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Lack of belief in defence costs Tigers dearly

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 10 December, 2021 12:00 AM
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Lack of belief in defence costs Tigers dearly

Bangladesh batsmen had to pay a big price for having a lack of belief in their defence in the just-concluded Test series against Pakistan, observed former Bangladesh Cricket Board Game Development Manager Nazmul Abedin Fahim.

 The Tigers began their second cycle of ICC Test Championship disappointingly as they were cleanly swept away by the visitors in the two-match Test series played in Chattogram and Dhaka respectively.

Bangladesh batsmen failed to negotiate the pace of Shaheen Shah Afridi and Hasan Ali in the Chattogram Test but what was more unacceptable was the way they surrendered in the Dhaka Test considering in the first innings the pacers from the opposition camp were barred from bowling due to bad light.

Pakistan’s Sajid Khan ran havoc with his gentle off-spin as he claimed a career-best 8-42 that helped his side bowl Bangladesh all out for just 87 runs in the first innings after Pakistan declared at 300-4.

In the second innings, Shakib Al Hasan (63 off 130 balls), Mushfiqur Rahim (48 off 136 balls) and Liton Das (45 off 81 balls) showcased some fight but it eventually went in vain.

The visitors earned the victory after the gate was opened by the recklessness of Mehidy Hasan (14), who gifted his wicket to Babar Azam for his maiden Test wicket.

“Probably our batsmen lacked confidence in their defence and when you are lacking it then it’s a problem because you will go for risky options like nudges and pushes,” Nazmul told The Daily Sun.

“Mushfiqur and Shakib were solid with their defence. They were almost successful with the right approach but we failed to take it in the first innings and paid the price for it.

“Basically we gifted him (Sajid) our wickets. If we could play our proper cricket then we could understand how good he is. But it didn’t happen. If we could play defensive then they would have bowled more aggressively.

“They would have bowled with more loop and flight but we just attacked every ball and that’s why they didn’t take any risk,” he said, adding that it’s not a fact that defence is always a negative option.

“When the ultimate objective is to draw the match then you don’t need to take any risk. When you defend with authority, the bowlers will change their strategy as they will be mentally shattered and won’t be able to beat the batsman.

“When his first plan doesn’t work then he must go to the second plan but that was not the case,” he added.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh team left Dhaka for New Zealand early Thursday to play a two-match Test series against the hosts. They first went to Dubai from Dhaka and then they travelled to Kuala Lumpur from where they took the flight for New Zealand.

BCB Chief Selector Minhajul Abedin believed that the Test team would be able to make a turnaround during the series as they just played two Tests against Pakistan at home.

“The x-factor is that our players played two Test matches here before the New Zealand Test series and it will help them considering earlier they had to change their mindset from T20 to Test,” he said.