Nazmul Hassan, the BCB president, has called into question Bangladesh shot selection in the first ODI against Sri Lanka, their preparation ahead of this series, and the merit of using Liton Das as an opener in this format.
Nazmul Hassan Slams Bangladesh
Hassan made his comments at a press briefing during the innings break after Bangladesh had made 257 for 6 on a tricky surface in Dhaka, an unusually prompt response from the board chief, who usually waits till the end of a match before offering his reactions.
“The BCB is trying to find out what’s happening, and why it is happening,” Hassan said.
“Winning and losing today is not important. How many good balls or brilliant fielding got us out? Was our shot selection right? There’s no point bringing a good coach if this is their shot selection. We will talk about the coach later. First, we have to sit with the players to find out their mentality. Some of the outs [dismissals] were very ugly. There was no need to play those shots in that situation.”
Hassan acknowledged that some of the Bangladesh batters were going through a lean patch, and said that “in his opinion” Das, who bats at No. 7 in Tests, would be better suited down the order in ODIs as well.
Das and Mohammad Mithun both fell for ducks, with Das flaying outside off stump and Mithun trapped lbw while playing a paddle sweep.
“Liton Das, Soumya [Sarkar] and [Mohammad] Mithun are capable players. People go through bad times. We will have to talk to the players and coaches. I can’t just take a sweeping decision from the top. It will become negative.
“[Liton] can open in T20s, but my personal opinion is that he is better at No. 5 or 6. We have to sit with them. I don’t want to force anything on them. I don’t do that anymore. I think we will have a solution.”
While Nazmul Hassan said Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo would have his contract renewed this year, he stressed on the need to ask questions and “find out the problem”.
“If we don’t renew his contract, we would be needing someone as a back-up. We don’t have any such thoughts in this Covid situation with a World Cup coming up. This is the reality.
“We haven’t had the chance to test them. If we ask him [Domingo] why they batted badly, he will point towards their shot-selection. What will be my reply? We first have to find out the problem. I can’t even sit with the players due to Covid. They don’t even allow me into the bio-bubble. What can I do?”
While Bangladesh could theoretically top the World Cup Super League table if they win this series, their form across all formats has been erratic. The team has lost nine out of the last ten international matches.
In fact, since the 2019 World Cup, Bangladesh have won only one international game against a higher-ranked side – the first T20I versus India in Delhi in November 2019.
Besides a 3-0 ODI win against the West Indies at the start of the year, Bangladesh have lost every other series they have played in 2021, including six consecutive defeats in New Zealand across formats.
Hassan was displeased with Bangladesh’s preparation ahead of the Sri Lanka series.
“Is this any type of preparation? We played ODIs and T20s in New Zealand after playing Tests. Then we played Tests in Sri Lanka. We are not having our usual procedure of preparation.
“How much did they practice after coming back [from Sri Lanka]? They couldn’t practice one day due to rain. Then another day was missing due to permission.
The bond of a training camp, where everyone is around, is missing. It is a difficult environment for us – continuously playing and being in repeated quarantines.
“We are going to Zimbabwe, and then Australia, New Zealand, and England are coming here. We have to abide by Covid protocols in every series. It is a problem for everyone but there are some countries who are continuously playing.”