Why Bangladesh are potentially having a reasonably well-attended party

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Bangladesh fan in Bristol (CC licensed by Synwell via Flickr)
Bangladesh fan in Bristol (CC licensed by Synwell via Flickr)

Twenty-two runs – England’s winning margin – is not a lot. You can splice and dice it however you want. It’s a bunch of thick edges to third man. It’s a handful of extra runs from your lower order across two innings because you’ve picked countless all-rounders. It’s less than the value of a dropped catch.

So while they may have lost, it’s clear that Bangladesh’s upward curve has attained credible height. More than anything, they seem to have reached a tipping point where it makes more sense to go for a win than play for a draw.

For most of their Test history, Bangladesh have played on flat pitches to give their batsmen a chance. Their batsmen have usually been worse than the opposition’s though, so this wasn’t really all that productive. For this series, the approach made even less sense. The home team’s one advantage over England is that they appear to have better spin bowlers, so the pitch became a turner and the batsmen were left to make the best of things.

The Bangladesh team as a whole is stronger nowadays. People have been looking out for a special player who could burgle Test matches for them. It’s not gone like that. Where once they relied on a couple of hit and miss players, they now have 11 hit and miss players. A greater proportion of hand-raisers, if you will.

Bangladesh have more potential party attendees. Sooner or later, they’re going to have a knees-up.


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    1. Nah. Kind of expected. We knew that England’s spinners were no good and that their batsman can’t bat against spin. Stokes excelling was a bonus, Cook and Root not doing so a pain, so it sort of evens out.

      What has been disappointing has been the Cricinfo comments. Is it me or is much of the rest of the subcontinent longing to put the boot into Bangladesh as hard as possible?

      1. I genuinely think the likes of India (OK, just India) feel threatened by Bangladesh’s long overdue emergence as a decent force in world cricket, and want to try and keep them down for as long as possible. If you look at England’s nine test victories, home or away, none have been as close as this in terms of margin but they have gradually become more competitive, not least 2010 when a couple of semi-challenging targets were set. Contrast this with the absolute mullerings of the past and it’s a clear if painstakingly slow trajectory.

      2. In the piece linked above, we cited the players’ ages in 2007 as evidence that they were likely to improve. Reading it back, it occurred to us that we’d perhaps overestimated how much Test cricket those youngsters would get to play.

        Over a year since their last Test. Mental.

    2. England’s performance was actually impressive in some regards and only as mediocre as anticipated as far as spin and specialist batting goes.

      Bangladesh’s performance was good. We’d guess that was most people’s take over here in the UK.

      1. Re. the last bit: definitely so. The main concern was that the Tigers only had the one decent wicket-taking bowler available (Shakib). Then they unearthed Mehedi from nowhere. Almost Pakistan-like.

  1. Would it be fair to say that England bat deeper than any other Test team?
    Gareth Batty was England’s number 11 in the last match and he has 3 First-class centuries to his name. Strangely though it was only the third time in the last 18 months that England fielded a team that didn’t have at least 8 players who have scored a Test century. What wasn’t strange was that England’s lower order outscored the top order, yet again. It’s becoming quite a big problem, we rely on our all-rounders to bail us out time after time. I would bring in a slow and steady opener in Hameed and drop Ballance for Duckett.

    1. They do certainly field a lot of players with first-class hundreds – although as the specialists seem so keen to point out, hundreds in county cricket don’t necessarily translate to anything at all on a spinning pitch many thousands of miles away…

    2. We are pretty much always 30 or 40 for 3, and much as it pains me to agree with Vaughan, we will struggle against India’s spinners. Has anything from this test match indicated otherwise? Hameed to open and Duckett for Ballance is what I would go for, will it happen?

      1. England will struggle against Bangladesh’s spinners.

        Lots of talk about blooding players and getting plans sorted ahead of the India Tests as if there isn’t one just waiting to be lost starting Friday.

        It is interesting to ponder the volume of left-handers in England’s top order though. With R Ashwin looming, you’d think that might have come into the thinking when choosing the opener for the previous Test. Maybe it did.

      2. why is there a consensus that ‘England will struggle against Indian spinners’? Do echo Ged “Is Mehdi Hasan playing for India?”

        I think England should be bold & go with only Cook,Root&Bairstow as specialist batsmen + 4 pace bowlers + 3 spinners + Buttler. I don’t see how they can do worse than what they did now in Bangladesh. Bairstow dropping the gloves could make a key difference to the figures of English spinners, I think.

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