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Dreams shattered like a house of cards

Five talking points on Bangladesh’s World Cup failure

  • Samsul Arefin Khan
  • 2 November, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Dreams shattered like a house of cards

Bangladesh had high expectations from the 2021 edition of the ICC T20 World Cup. They went into the tournament with a hat-trick of T20 series victories against Zimbabwe, Australia and New Zealand respectively and many felt that it would be the best possible chance for Bangladesh to make it to the semifinal stage for the first time in their history. Some even thought that Bangladesh could be a title contender in the gala event. But when the tournament started, the whole thing soon turned into a daydream due to their lackluster performances in the tournament. Bangladesh somehow managed to qualify for the Super 12 stage but with three consecutive defeats in the main stage, they are already on the verge of elimination from the tournament.

The Daily Sun tried to find where it all went wrong for the Tigers in the World Cup. Here are five talking points on Bangladesh’s failure in the ICC T20 World Cup.

1. Batting misery and untimely bizarre shot selections

Although Bangladesh carried a winning momentum ahead of the World Cup, there were still doubts about their batsmen’s performing well in the big event as they weren’t amongst runs in the last few months. The doubt started to become a concern when they underperformed during both their official practice matches against Sri Lanka and Ireland and it turned out to be the reality since they played the first qualifying match against Scotland. Bangladesh top-order remained consistently inconsistent throughout the tournament. Whether they batted first or chased the target, they had always let the team down and put pressure on the middle-order batsmen, who hardly had the chance to showcase their natural cricket. Opener Mohammad Naim might have scored two fifties while Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim played some good knocks occasionally but it wasn’t enough to help them progress beyond the group stage. Meanwhile, the untimely bizarre shot selections by the batsmen also contributed big in letting the team down in several instances in the tournament. Mushfiqur’s repeating attempts of playing scoop shots instead of playing traditional shots caused Bangladesh dearly while players like Liton, Shakib also got dismissed while attempting improvised shots in the wrong moments of the games.   

2. Dismal fielding

In the last few ICC events, Bangladesh were left mourning for dropping catches and it became epidemic during this year’s event. In six matches they played in the tournament so far, they dropped at least 12 catches with most of them being regular takes. Apart from them, they were sloppy in the field which also hurt them in many matches. The performance of the fielders was so bad that former Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza openly criticized the fielding coach Ryan Cook for his role in the team.

3. Inconsistent performance from the bowling unit

It’s crystal clear that the poor performance from Bangladesh batters and fielders eventually is the reason for their not getting good results in the field in the World Cup. The bowling unit, of course, did comparatively well but they also failed to hold their nerves in some crunch moments. Like in the games against Scotland and West Indies, Bangladesh had the chance of restricting their opponents below 130 which would give their batsmen some mental relief ahead during the chases. However, Mustafizur Rahman was smashed for nine runs off the last three balls against Scots and he again was hit for 19 against West Indies in the last over which helped the opposition sides post 140 and 142 runs respectively and they went on to defend the totals. Against Sri Lanka, when the batters made a decent score of 171-4 and the opponents were reduced to 79-4 at one stage, the bowlers failed to create pressure and were gone for too many runs causing them to lose the game.

4. False confidence

Before leaving home to feature in the World Cup, Bangladesh skipper Mahmudullah repeatedly said that their winning momentum in T20Is would be the key to success in the ICC event and promised to break the past barriers this year. But it hardly took any time to prove that they were actually living in a fool’s paradise considering their home series victories over the second or third string teams of Australia and New Zealand at the tailor-made Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium was the worst possible preparation they took for the World Cup.

5. Focusing more on off-the-field issues (War of words)

It looked like the whole team was more focused on off-the-field issues rather than concentrating on the games and it might be the biggest reason among all for their poor campaign in the showpiece event.

BCB President Nazmul Hassan’s dissatisfactory words regarding the senior trio after Scotland defeat was the beginning of the war of words. The senior trio later took it to another level through their way of answers on different questions of the journalists that only justified nothing was going alright between the cricket board and its players. Later, the matter turned worse when the family members of the cricketers also joined in the war of words through their Facebook posts which made the situation nothing but a disgusting one.