Mosaddek’s inclusion a proof of BCB’s murky vision
Bangladesh lost yet another Test series at home. The 10-wicket mauling by a fairly inexperienced Sri Lankan side on the final day of the second Test in Mirpur yesterday meant that the Tigers have now lost all the five Test series played against Sri Lanka at home, including the 1-0 series defeat in the latest one.
As the year had started, hopes were that things would only go uphill for the Tigers from then on. A magnificent win over New Zealand, the reigning Test champions, in their own backyard in January was supposed to put Bangladesh on a different trajectory in Tests -- at least that was the hope after a dominating showing overseas.
But, not even four months have passed since the historic victory, and Bangladesh are having to find 'positives' from a home series before their next assignment -- a much tougher multi-format tour of the West Indies next month.
How did Bangladesh go from thumping the Test champions in their backyard to being bested by an inexperienced Sri Lanka at home in just a matter of months?
Arguments could be made that Bangladesh were without a few of their star Test performers in this series. It is true as the likes of Taskin Ahmed, Mehedi Hasan Miraz missed the entire series while Shoriful Islam was not fully fit to be picked for the Dhaka Test.
However, a further introspection would reveal that Bangladesh team management were not adequately prepared for such a situation. Despite their years of boasting about a 'rich pipeline', truth is that Bangladesh do not have enough depth in their pool of players.
In fact, for the Dhaka Test, to replace off-spinner Nayeem Hasan, who had come in as a replacement for the off-spinning all-rounder Miraz in the series, Bangladesh team management had to call and play Mosaddek Hossain. The fact that Mosaddek, who had not played Tests for over two years, was suddenly called into the Test squad and was fielded in a series-deciding Test should be enough to drive home the point that Bangladesh do not even have adequate backups up their sleeves.
The case of Mosaddek is not a one-off event as similar things happened previously as well. Bangladesh called the likes of Soumya Sarkar and Shuvagata Hom for a Test series out of the blue. With the frontline pacers suffering from injuries, Bangladesh even included Mustafizur Rahman in the Test squad for the West Indies series despite a clear lack of interest from the pacer in playing the white-ball format in recent years.
Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo said yesterday following the game that things need to be changed if Bangladesh want to start getting different results in Tests. The coach talked about changing one or two things in the batting order but wasn't yet sure of what needed to be done.
The Tigers do have about three weeks of time before their next assignment in the West Indies and Domingo could shuffle the batting order a bit and also probably come with a few tweaks in the side. But will that be enough? As it seems, the core problem lies in the vision and planning of the team management for the longest format of the game.