Good win, but greater tests await | The Daily Star
09:53 PM, February 25, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:05 PM, February 25, 2020

Good win, but greater tests await

There may be very little more to expect from a Test that saw a double-hundred from a most trusted batsman, a refreshing century from the captain and a fine bowling performance by a young spinner. Most importantly, a win within four days by an innings and 106 runs was enough to show the team's supremacy over their opponents.

However, it probably would not be wise for the Tigers and its team management to place much emphasis on all these impressive stats and instead accept that the win merely ended a streak of gloom after six successive Test defeats.

Nothing could be sweeter than winning a match but one should be cautious in celebrating a victory, regardless of how big the margin was, against a team that lacked the resources to trouble their opponents. Bangladesh was hardly tested in the one-off Test match against Zimbabwe at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, except for some resistance from captain Craig Ervine and Prince Masvaure during their 111-run second-wicket partnership on the opening morning.

True, Zimbabwe had reminded during their last series against Sri Lanka that they had not forgotten how to compete in Tests when returning to the format after more than a year's gap, but in every aspect Bangladesh were well ahead of their opponents in the one-off Test. Better batting from the visitors could have threatened the Tigers, but the Zimbabweans folded without much resistance.

Young off-spinner Nayeem Hasan definitely deserved kudos for his career-best nine-wicket match haul and pacer Abu Jayed also provided evidence that he has got the potential to bring success with the new ball and he can be a much better bowler if he increases his pace. Nayeem and Jayed's efforts ensured that there would be no shock from Zimbabwe's batting department but it is true, as captain Mominul Haque said after the victory, that still Nayeem has a lot to learn and areas to improve. The reason for Mominul's words is simple -- it will be a different ball game when they battle against a top opponent.

In recent times, Bangladesh's batting, especially in the Tests, has been woeful. So, it was refreshing to see two batsmen make big scores and a struggling Tamim Iqbal, Nazmul Hossain Shanto and Liton Das chipped in with some runs. Mominul was desperately in need of a big score as a captain and he did it with a hundred. The question however remains: will he also be good away from home?

Mushfiqur Rahim provided enough evidence about why Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Nazmul Hassan was so desperate to get the batsman to change his mind regarding not going on the Pakistan tour. The right-hander once again proved why his presence in the middle order matters most.      

Interestingly, it was Mushfiqur who gave the most pertinent insight into this Test when he was asked to rate his third double-hundred against previous ones. "If you ask about comparisons, it was perhaps the easiest wicket to bat on. And it's not that they [Zimbabwe] had very threatening bowlers who were swinging the ball or turning it, or even had a mystery bowler in the line-up. Among the three double-centuries I scored, I think this was on the easiest wicket."

Mushfiqur was near perfect in his approach during the 203-run knock but he didn't hesitate to remind everybody that there was nothing in Zimbabwe's arsenal that could test the Tigers.

He was also absolutely right when he said during the post-match presentation that: "As a team, we needed this win badly."

Yes, this win was needed for them and also for the country's cricket fraternity for a breath of fresh air but there was a simple job in hand for the Tigers to be done and they have done it without any hiccups; that can be the only satisfaction for them.   

Nobody would want to take credit away from the Tigers after their commendable victory over Zimbabwe, but the main worry is whether it will once again enable the powers that be to sweep all the problems regarding our sub-par performances against top-ranked sides under the carpet.


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