Unclear thinking leads to muddled process
Bangladesh's team management apparently took a chance when they recalled pacer Mustafizur Rahman and batter Anamul Haque Bijoy for the Test series in West Indies. But after ignoring due process and drafting in the two players to the Test fold, those chances ultimately did not pay any dividends.
Now the question is what the Test future is for these two. Will the team management continue with them or send them into hibernation?
It is no secret that left-arm pacer Mustafizur, who returned to the longest format of the game for the Antigua Test after over 16 months, complied with the board's wishes rather than his own. Eventually, he made way for left-arm seamer Shoriful Islam in the second Test in Saint Lucia.
On the other hand, Anamul was left out of the original Test plans. Initially, he was rewarded for his run-spree in the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League with a call-up to the limited-overs team.
However, the right-hander made a last-moment entry to the Test squad to replace middle-order batter Yasir Ali, who was ruled out after sustaining a back injury.
Although Anamul found his way into the playing eleven for the second Test, it was not a happy return at all. Over seven years ago, under the leadership of Mushfiqur Rahim in 2014, Anamul had played his last Test at Gros Islet, recording scores of 9 and 0.
Upon his return to those familiar surroundings, he could not be blamed for throwing away his wicket, showing ample resilience during his short stays at the crease.
"I want to make one thing clear. Even if [Anamul Haque] Bijoy made a hundred on his return, I would not support the way he was included. The team management did not follow any process when they selected him for the Test side."
In the first innings Anamul, off the front foot, tried to defend a good length delivery from Anderson Phillip which stayed low. But he was beaten by the lack of bounce as the ball thudded his front pad. He made 23 off 33 balls. In the second innings, Kemar Roach trapped the batter with a brilliant delivery after he had made four.
Many are now wondering whether the team management will stick to their same old practice of throwing away a batter after one or two innings on his return.
There have been many batters that have fallen victim to this 'taking a chance' approach and Tushar Imran, one of the colossuses of Bangladesh's first-class cricket, claimed to be among them.
"I want to make one thing clear. Even if [Anamul Haque] Bijoy made a hundred on his return, I would not support the way he was included. The team management did not follow any process when they selected him for the Test side.
"He looked compact and at least showed that he was in good touch but two good deliveries sent him back to the pavilion. But why was he considered for the Test side in the first place? It would have been great if he made a comeback after playing some longer-version matches with the A team. Here, our thinking was not clear," said Tushar, who represented Bangladesh in 5 Tests and 41 ODIs.
"From personal experience, I know how tough it is to deliver after coming into the team suddenly. If you select a player without any plan, it simply destroys that player's career. I would like to see Anamul play in at least the next 10 to 12 innings," he concluded.