Reverse swing has proved to be the biggest difference between the two sides in the ongoing Test series. Before starting their tour of the sub-continent, the English fast bowlers had done their home-work and applied it to great effect. The Bangladesh batsmen were tested heavily by the reverse swing right from the first Test in Chittagong. Ben Stokes seems to have mastered the art as, despite a spin-friendly pitch at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, he bagged four important wickets in the first innings, followed by two crucial scalps in the second innings. He was eventually adjudged player of the match as England won the game by 22 runs. And once again in the Dhaka Test, it was the reverse swing which undid the Tigers. In that aspect, one must give credit to Joe Root, who was busy throughout the two Tests, maintaining the ball with his long-sleeve jersey. In contrast, Bangladesh opted for only one seamer in the form of Kamrul Islam Rabbi but he hardly made any impact, be it with the new or old cherry.
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Bangladesh's Mahmudullah looks back at his shattered timber DHAKA TRIBUNE
One of the major problems for Bangladesh against England has been the sudden batting collapses. Despite some good starts, the Tigers seem to lose their way through panic attack, thus handing the momentum back to the visitors. In the first innings of the first Test, Bangladesh lost their last six wickets for just 27 runs and were all out for 248 to give England the much-needed first-innings lead. They repeated the same mistakes in the second innings as they went on to concede their last five wickets for only 36 runs to get dismissed for 248. While in the second Test, Bangladesh did make a brilliant start, riding on a magnificent 170-run second-wicket stand between Imrul Kayes and Tamim Iqbal, but they still somehow managed to gobble up thereafter, losing their last nine wickets for just 49 runs to be skittled out for 220.
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While Bangladesh youngster Mehedi Hasan Miraz has been a revelation with the leather, he has been a letdown with the willow so far DHAKA TRIBUNE
No contributions from the tail-enders:
Although the duty of a bowler is to take wickets, it always helps if he contributes with the willow. In that case, the Tigers tail-enders totally failed to provide any sort of support. This is another aspect the team management needs to work on. Mehedi Hasan Miraz, who has the reputation of a batsman, along with Shuvagata Hom, Kamrul and Taijul Islam; none of the quartet have hardly given any support when it was needed the most. Taijul did score 16 runs in the second innings of the first Test but apart from that, the Bangladesh tail-enders disappointed with the bat throughout the series.
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Mahmudullah was going strong until a rush of blood got the better of him DHAKA TRIBUNE
Throwing away the momentum:
Bangladesh tend to throw away the momentum more often than not, despite working hard initially. The Tigers have been known to lose wickets before or after any break and in the process, their prospects take a pounding. The latest example would be Mahmudullah’s wayward shot in the very last ball of the second day of the second Test. Just when the home side were about to finish the day on a high, the experienced cricketer threw it away after scoring 47 runs as Bangladesh will once again look to rebuild.
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This has been a common scenario for the Bangladesh tail-enders during the ongoing England Test series DHAKA TRIBUNE
Proper team combination:
The inclusion of Shuvagata for the second Test once again raised quite a few questions regarding his role in the side. According to the Bangladesh think tank, he was included as a specialist spinner who can contribute with the bat as well. But Shuvagata, who scored just six in the first innings, bowled only four overs and remained wicket-less. More importantly, captain Mushfiqur Rahim introduced him to the attack in the 59th over of England's innings. Although he took two sharp catches in the slip cordon, there is still some way to go in the second Test. One hardly knows what his role would be in the upcoming three days.