Tigers' frailty exposed
Test cricket is so named because it tests temperament, adaptability, patience and above all, the ability to push the limits of discipline as an individual as well as a team.
Unfortunately there were no signs of any of those attributes from Bangladesh's batsmen as they fell to a humiliating 151-run defeat on their own soil against Zimbabwe, handing the southern African country their first away win in 17 years.
Batting has been the biggest concern for Bangladesh and it is the common culprit in their defeats in four of the five Tests they played this year. The other Test, the first of the year, was a draw against Sri Lanka in Chattogram.
Their sub-200 streak continued for the eighth successive innings during yesterday's defeat at the Sylhet International Stadium.
The batsmen's temperament has been repeatedly exposed as ill-suited to Test cricket and there is now a big question mark about their inability to stay longer at the crease, as is evidenced by the fact that there have been just two half-centuries by Bangladesh batsmen across those eight innings.
Bangladesh's batsmen have faced more than 100 deliveries in those eight innings only twice. Imrul Kayes faced 103 balls for his 43-run knock in the second innings yesterday, and before that Tamim Iqbal played 105 balls in his 47 during the second Test against West Indies at Kingston in July.
In both innings against Zimbabwe -- Bangladesh were bundled out for 143 and 169 runs -- their shot selection has been questionable.
"I think we played too many strokes and maybe we are doing it emotionally. We need to correct this and be more selective about how we play certain bowlers in certain situations. More importantly we were unable to build even after short partnerships. We failed from top to bottom," skipper Mahmudullah Riyad told reporters after the defeat yesterday.
Liton Das was caught behind playing away from his body in the first innings off Kyle Jarvis and was dismissed by a rather poor delivery in the second innings when he missed a pull to a Sikandar Raza long hop and was out leg-before.
Imrul, after playing on to the stumps in the first innings off a Tendai Chatara ball he could easily have left, was bowled around his legs trying a sweep against off-spinner Raza. Mominul Haque looked shaky in his feet movement in both innings while young Nazmul Hossain has a lot of work to do on his technique.
The manner of his dismissal -- caught at cover trying to pull off another long hop from leg-spinner Brandon Mavuta -- was an unlikely and strange way to get out.
Skipper Mahmudullah Riyad's trademark initial shakiness cost him in both innings. If his first-innings dismissal -- dragging the ball onto the sumps with a nothing shot -- was disappointing, his dismissal in the second innings was even worse. The right-hander was caught in two minds about whether to play a sweep or defend and was instead caught at short leg off Raza.
The whole team have proved that batting is not just about having good technique, but it also requires a great amount of mental toughness and the Tigers have some serious work to do in that regard in order to change their fortunes in Test cricket.