Fielding lapses continue

Mehedi Hasan (L). Photo: AFP File

Ever since Bangladesh's dismal fielding performance in New Zealand, the team management has been putting an extra focus on the Tigers' catching and throwing abilities.

Bangladesh's assistant coach Richard Halsall, upon his return from New Zealand, did say that they were going to analyse the fielding and work on it in depth.

When Bangladesh took the field yesterday it seemed as if the management did make a few changes as far as their fielding strategy was concerned.

For instance, Taijul Islam was fielding at point at the start of the game. It's not very often that you get to see the slow left-armer field at that position. One generally gets to see a more agile Sabbir Rahman over there. After all, that position does require the fielder to be extremely athletic.

Sabbir, on the other hand, was fielding at gully, an equally important place especially with the way the Indian batsmen were chopping and cutting the deliveries.

A beauty of an outswinger bowled by Kamrul Islam Rabbi to Cheteshwar Pujara had the batsman edging, but keeper Mushfiqur Rahim failed to dive to take what should have been a regulation chance. 

Shakib Al Hasan was seen fielding at slip when the spinners were bowling. Now it's not uncommon for Shakib to be positioned at the slip cordon, however, in the past Imrul Kayes had occupied that place. With Imrul out, the management probably believed that Shakib had the second best pair of hands for that position. Unfortunately for him and the team, there were two edges -- in Mehedi Hasan Miraz's second over with Cheteshwar Pujara on 12 -- that just missed the outstretched hands of the all-rounder yesterday. The first one was out of reach but he reacted late to the second.

On the whole, Bangladesh's fielding performance should frustrate Halsall and the rest of the management. That's not because they were below-par.

While some of the diving stops on the ground were quite impressive, they will be frustrated because one of their better fielders was not able to answer the call when his team needed him the most.

A brilliant diving effort from Rabbi confused Chetashwar Pujara in the 19th over. Rabbi fired in the throw towards the bowler, Miraz, with both Pujara and Vijay stuck at the other end. All the former under-19 skipper needed to do was catch the ball, but he failed. He could have taken his sweet time to take the bails off.

But then again, that is how the game goes. There are times when Miraz takes one-handed blinders and then there are moments like yesterday, when he failed to grasp the ball with both his hands.

The frustration was clear during Taskin Ahmed's press conference after play yesterday.

“Had that run-out taken place, we probably could have taken five to six wickets today instead of three. But then, catches and run-outs are part of the game. We are hoping to start afresh tomorrow. That's all we are thinking of right now,” said Taskin, who incidentally missed out on a few wickets due to fielding errors in New Zealand.


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