Bangladesh's poor catching in 2021 has literally caught up with them in the ongoing T20 World Cup. Their three dropped catches and a missed stumping cost them heavily in the three-run defeat against West Indies on Friday. It also took their dropped catches tally to nine in six matches in the tournament.
After Mahedi Hasan dropped Roston Chase twice, Afif Hossain shelled a chance of Jason Holder, who hit two crucial sixes in the last over to help West Indies post 142. And Liton Das' missed stumping allowed Nicholas Pooran to hammer his 22-ball 40. It was a repeat of how Liton's dropped catches in the outfield cost Bangladesh against Sri Lanka too.
Liton put down both top-scorers Bhanuka Rajapakse, on 14, and Charith Asalanka, on 63, allowing the pair to add 86 for the fifth wicket, which lifted Sri Lanka from 79 for 4 to a winning position while chasing 172. Five days earlier, captain Mahmudullah's dropped skier could have been costlier had Oman's Jatinder Singh batted for a little bit longer.
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Seven out of the nine dropped catches were skiers; Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah, Liton, Mahedi and Afif, regarded as generally safe fielders, dropped these chances.
Dropping so many catches is a general reflection of a collective lack of concentration among Bangladesh's fielders. Add Bangladesh's kryptonite in big tournaments - the fear of failure and consequences - and you have a recipe for disaster.
Dark clouds have hovered over the Bangladesh camp from the start of their T20 World Cup campaign in Muscat, darkening still after almost every game. Comments from the BCB president, retaliation from senior players, former captain blaming the South African coaching staff; all the outside chatter hasn't helped Bangladesh's catching, powerplay batting and death bowling.
The team has given mixed messages on the problem during the World Cup.
"Catches get dropped," reasoned fast bowling coach Ottis Gibson before their match against England. "In every cricket match, one or two catches go down. Obviously, when the catches play a part in the results in a game, it is highlighted more. We do a lot of catching practice. Ultimately, when the guys are out in the middle under pressure, then mistakes like catches going down happen.
"Is it a concern? I wouldn't say it's a concern because we practice it every day. But the fact is, obviously, when it gets dropped, when catches go down, then at the end of the game, that's the thing that gets highlighted. We work very hard on our skills, catching being one of them."