabbir consolidating the advantage. Nurul Hasan is as good a wicketkeeper as Mushfique. But at this moment Mushfique is perhaps the nucleus of Bangladesh batting. Hasan can also bat and bat well. Cannot make out what has happened to the batting of Miraj. He is a much better batsman than what he is performing in national color. In the first test, last four batsmen contributed nothing. Taijul and Rubel if played may contribute better with the bat.
Bangladesh fielded poorly, dropped few vital catches at the crucial stage, ground fielding was also not good. Bangladeshi bowlers create few opportunities and those need to be accepted. Hope Tamim will improve his field setting.
We still feel even depleted Bangladesh team has the capability for proving competitive. Drawing the test and stretching Kiwis to their limit is still possible.
My team for Christchurch test would be
Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Mominul Haque, Mahmudullah Riad, Shakib Al Hasan, Shabbir Rahman, Nurul Hasan, Taijul Islam, Mehedi Miraj, Rubel Hossain and Kamrul Rabbi
With series on the border and comprehensive whitewash looming Bangladesh has little more to lose. In a cricket talk show, I saw Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhter highly appreciating Bangladesh performance in Basin Reserve. A good steady performance at Christchurch would salvage pride. Bangladesh needs that before the lone test against India in India.
[Have anything to say? Share your thoughts with us through the comment section below. Follow our facebook page to stay in touch with us.]