|| CF Correspondent ||
Bangladesh completes 20 years in Test cricket on November 10 despite not being able to prove their mettle in the longest format.
Tigers have so far played 119 Test matches and among them lost 89 matches, drawn 16 and won only 11 matches.
While their track record in white-ball cricket is much better compared to red-ball it seems Tigers are still in process of establishing themselves in Test format.
Tigers fan may still have to wait to see their team roaring in the Test arena against the big guns as they are not progressing by leaps and bounds and judging by the current state of the team in Test format.
However, Bangladesh still remembers the day of the inaugural Test as one of their proudest moments in cricket history as 20 years ago they played their maiden Test against India on at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka in 2000.
The cricketing world celebrated the entry of the newest member in the group of cricket playing nation and the host surprised everyone by putting up a spirited show and lost eventually to experience more than anything else.
The country stood still on that day when Naimur Rahman walked towards the centre of Bangabandhu National Stadium for the toss and that moment will be cherished by his counterpart Sourav Ganguly as well considering it was his first time to lead his side in the international level.
On the first day of that test match, Aminul Islam shared the spotlight with Habibul Bashar and surpassed the wildest dreams of their cricket fans.
Bangladesh scored 239 runs on that day by losing 6 wickets while the second day was simply Aminul Islam’s show as he played a master-stroke of 145 runs and became only the third in cricket history to clinch a ton in the debut match of a nation after Charles Bannerman and Dave Houghton while his sheer determination helped his team put up 400 runs on the board.
‘’It was an exciting time. We had very little idea about this world. We knew about ODI cricket, so a playing XI for us meant having two fast bowlers, three spinners, one wicketkeeper and five batsmen. We reached Dhaka just a few days before the Test match. We had just had a poor tour of Africa, where we were eliminated early from the ICC Knockout tournament in Nairobi,’’ first Test centurion Aminul Islam
‘’Shumon( Bashar) was batting like he was playing in the Dhaka Premier League. He was slashing Srinath over the slips. He was playing [Ajit] Agarkar comfortably, driving Murali Kartik. I got confidence from him, but I was also a little afraid that he might get out playing so many shots. His fluent innings ultimately made it easy for us to reach 400 in the first innings,’’ he said.
In reply, India put on 429 runs on board in reply. The match could have been ended as a draw if Bangladesh could have managed to bat well in the second innings. Tigers got all out by 91 runs and to set a mere target of 63 runs. India won the match by 9 wicket.
However more than the result what is still very much deeply rooted in the heart of the cricketers is the celebration of the inaugural Test match.
‘’It was a celebration. There was a formal opening ceremony, which was attended by our prime minister and cricketing greats from the past. Representatives from boards that supported us - and even some who didn't - also attended,’’ said Habibul.
‘’We used to play a few ODIs every year in those days, so we were about to take a big step forward,’’ he said.
‘’I played an instinctive knock. I didn't want to listen to all the advice that was coming from every angle. We got a lot of advice at that time: leave the ball, play defensive, bat for six hours. I thought I should play my way. I don't regret getting out on 71. I'd have loved to score a century on debut, but I regret missing other centuries later in my career [more]. I was quite happy with this knock. It gave me the belief that I can play at this level. It gave me a foundation for my next 49 Tests,’’ he concluded.