BANGLADESH TEST CRICKET TURNS 18
Bangladesh have lost their last 8 Tests © Getty
As Bangladesh cricket move towards adulthood, having completed 18 years in Test cricket, Test skipper Mahmudullah feels they are still a long way from being the big boys in the longer format.
Bangladesh attempts to up their Test credentials as a Test nation got a big beating after they lost to Zimbabwe by 151 runs in their two-match series opener at Sylhet.
Bangladesh began their Test journey 18 years ago and since then, if there was a progress report regarding their performance in the five-day format, they haven’t really flourished. During these years, 90 cricketers have earned the Test caps to be part of this journey that began with their opening Test against India when they fought bravely before going down in 2000.
However, what seemed like a promising start, didn’t quite materialise into anything substantial. They had to endure a 21-match losing streak till 2004 before they got their taste of first success against Zimbabwe at home in 2005.
There were some individual highlights during this period but as a team they were constantly outshone. It took five more years from their win against Zimbabwe for them to register their first overseas win, when they beat a depleted Windies in 2009.
Much like how their limited overs game received a massive boost in 2015, their fortunes in Test cricket too changed a bit. They beat Pakistan in Khulna in 2015, and followed it up with victories against England and Australia at home, and marked their 100th Test with a win against Sri Lanka – a team that had repeatedly dominated them through this journey.
Even as Bangladesh failed to replicate their success in one-dayers to the longer format, they were putting in better performances – individually as well as a team. However, it has been eight games now since they have managed to avoid a defeat, failing to post 200 in their last eight innings.
Speaking about Bangladesh’s 18-year journey in Test cricket, Mahmudullah admitted, “If you look at the results, then maybe it hasn’t become an adult (Bangladesh as a Test nation). You have to keep playing Test cricket and only then you will get the results. In other formats we have been playing well, but we haven’t been able to catch the rhythm in Tests. We have been doing well in a few matches and performing poorly in some matches. We must get out of this.
“Consistency is very important in Test cricket. We have to be disciplined in all three departments. In Test cricket, you have to build big partnerships, be it in batting or bowling, then the result will be in your favour. Sometimes we understand the style of Test cricket and are in a good flow. When something different happens, we hold ourselves back. We have to find out solutions to these issues. The only answer is consistency.”
Bangladesh cricket, 18 years ago, was in its infancy. Through plenty of ups and downs, it has reached its proverbial adulthood. However, the recklessness of the teens is yet to leave.