Will Hathuru extend his radar?
Miracles can happen. But the harsh reality is real and it's totally and completely under someone's control. Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha understandably goes with the second notion when it comes to the challenge of Test cricket. And that's why the Sri Lankan has asked everybody not to expect any miracle when the Tigers lock horns with a strong England in the two-match Test series.
The squad for the first Test exposed the team's weakness and the difficulties of picking up an ideal Test team.
Hathurusingha seemed to throw in a barren field in order to assemble the bowling attack. The team think-tank came up with a surprise by including four newcomers in the squad and one cannot blame them for so many new faces considering the fact that the Tigers will be looking for a fresh start in the Test arena as they are going to play the five-day game after a long break.
Unlike the ODIs Bangladesh don't have enough opportunities to build up a good unit with very few Test series in their favour. Unfortunately the country does not have a competitive longer-version cricket in place in the domestic circuit either to make up for the deficit. The combination results in players struggling when challenge comes to the fore.
Whenever it comes to Test assignments, there's commotion everywhere; we would need a genuine off-spinner, we would need a leg-spinner, and we would need wicket-taking pace bowlers to make sure that we can pick up twenty wickets. How we can make a proper Test team without bowling units which can take 20 wickets? The questions often come from the team think-tank.
To solve all these problems we must go to the domestic field. But the amount of attention we give to our first-class cricket hardly gives someone any hope for a solution. When a country does not have a proper calendar and when it prefers to start or stop important competitions whenever they wish, when they even don't bother to give any time for any preparation before the tournaments and when the board shows much more interest to arrange a T20 tournament ignoring the base of their cricket (which is four-day competition), one cannot expect much.
Hathurusingha, a man who is apparently calling all the shots when it comes to the planning an selection of the national team, seemed in deep water with his Test planning. The Sri Lankan is not only the head coach but also a selector. If he extends his work to the domestic level Bangladesh's local tournaments will gain a lot. When the Sri Lankan took over the charge, the Tigers had already started to put their strong foot in 50-over cricket and his shrewd planning and contribution brought more success to the team.
But his real challenge lies in making a good Test team and to achieve the goal it is of paramount importance that he spends more time watching domestic cricket in order to at least to bring his desired players in the team.
Who knows, if he extends his radar in domestic cricket it may encourage the country's incumbent cricket authority to give first-class cricket the highest priority.