An opportunity lost
We have a tendency of being lukewarm while appreciating good things, especially which are not of our own. Take for instance Pakistan opener Azhar Ali scoring his maiden double hundred and raising his bat in Mirpur on the second day of the second and final Test on Thursday. But unfortunately there were not many noticeable in the stands, which stood up and clapped a fantastic effort by the cricketer.
Of course the Tigers' fans will root for their beloved team and will cheer every single their batsmen take, a wicket their bowlers grab or a good fielding effort in the middle. But it is also equally important for the knowledgeable Bangladesh cricket fans to learn and appreciate the value of good things of the opposition team.
Weren't we entertained by Wahab Riaz, a left-arm fast bowler who has reminded us how exciting fast bowling can be with his express pace and short stuff? Wasn't Yasir Shah, who gave us the impression of two leg spinning legends -- Shane Warne and Mushtaq Ahmed -- are operating as one in Mirpur in the last two-odd days?
It is beyond any doubt the home series against Pakistan was by far the best for Bangladesh in terms of result as well as the full value of entertainment it provided. A 3-0 ODI series whitewash followed by a first-ever T20 win against Pakistan. If that was not enough, a magnificent draw in the first Test in Khulna riding on a world record second innings 312-run opening stand between Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes was something the fans will remember for a long time.
Bangladesh might not have risen to the expectation in the second Test which they ultimately lost by a margin of 328 runs with more than a day to spare, a success Pakistan would carry back home as some sort of solace.
It was understandably disappointing for the Bangladesh cricket fans, who were expecting a fight from the home side on the fourth day but painfully watched their batting heroes falling one after another attempting spectacular shots.
It was expected that our batsmen would struggle in trying conditions of Mirpur where the wicket not only offered turn but also produced variable bounce. But without criticising how badly we batted, be it in the first innings or in the second, it was more importantly a lost opportunity for our batsmen from gaining valuable experience even in defeat.
Tamim , Imrul, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad, and Mominul Haq are our batting heroes. And they were up against Wahab and Yasir on a responsive wicket twice. Consider some of them playing 20 overs each against Wahab and Yasir; it could have been worth more than 200 days of batting in the nets or playing 200 first-class matches for them.
Australian batsman Shane Watson is considered one of the most exciting pullers in contemporary cricket. What he did against Wahab during that magical World Cup spell in Adelaide was an act of how to survive. It was a wise move and if our batsmen had applied themselves Shane's way, it could have done them a world of good. Instead what most of them did was more like an act of driving their fear away when a more appropriate approach should have been watching those turns and bounces and taking a few blows on the body. And it would have only bolstered their confidence ahead of yet another demanding series against India, who will be arriving here on June 7 for one Test and three ODIs.
It was probably an invaluable opportunity lost for both the Tigers and their fans to show some measured appreciation to their opposition.