Five areas for the Tigers to look at
12:00 AM, March 13, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:47 AM, March 13, 2019

Five areas for the Tigers to look at

Not much need be said to accurately convey the nature of the debacle that was Bangladesh's second Test against New Zealand in Wellington. Simply put, Bangladesh lost a match in the first session of the fifth day by an innings and 12 runs after the first two days were washed out and rain forced an early end to the third day's play.

There were quite a few areas in which Bangladesh lacked both in mental and physical skill. The following is a look on five of those to improve upon ahead of the third and final Test in Christchurch from March 16:

 

OCCUPYING THE CREASE AND PLANNING SESSION BY SESSION

When it comes to Test cricket it is important for a batsman to take his time at the crease as there is no pressure to look for quick runs. Obviously, the Kiwi bowlers -- especially Neil Wagner -- employed the short ball to excellent effect but there were opportunities if the Tigers could only resist attacking the left-arm seamer and instead tire him out by ducking most of his short stuff. There were three hundreds from Bangladesh in the first Test in Hamilton, but apart from skipper Mahmudullah Riyad's  229-ball 146 the ones from Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar came at almost a run a ball. Things would have been easier if they faced more deliveries as they were set at the crease. The other major concern was the lack of planning to play session by session as the Tigers batted over three sessions in an innings just once in the two Tests.

A TIGHT NUMBER THREE BATSMAN

There has been a long-standing problem for the Tigers -- finding a perfect opening partner for Tamim Iqbal, especially in the longest format of the game. Young Shadman Islam showed a lot of character coming to New Zealand after playing just one Test. The left-hander has provided a solid start with Tamim and added over fifty runs in the opening stand in three of the four innings so far on tour. Following a good start, it is important for the number three batsman to carry the momentum but Mominul Haque has been very disappointing in both Tests, which put immense pressure on a batting lineup without Mushfiqur Rahim or Shakib Al Hasan. With scores of 12, 8 ,15 and 10 in four innings, once again the question has been raised over Mominul's ability when it comes to playing away from home.

BOWLING IN PARTNERSHIPS

It will be too harsh to criticise the inexperienced Tigers fast bowling department populated by Abu Jayed, Ebadot Hossain and Khaled Ahmed alongside Mustafizur Rahman, who is the most experienced of the lot with just 13 Tests. Following a disappointing show in the first Test where the pace trio of Khaled, Jayed and Ebadot gave away 369 runs in 87 overs for just one wicket, there was a hint of improvement in the second Test. It was Jayed who stood above as he bowled a fiery spell on the third day to dismiss both in-form Kiwi openers Tom Latham and Jeet Raval. Ebadot also gave valuable support from the other end as both seamers looked to bowl in partnership, which troubled the Kiwi batters. It will be important to continue bowling in partnerships and bank on each other's strength rather than just banging it in on the green top.

GRAB THOSE CATCHES

As things went from bad to worse for with both bat and ball, to make matters even worse it was the Tigers' butter fingers that dug a deep hole for them throughout the two Tests. Dropped catches kept haunting the Tigers in both Tests and if the fielders had held on to those precious few chances things could have been different. Soumya dropped Tom Latham on nought at second slip in the first Test and the left-hander went on to score 161.

Kane Williamson was dropped, again by Soumya, at slip and the Kiwi skipper went on to strike an unbeaten double hundred in the same innings. Things remained the same in the second Test as Ross Taylor was dropped twice in the same over by Mahmudullah and Shadman off the bowling of Jayed when he was on 20. He too went on to register his third double-hundred, which eventually turned out to be the turning point of the game.

ONCE AGAIN IT'S THE SENIORS

There was a lot of talk about the juniors needing to step up alongside the senior members, but it was the same old story. Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah were the only two consistent and standout performers for the Tigers in the two Tests. Apart from the second innings of the second Test, Tamim was solid and scored a hundred and two 70-plus innings. Mahmudullah too struck a hundred in the second innings of the first Test and fought a lone battle in the second Test. He was the ninth Bangladesh batsman to be dismissed in the second innings of both Tests and that reflects the amount of pressure he went through as well as the lack of support. It is important for the young members of the side to share the responsibility, rather than relying on the experienced campaigners who have been proving their worth time and time again.

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