Sports, Cricket

Tigers’ non-existent top order

Published : 09 Dec 2021 08:37 PM | Updated : 11 Dec 2021 06:50 PM

The rain extended a helping hand. 57 overs were played on the first day, only 6.2 overs on the second day. On the third day, not a single ball was rolled on the field. But even then Bangladesh lost the Dhaka Test by an innings.

Pakistan's only innings has been repeatedly stopped due to rain. When Babar Azam finally declared his team’s 300-run innings on the fourth day, he must not have thought that he would be able to win this match by an innings even after almost two days of rain! But in the end that is what happened. Bangladesh lost the match by an innings and 8 runs due to shambolic failure of the top-order batsmen.

In the two Tests against Pakistan in Chattogram and Dhaka, the Bangladesh team did not get anything from the top four batsmen. The continued failure of the top order has created a terrible panic in Bangladesh cricket. The combined collection of Bangladesh's top four batsmen in four innings of two Tests in Chattogram and Dhaka further fuelled those fears. In these four innings, the top four batsmen have matched 48, 19, 34 and 21 respectively!

Three times in these four innings, Bangladesh's top four batsmen have surrendered helplessly in front of two Pakistani fast bowlers Shaheen Shah Afridi and Hasan Ali. The traditional weakness of the batsmen in the game of speed and swing seems to have taken a terrible shape. That was more evident in the two Tests in Chattogram and Dhaka. Looking at the four innings of these two Tests, it seems that the top batsmen have not learned to catch the game of speed and swing properly.

However, did they learned to play spin? If you watch the Dhaka Test, no one will think so. Sajid Khan, a young off-spinner in international cricket, has dismantled Bangladesh's top order in this Test.

Sajid became Man of the Match in Dhaka Test. In the first innings of Bangladesh, he took 8 wickets for only 42 runs. He took 4 more wickets in the second innings. Overall, he scalped 12 wickets for 128 runs in two innings. At the end of Wednesday’s match, Sajid must have thought, when will he come to play Test in Bangladesh again! That is because in Test match, he will hardly get the opportunity to take wickets this easily again.

Seeing the batting of Bangladesh's top order batsmen in both the Tests, it seems that they are unable to understand the temperament to play the longer version of the game. Especially the way they got out; they have put the future of Bangladesh cricket in jeopardy by playing wrong shots at the wrong time. Bangladesh has shown a little determination in this series through middle order batsmen of the team. Liton Das and Mushfiqur Rahim took the helm after losing 4 wickets for 49 runs in the first Test in Chattogram. Standing in the rubble, the two fought.

Jokingly, it can be said that in the series against Pakistan, Bangladesh actually played without top order. The continuous failure of the top four batsmen did not allow Bangladesh to fight even the slightest.

Read more: Bangladesh to host 2031 Cricket World Cup jointly with India

What is the way out of this situation, in fact no one can say. After a failed series against Pakistan, the Test team left Dhaka for New Zealand on Thursday. Now the real worry is how is this team’s top order will survive in stern conditions of New Zealand? Based on their showing against Pakistan, it'll take a brave man to predict a better fate for the top four in New Zealand.