Can Bangladesh afford to misjudge wicket?

Samiul Huq Chaudhury

18 June, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Bangladesh’s failure to judge the pitch accurately cannot be termed as anything less than a tragedy as they do have an Englishman as their Head Coach in their dressing room.

Bangladesh did call it right against South Africa during their opening game but it was not the case when they faced New Zealand and England respectively in the following games that eventually forced them to end the proceedings on a losing cause.

As a result fingers were pointed at Steve Rhodes straight away due to the fact that despite being an Englishman everyone assumed that he would know the wickets just like the palm of his own hand.

“What is the point of keeping an Englishman if he cannot guide you properly, when it comes to judging the wicket at his own backyard,” an official of Bangladesh Cricket Board told daily sun out of frustration on Monday.

“We had recruited him believing that we will have an edge over others in the World Cup in terms of judging wickets and condition but somehow it did not turn out the way we expected,” he said on request of anonymity.

A similar question was raised by the media when Tigers skipper Mashrafe Mortaza came down to face journalists during the match against West Indies. But he opted to defend Rhodes and instead put the blame on the cricketer’s shoulder by stating that they cannot be influenced by TV commentators during the time of the match inside the dressing room.

Understanding the pitch is crucial for any cricketer if they are aiming to win the match as it helps them to plan better as a bowler and a batsman. Armed with the experience of playing cricket for last 18 years, Mashrafe urged his team mates not to rely on other’s opinions.

According to Mashrafe when it comes to judging the behavior of the wicket as he feel that they are quite experienced to take decision on their own.

“It is hard to judge the pitch only by listening to the radio. They can only speculate and only comment on as things go on in front of them. I think those in the middle should make the decisions based on their judgment,” said Mashrafe.

“There is confusion about the Taunton pitch as well. We heard it will be grassy but some are saying that it is usually a flat pitch. I think those who go out in the middle can assess it quicker, since they end up getting criticised for the defeat,” he added.

“The behaviour of a pitch changes as the match progresses. When you are playing in a ground like The Oval, you are likely to have a thought in the back of your mind which will be that we need to score 330-350 runs,” he said.

“I think our calculations were spot on against South Africa. But if Shakib Al Hasan did not get out at that time against New Zealand, we would have gone along the same path against New Zealand,” he added

“The team that correctly assess the pitch faster, they will get ahead in the game. I think we misread the pitch in the New Zealand game (at The Oval). If we had read the pitch right during that match, we would have targeted 260-270, and not 300-plus,” he concluded.