There seems to have been about a million articles recently claiming that the Bangladesh team are getting better with the common inference being that they will be able to compete with the other test playing sides in the next year or so.
As Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, would (probably) say this is absolute piffle.
True they did manage to beat the West Indian under 12 side in the test and ODI series in the Caribbean last year.
It’s also true that they have finally produced a genuinely good player in Shakib Al Hasan. And in the recent series with India certain individuals stepped up to the plate at certain times. Mushfiqur Rahim looks like a promising wicketkeeper/batsman, the wonderfully named Mahmudullah is too low in the batting order and best of all Tamim Iqbal’s century in the 2nd Test was a genuinely great innings.
But they still lost the series easily 2-0 having previously lost every match in the ODI tri-series prior to the tests. Even Zimbabwe used to be more difficult to beat at home.
And then today New Zealand bowled out Bangladesh for 78 and knocked off the runs in less than nine overs with no wickets down. Now the Kiwis are admittedly better than the sum of their parts but only the West Indies and Pakistan are arguably between them and Bangladesh in the rankings.
We’ll have to see how Bangladesh fare on the rest of their tour to the land of the long white cloud, but even an England team captained by Alastair Cook (who was certainly Captain Clueless in the T20I he captained in SA) should win both tests and all the ODIs.
Perhaps the biggest proof of Bangladesh’s continuing ineptitude is the fact that Mohammad Ashraful is continually referred to as their best batsman. This is the same Mohammad Ashraful who averages 23 in both tests and ODIs, and 15 in T20Is. That is lower than both Stuart Broad and Nathan Hauritz.
I’d quite like to see Bangladesh improve but I can’t see it happening to the level it needs to for them to compete with the other test playing sides. I fear they will be the whipping boys of international cricket for the foreseeable future.
Over to you Captain Cook.
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