According to many, the Tigers were a bowler short and also lacked fire power in the last five overs of their innings in their defeat against England in the tournament opener of the 2017 Champions Trophy at Kennington Oval on Thursday.
The team management opted for eight batsman instead of going with a specialist bowler. The decision was perhaps taken with the aim of scoring heavily against the in-form English side and also put them under some pressure.
Keeping that in mind, the start was good as everything looked in order from Bangladesh’s perspective. They seemed to have done their homework pretty well and immediately attacked the opponent.
Opening batsman Tamim Iqbal reserved his best for England while wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim also showed what he is capable of, keeping the batting side well on top of the home side right until the 45th over as Bangladesh were eyeing a score somewhere around the 320-330-run mark.
But after the departure of centurion Tamim, Mushfiq was dismissed in the very next ball. It turned out to be the crucial point of the game as the Tigers were just unable to cash in on the last five overs as they would have wanted to.
With two new batsmen at the crease, it was difficult for the likes of all-rounder Shakib al Hasan, big hitter Sabbir Rahman, middle-order batsman Mahmudullah and youngster Mosaddek Hossain to hit boundaries right from the word go, which raised questions as to why eight batsman were picked in the line-up.
Bangladesh added just 43 runs in the last five overs, despite having eight batsman in the team. It only proved that the job had to be done by the top six batters. With that said, the Tigers posted their highest ever total against England.
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Bangladesh's Tamim Iqbal attempts a big shot on way to his ninth ton DHAKA TRIBUNE
However, that proved to be mere consolation as the home side recorded the highest successful chase in the history of the Champions Trophy.
One must give credit to the Bangladesh fielders as they remained sharp in the field throughout the game, even when the dependable Joe Root and opener Alex Hales were going after the bowling. The fielders were backing the bowlers by stopping the ones and twos.
But then again, the in-form English batters have made it a habit to score over 300 in recent times. To add to that, there was very little purchase for the bowlers from the pitch, thus making things worse for the Tigers bowlers.
Questions can be raised as to why No 3 batsman Imrul Kayes was picked ahead of off-spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz but according to Mushfiq, even if they had gone with five bowlers, there were no assurances that they would have won the game in a pitch that was batting friendly.
“I think we were 20-25 runs short and maybe we were a bowler short as well. Miraz did not play so we had to go with the occasional bowlers for the 10 overs. But still, I think it's easy to say such things after the game that it would have been good if we had gone with an extra bowler. Even if we had the extra bowler, there was no guarantee of winning as Mustafizur [Rahman] and Shakib were unable to grip the ball. So it was difficult for the bowlers. If we were able to pick up a few more early wickets, things would have different,” said Mushfiq.
Bangladesh will take on mighty Australia in their second game on Monday at Kennington Oval. One thing's for sure, let it be Bangladesh including eight batsmen or five bowlers, the Tigers' mindset and approach will remain the same and the Aussies would do well not to underestimate the wounded men in red and green.