Sports, Cricket

‘Dropping nine catches in five games is unheard of’


Published : 06 Mar 2022 08:29 PM

Bangladesh’s trend of dropping catches continued as they missed three straight forward chances in the second T20I against Afghanistan. Both Hazaratullah Zazai and Usman Ghani were reprieved on their way to a 99-run second-wicket partnership in Afghanistan’s chase of 116.

Nasum Ahmed dropped Zazai off his own bowling in the first over when the opener was on 0. Mohammad Naim and Afif Hossain then dropped Usman Ghani at the leg-side boundary when he was on 39 and 41.

Bangladesh’s head coach Russell Domingo noted that Bangladesh have been dropping catches for the last 12 months.

“Dropping nine catches in five games is unheard of,” Domingo said. “It is unbelievable when you think about it. If we knew what [the problem] was, we probably wouldn’t be doing it. Whether it is concentration, confidence or dealing with pressure, I am not 100% sure. We just have to make sure we try to improve. We make too many mistakes in the field that have cost us. It cost us in the World Cup, here, Test matches. Just too many dropped catches. You can do all the drills in practice but the players have to catch the balls in the games. That is the bottom line.”

Domingo bemoaned another tricky pitch at the Shere Bangla National Stadium where he said openers from both sides struggled to hit the spinners in the early exchanges.

“I don’t think the pitches were easy to bat on today,” he said. “It wasn’t a 115 pitch, but it wasn't also a 160 pitch. If we got 135 we were in the game. At 99 for 4 with four overs to go, we were looking at 135. There's obviously some areas of concern in batting, but it wasn’t an easy wicket to bat on today. Both their openers could have been out in the first two overs. The ball spins, grips, one bounces and one stays low. We know that it is tough to bat in Mirpur.”

Bangladesh also struggled to put partnerships together, which Domingo said was another area where they needed improvement.

“Even in the first game, every time we get a partnership going, we just lose a wicket,” Domingo said. Partnerships of 20-30 won't win you games. You need 70-run partnerships. The boys made some poor decisions at crucial times in the games. Riyad (Mahmudullah) gets out after getting a good partnership with Mushfiq (Mushfiqur Rahim). Those are mistakes you can't make against big teams. Domingo defended their selection of Mohammad Naim, after they dropped Yasir Ali, who had made his debut in the previous game, to make way for Mushfiqur Rahim who was returning from a finger injury. Naim managed only 13 off 19 balls on Saturday, but Domingo said that they still rate him highly.

Five games ago everyone was saying Litton should be dropped,” he said. “Now everyone is saying Litton is the best player in the world. Sometimes players go through slumps in form. Coaches and selectors have to support those players. It is an important part of coaching and building a team. Naim was the right guy to play today. He is our highest-rated T20I batsman, if the media don’t know that. He deserves his spot.”