|| BSS ||
The Bangladesh batters showed some promising signs to learn the art of T20 cricket as it was evidenced in their performance in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 tournament.
The reason behind their good performance is obviously the pitch which gave them the freedom to play their shots unlike the previous editions when on most of the occasion, 150 became the winning total. This time, even a total of 200 is not safe.
"There is no alternative to prepare a good wicket, if you want to produce good batters and bowlers for the T20 cricket," Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, the former national captain who is now leading Sylhet Strikers in this BPL said.
"We found some of the batters hitting the ball clean and had the ability to score runs at 150 plus strike rate. In domestic cricket, we didn't see it. This itself proves if you give them a good wicket, they can prepare them as ideal T20 batters. At the same time, the bowlers tried to do well by containing the batters when they were in aggressive mood. This will give the bowlers also an opportunity to learn how to curb the aggression of the batters."
The problem is apart from Shakib Al Hasan, Afif Hossain and Liton Das, the three best players of the country for the T20 format, others couldn't do it at consistent basis. Shakib had already 347 runs in 10 matches, averaging almost 50 and with a strike rate of 184. Liton Das though looked off colour in first three matches, slowly found his mojo and had amassed so far 236 runs at a strike rate of 136. Afif Hossain had strike rate of 100 and almost 47 average for his 328 runs.
But aside the consistency, if the strike rate, which is a major concern for Bangladesh batters, is taken into consideration, most of them ticked the box well. Outside of the national team, Towhid Hridoy is the great findings. In the last BPL, Hridoy was responsible for Fortune Barishal's defeat to Comilla Victorians by just one run in the BPL final game. Barishal indeed suffered due to his lack of ability for big hitting skill.
Hridoy worked hard in the last one year but at the same time got a 'nice wicket' to showcase his talent. Playing for Sylhet Strikers, he is now the top run-getter with 373 runs, a tally that came as an average of almost 54 and a whopping strike rate of 150 almost. The likes of Rony Talukdar, Anamul Haque Bijoy, Zakir Hasan, Jaker Ali Anik, Yasir Ali also showed that they have the ability to score runs at quicker pace and all that they need to continue this to get a 'good wicket' at consistent basis.
"If you see the likes of Hridoy, Shanto, Zakir Hasan, Jaker Ali-all batted with utmost confidence and they showed how talented they are. I think local batters could show their talent due to the wicket this time," said Shakib Al Hasan, the captain of Bangladesh's T20 and Test team.
"This is a good sign for us. We have to give credit to the curator for this. Normally we are not used to getting good wicket in Mirpur, so our performance looked ordinary most of the time. If we can continue playing on this sort of wicket, I think our batters will grow with confidence, which will eventually be beneficial for us in International T20 cricket."
But still Bangladeshi batters failed to give the impetus what the overseas players did. This BPL couldn't get many high quality players in this season due to the other domestic leagues around the world but still there were some players like Iftikhar Ahmed, Ryan Burl, Khushdil Shah, Azam Khan, Shoaib Malik, Johnson Charles, Usman Khan who showed the serenity under pressure and at the same time looked to take the game away whatever the asking run rate was.
Shakib believes the more the local players play in this kind of good wicket, the more they can express them well.
"It is a matter of habit. Previously the local batters scored 30/40 runs but now they took it to 70/80 runs. If the wicket remains same in the next season, they will learn how to make it 100 with a good strike rate."