A day of celebration for the fans who never lost faith in their team through all the ups and downs. Also, as a consequence of the last Test performance, a day for all to hold breath and anxiously wait to see what the 100th Test has in store for us.
True, we’ve done badly in our 99th Test. Having done reasonably well in the recent past against the well-equipped New Zealand and India away from home, it was not improper to expect the Tigers to play at the same level as the Sri Lankans. It was only fair to assume that the Tigers will take advantage of the fact that the opposition is in the process of rebuilding and not as solid in Test cricket as it used to be.
Not to mention the playing condition wasn’t much different from ours. But we not only lost the Test, we failed to steady our ship at the hour of need and crumbled badly. We lost well before the game was finished. We couldn’t play the way a Test match ought to be played between two teams of equal strength. We’ve made the much-awaited 100th Test all the more difficult for ourselves. That was really sad.
The journey of Test cricket is like exploring a tunnel filled with darkness and not knowing what’s lying ahead at the end of it. Over after over, hour after hour and session after session, the mystery unfolds and suddenly from a distance, a ray of light gets visible like the lighthouse in an ocean. But like comets, such lights can be misleading too. There, one has to show guile and strength of character. The essence of Test cricket is not to live on chances, but to rely on knowledge, patience, persistence and skill. It’s about knowing when to run, when not to and when to crawl. It doesn’t have to be artistic or flamboyant at all times.
But it must serve the purpose. It’s like constructing the tallest building, but one brick at a time and then one block, with utmost care and sincerity. It’s about being in control no matter how tough or rough the surface is or the journey gets. It makes one sweat, bleed and also test one’s guts with moments of uncertainty.
It also brings the hidden inner person into play, in its own way. And there, one has to be man enough to deal with these hardships. It’s about controlling one’s temptation and not to put steps unknowingly in the dark, even though the path may seem passable and the task achievable. Such discipline ensures safe and steady journey towards achieving the ultimate goal and teaches one to be crafty. That’s Test cricket, that's real cricket. And this is the journey we expect our Tigers to undergo in the fifth and final day and turn around as winner in the 100th Test match.
Our best wishes, as always, with our Tigers.
Nazmul Abedeen Fahim is an Elite cricket coach and happens to be the mentor of Shakib al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and many other local and national Bangladesh players.