What went wrong in West Indies?

| Updated: July 01, 2022 18:33:17

Photo: ESPNCricinfo Photo: ESPNCricinfo

And with that deafening 10-wicket defeat, Bangladesh have finally got out of yet another horrendous Test series in West Indies. The margin reads 2-0 like the last time, only there was no innings defeat this time around.

Bangladesh have a couple of positives from the series though. Khaled Ahmed picked up 10 wickets in the series, including his maiden five-wicket haul, and Nurul Hasan Sohan hit consecutive fifties, proving how he could be a useful option at no.7.

But apart from that, almost everything went wrong, especially the batting. Talking about the batting seems fruitless at this point as there are no signs of improvement, yet, it needs to be found out, where everything went wrong.

In the first innings of the first Test, everything but Shakib’s batting went haywire. In the second innings, things were similar except for Sohan giving Shakib some company, and Mahmudul Hasan Joy scoring 42 at the top.

In the second Test, Bangladesh were put in to bat first, and they were bowled out for 234, that too courtesy of some courageous hitting from the tail-enders.

In this innings, only Liton Das managed to go past 50. Tamim was close, but he decided on 44 that trying to drive good-length deliveries with a stride was a good idea, and committed suicide.

While Najmul Hossain Shanto and Anamul Haque were a tad unlucky in this innings to get out, things were not that for Joy, who saw the gap between his bat and pad exposed. Shakib tried to cut one too close to his body, and Sohan failed to deal with a short ball.

In the second innings, Tamim, despite Bangladesh trailing by 174 runs, decided that driving Kemar Roach from the start was a fantastic way to go, and became the Caribbean pacer’s wicket for the 12th time.

Shanto, who looked well set, was properly set up by Alzarri Joseph and demonstrated how this Bangladesh team lack cricketing intelligence. 

Joseph continuously cramped Shanto with short-length deliveries, and the left-handed batsman was defending them without much foot movement because he did not necessarily need that.

Then, Joseph brought in a leg gully, indicating that he would go for a short one at Shanto’s body again. But that was a bluff as he dished up a wide half-volley. Shanto, with no foot movement because of the prior set-up, went for the drive, and gave a simple catch to the wicketkeeper.

While the stats already display the disorientation of the Bangladesh batting, these small details show the parameter of profligacy that exists in the current setup.

Another thing that went wrong was Shakib’s captaincy. While this was his first series leading the side after almost three years, his decisions looked nothing like himself.

Despite the pacers creating opportunities, Shakib often opted forone or two slips, leaving gaps in the cordon through which many catches went begging. And while the Caribbean batsmen took easy runs through the fine leg region, Shakib almost never kept a leg gully, leaving the space wide open. 

His bowling changes were also questionable as after taking the new ball in the West Indian first innings, he did not go for pace from both ends, despite Caribbean commentator Ian Bishop mentioning that the pitch in St Lucia helped the new ball. 

Rather Shakib went for Mehidy Hasan Miraz, who could not do anything with the new ball, but allowed Kyle Mayers and Joshua Da Silva to put together a partnership.

For Bangladesh, their next Test assignment is against India at home in November. They have six months, and Bangladesh fans will desperately hope that they will figure something out before that, or else they would have to face humiliation at home from their neighbours.

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