Both hunter and prey | The Daily Star


When it comes to using the condition of home, betting on friendly clues on tests, the Bangladeshi team management made clear their intentions in the last two years – to arrest the opposition in a spider's web and bring the result to their favor.

The strategy reached its first ever win against England in 2016, Australia in 2017 and last Saturday helped to deliver their first home win at the Test of the West Indies.

It has been used effectively against non-subcontinent teams, but it is a bet that the think tank in Bangladesh knows it can be countered.

When it comes to attacking the spin set trap for opponents, Bangladesh also got stuck in its own web because of the ineptitude of the scouts to deal with opposition spinners in difficult conditions. The best example of this has been Nathan Lyon scoring 22 wickets in the two-round series in 2017.

Bangladesh has built an arsenal of spinners of its own. Skipper Shakib Al Hasan is the most experienced of the batch and provides valuable experience when it comes to reading the beaters. His sharp drift and a lethal arm ball helped him remain the best player in Bangladesh for a long time now.

Taijul Islam, on the other hand, knows its limitations and strengths, which consist of addressing the right areas consistently and continuing to ask the batter hard questions to induce mistakes. Mehedi Hasan Miraz, among the lowest players, also worked on his variations and uses the crease to great effect.

Newcomer Nayeem Hasan, who has become the youngest rookie in the history of the test to get a five, is the only one who gives the ball a good tear and draws a substantial spin – a rarity in Bangladesh – and also has the ability to spin with the advantage of being more than six meters high.

They are the best spinners in the country and bring different things to the table, but their variations are largely drawn from skill and intuition rather than any unique and real features. That's enough to stop the opposition scouts, but one must ask if these variations are enough to keep the batters at home prepared for combat in difficult wickets.

It may be one of the reasons why Bangladesh is as often stuck as hunters in home testing. The search for a leg spinner remains a continuous and unsuccessful. Jubair Hossain, once considered a great spinner, now can not get a first-class team.

Diversity in spin practice may or may not be a problem, but the lack of similar pitches in first-class cricket or even List A is certainly an obstacle. After the test of Mirpur against Australia, the player of the game Tamim Iqbal lamented the lack of practice in such wickets.

West Indies are often considered among the worst spin bowling players that have shown in Chattogram. But it may surprise many to know that in the past three years, Bangladesh has lost wickets to spin more often than the West Indies – once every 53 balls to the West Indies 55.1.

The strategy may put them in good place in the second test, but for it to become a foolproof instead of a bet, the necessary powers will have to ensure that domestic cricket practice supports the scheme in tests.


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