Tigers’ spendthrift bowling appears as major worry

Sports Correspondent

23 June, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Having conceded 300 plus totals for four times in five outings in ICC World Cup 2019, it seems like team Bangladesh’s major obstacle in progressing to the semi-final stage is their bowling attack as the Tiger’s bowling attack looked spendthrift so far in this World Cup.

Both England and Australia scored 380+ score against Bangladesh in this tournament. Both in Cardiff and Nottingham, Bangladesh bowling force looked pale when they were under-pressure. It was more like there was shortage of ideas when the English and Aussie batsmen took charge against Bangladeshi bowlers.

Batting has been consistent so far for Bangladesh, scoring 300+ totals for three times, batsmen showed they are being able to execute their plan. In addition, they broke their highest ever ODI total for two times in two consecutive matches. But one issue should be remembered that no team has ever been able to chase down 330+ totals in the history of ICC World Cup 2019.

Against Australia, Bangladesh bowlers looked so disorganised that Mashrafe had to bring occasional bowler Soumya Sarker in attack to try their luck and he was successful in doing that with 3 wickets for 58 runs but that hardly proved enough to keep Aussie total to below 300 runs.

Conceding 329 runs on average in the five matches the Tigers have played with an average economy rate of around 7 runs, which is more than any other team in this World Cup.

Mehedi Hasan Miraz and Mosaddek Hossain are the only two bowlers who kept their economy rate below six 5.59 and 5.69 runs respectively. The highest wicket taker of Bangladesh squad, Mohammad Saifuddin (9) has given away 204 runs in four matches with economy rate of 7.79 runs. Mustafizur Rahman, who has turned out to be more successful in death overs even his economy rate was more than 7 despite being the second highest wicket taker for Tigers.

Bangladesh all-round maestro Shakib Al Hasan, who has taken himself to another level with his outstanding batting form, is yet to show his bowing brilliance.

To climb into top–four, Bangladesh bowlers have to emerge as a more co-ordinated bowling unit. They have to keep the economy rate low to progress into the semi-final, no matter how batting-friendly the wickets are.

This is exactly how New Zealand kept themselves in a strong position for a spot in the semi-finals. None of the Kiwi bowlers are featured in the chart of leading wicket takers but they have been quite successful at maintaining an economy rate of 4.50 per over- lower than any other team in the tournament. Indian bowlers also kept it down to 5.24. English bowlers are in third spot with 5.36 per over.

The effort of Shakib and all the batsmen who are contributing for Bangladesh also deserve to be backed up by their bowlers so that bowling misery does not come up as a reason which hinders their chances of playing in the semifinals.

Mashrafe, though, did not want to put all the blame on his bowling unit as he said the wicket has also been a reason for conceding such big totals.

“If you look at the wickets, these are high scoring pitches. Specially today’s (Thursday) wicket is not for 280 or 300 and also the one against England, these two pitches are tailor made for batsmen. But yes we are conceding 30-40 runs more than we should,” Mashrafe told during the post-match press conference against Australia.