Do Bangladesh have the talent in the pipeline to fill these big shoes? © Getty
Rotation policy seems to be the buzz word in Bangladesh cricket fraternity in these times.
Ace all-rounder Shakib al Hasan’s calls for workload management and Tamim Iqbal’s decision to skip the upcoming one-off Test against Afghanistan and the subsequent Twenty20 tri-nation also involving Zimbabwe only suggest that time is not far when Bangladesh will try to heed Shakib’s advice. BCB president Nazmul Hasan’s insistence on using T20s to provivide new players chances only serves to validate that the move will be made sooner than later.
“We have to provide them proper chances. And the teams might rest some players,” Nazmul said. “But that does not mean we are dropping them permanently. We have discussed a lot about rotation policy with these coaches. We will work on rotation policy and introduce some new faces. We decided to introduce them with Tests but now we prefer T20s more than Tests to include new players. So I hope we will see new players very soon.”
Whether Bangladesh have the right crop of players in the pipeline is a matter of debate, but the performance of the second string team in the recent past suggests that even if BCB intends to draw young bloods they have to choose carefully.
Bangladesh decided to send their second best available team in the name of BCB XI to take part in the Dr. (Capt) K. Thimmappaiah Memorial multi-day All India Cricket Tournament, also known as the ‘mini Ranji Trophy’ but failed to reach the final, despite playing international stars like Mominul Haque, Taskin Ahmed, Kamrul Islam, Sadman Islam, Jahurul Islam and Nurul Hasan to name a few.
During the same time frame Bangladesh A team lost the two-match four-day series against Afghanistan A and drew in the five match one-day series with the one game being abandoned, and in that team too players like Mohammad Mithun, Sabbir Rahman, Anamul Haque featured. The result became a matter of concern for the national selectors as they were unable to figure out the reason behind their failure at home. To make things worse, BCB High Performance Unit, in the opening game against their Sri Lankan counterparts, lost by 182 runs and now have to win their second game to keep the series alive at home.
Senior cricketers chatted with the junior High Performance unit guys on Monday (August 17) to boost their morale and according to head coach Simon Helmut it was a fruitful discussion.
“Today we had very good discussion with all the national team players. We talked to Mushfiqur, Riyad [Mahmudullah]and some of the senior players and then we had Mashrafe come, he was being very frank and it was very good support to me and other coaches. We all had their message,” Helmut told Cricbuzz.
Australian Helmut, who is running the development project for quite some time now, believes that match awareness remains a key area of concern among the country’s young cricketers and that is a facet Bangladesh need to focus to develop. “I think we need to have match awareness,” said Helmut.
“Some players may be ready [for the national team] but some players need still lots of work to do. That’s why you have academies and A matches to give experience, skill development, to improve strength and conditioning and improve fielding,” he said. “Fielding has to be A1, your strength has to be A1, your skill has to be A1, maturity has to be A1 and you always keep developing your technique.
“If they keep doing these things then we will get good players coming through. What these boys must realize they have an opportunity to perform and start to climb to get involved with the national side. That’s what the academies are for. They produce players like Shadman, Saifuddin, Rahi and lots of other players who came to the system. We need to keep providing healthy pressure on these players so that we can be strong against international teams in big platforms,” he said.
Helmot opined that for the time being Bangladesh must go out and hunt for spinners for that is the need of the day. He added that a domestic structure be put in place that can encourage the spinners. “We need to keep identifying spin. We think we have begun a nice fast bowling group the way the bowling past two three years. We have worked on batting development. Now we need spin demons from towns to towns and that’s going to take time and energy,” said Helmut.
“Let’s identify enough of them first, then force themselves to play and then will come the good performances. We have to have a good system domestically so they get opportunity internationally,” he concluded.