Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo said that there needs to be a structural rethinking of the team and its culture before Bangladesh can compete in the highest form of the game.
Test cricket really tests the abilities of the players and not an inch is given and the coach mentioned that Bangladesh’s inexperience in the game and his own knowledge of the team would help him shape the Tigers after two day’s cricket at Indore, where India dominated first with the ball and then bat.
Bangladesh perhaps made an error in picking only two seamers in the side on a pace-friendly wicket and while Domingo cited that they “did not err in reading the wicket”, he was adamant that they felt playing a batsman would add balance.
“Hindsight is a great sight. We definitely considered playing three seamers but then it leaves you very light in the batting order,” he said.
The first two days proved that the team were a long way from competing against India. Abu Jayed was able to bowl with conviction but the spinners were taken for runs.
The dependence on spin is a crutch that has been present for a long time. When one speaks of structure, everything needs to be taken into account, starting with the pitches in the country themselves.
“Bangladesh’s strength is obviously playing spinners, there is no doubt about that. The record says that, spinners have always picked up wickets but it [pacers] is something we need to develop in our game. To provide opportunities to fast bowlers to perform, to provide good wickets where they can become a factor in the game and where they can bowl 18 to 20 overs in a game. I think maybe the wickets in Bangladesh don’t allow that.
“Instead of bowling seven to eight overs in a four-day game, they should be bowling 18 to 20 overs,” he reiterated.
The approach of some of the players in a format that needs patience raises a few questions. Domingo, in charge of just his second Test and only getting to know his team, warned that he was ready to restructure with new players and ‘siphon out’ players who could perform in the game’s format.
“There’s no doubt that the structure of the team needs to change, otherwise the results are going to be the same. I need to sit with the selectors to plan the way forward. I need to identify the players that can take the team forward. If it means that we need to go with some new faces and struggle for a period of time, I don’t think it is any different to what is happening at the moment. There are some fantastic players in our side that need to be respected. We need to value their performances for Bangladesh but we also need to take decisions in the best interest of the team.”
He was hopeful of making changes that would make the side more suited to Test cricket. Whether he will be allowed to make such changes remains to be seen, but he believes he needs to sit down with the team’s think-tank first.
“I need to discuss these things with the selectors and captain, and plan a way forward.”