Home > Features >

Is this the renaissance Bangladesh cricket was waiting for?

Is this the renaissance Bangladesh cricket was waiting for?

Mohammad Ashfraful (L) and Mushfiqur Rahim added a record 267 runs for the fifth wicket – highest for Bangladesh for any wicket in Test cricket © AFP

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

On November 10, 2000, a small cricket-crazy nation announced its arrival in the classical format. All the years of toil and sweat in the smaller leagues, the hard work in the One-Day International (ODI) appearances had finally been rewarded with Test status. They didn’t disappoint early on as they amassed 400 in their first innings and gave India a few scares until the superior side gained stranglehold of the game. There was promise in that outing, but as the years progressed that withered away with the cricket fans hoping for them to raise the bar. Perhaps that time for Bangladesh has finally come 12 years down the line.

Bangladesh’s spirited performance in the ongoing Test against Sri Lanka presents hope for the future. They have made strides in the limited-overs formats, but their development in Test cricket was almost stalling. In all these years, they have only three victories to show — one against Zimbabwe and two against a weakened West Indies side. However, in Sri Lanka they have shown the fight and grit to play a Test match.

When Sri Lanka put up 570 on the board, some may have felt it was their game. But, the enigmatic Mohammad Ashraful was waiting to make a statement. Here is a man whose talent has been unquestionable, but the consistency has been elusive. In many ways, his career is a microcosm of Bangladesh cricket — a hit and a miss ride with thrills and disappointments. The copious ability was often tormented by an impatient temperament.

On his day, Ashraful can mesmerise crowds with an astonishing array of strokes. In the process, he would also fritter away his wicket. That tendency has seen him in and out of the side in recent times. But his latest hundred promises to change that. During the innings of 190, he showed immaculate patience and a never seen before temperance. There was an attempt to stay in the middle and the maturity to convert it into a big score. That he failed to become the first Bangladeshi batsman was heartbreaking, but take nothing away from his effort.

Captain Mushfiqur Rahim fulfilled the task Ashraful set on. By recording the first-ever double hundred in Test match cricket for Bangladesh, he has etched his name in history and would be remembered by his countrymen. That was followed by another hundred by Nasir Hossain, who has been very impressive in his early days. What this performance has shown is that Bangladesh aren’t a one-man army people made them out to be. It isn’t only about Shakib-Al-Hasan alone, as there are others to shoulder the burden.

In the last few years, Bangladesh have been blessed with some fantastic players. Apart from the above named, Tamim Iqbal and Mashrafe Mortaza are others who are genuine match-winners. This is a bunch of flashy cricketers, whose flamboyance often gets the better of them. It is due to that reason that they have tasted some success in the limited-overs formats and not the classical game. Like Ashraful, the Bangladeshi batsmen have been guilty of playing too many strokes instead of showing the intent to stay in the middle.

Through all that, Shakib is one man who has consistently shown the attitude to back the talent and rally the team around. Mushfiqur too has shared a similar approach, but the all-rounder has been the talisman. By posting 600 on the board and taking a lead, Bangladesh have given themselves a huge shot in the arm. They have set an example for themselves and shown that with disciplined application, results can come their way.
The Bangladeshi fan would hope that this isn’t a one off performance and that they carry this promise forward. Ashraful’s knock may be a landmark in his nation’s short cricketing history as that may help exorcise a few demons. The victories wouldn’t be easy to come, but this spirit and persistence with a tempered approach will set the ball rolling for them.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and an analyst, anchor and voice-over artist for the site’s YouTube Channel. He shot to fame by spotting a wrong replay during IPL4 which resulted in Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal. His insights on the game have come in for high praise from cerebral former cricketers. He has also participated on live TV talk-shows on cricket. Nishad can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nishad_44)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 23, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Raipur

World T20 League 2014

Sep 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 25, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Sep 26, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 26, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 22, 2014  at Bengaluru

Chennai Super Kings won by 54 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Perth Scorchers won by 6 wkts

Photos

Cobras vs Hurricanes Match 6 at Hyderabad

Videos

Daniel Flynn looks ahead to Hobart game

Brendon McCullum’s stunning fielding effort in CSK vs Dolphins CLT20 2014 match

Chennai Super Kings’ top five batting performances

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014: Northern Knights likely XI

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights, Match 9, CLT20 2014 – Hurricanes’ likely XI

Anandji Dossa – a life to cherish

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins Hobart Hurricanes Incheon Asian Games India at Asian Games 2014 Lahore Lions

Superme court to hear Cricket Association of Bihar’s interim application against BCCI on October 10

Marvan Atapattu among two candidates shortlisted for Sri Lanka chief coach

Sachin Tendulkar, Steve Waugh to be inducted as Bradman Honourees

CLT20 2014: Brad Hogg believes Perth Scorchers will pull off some upsets

CLT20 2014: KXIP’s Thisara Perera feels it’s good to have variations in bowling

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights, Match 9, CLT20 2014: Key Clashes

Chennai Super Kings’ top five batting performances

Asian Games 2014: Afghanistan eye cricketing glory after 2010 heartbreak

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014: Northern Knights likely XI

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights, Match 9, CLT20 2014 – Hurricanes’ likely XI

Fan of the Day

Edward Knowles

Edward Knowles

447 Posts | 1 Fans

Video: Brendon McCullum's amazing fielding in CSK vs Dolphins CLT20 2014 match

Marvan Atapattu among two candidates shortlisted for Sri Lanka chief coach

Educating teens about changing nature of personality prevents depression

Sachin Tendulkar, Steve Waugh to be inducted as Bradman Honourees

International programme in Animal Husbandry

‘Concept of time’ responsible for impulsive behaviour?

German electronic firms interested in India: Prasad

Varun Dhawan hangs out with Robert Pires and Virat Kohli at FC Goa jersey launch!

North Korea developing new n-capable missiles: Seoul

NGOs pursue education for all

Aamir Khan to launch 8 PK posters instead of 10?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here