The genesis of Bangladesh’s T20I batting scars
Bangladesh’s power play woes kept haunting them against Pakistan although all three T20Is were played on good batting grounds at the Shere Bangla National Stadium. Difficulty getting started during fielding restrictions rooted in the two home series wins against Australia and New Zealand when, in order to find a winning trust before the T20 World Cup, team management used unplayable pitches for all ten matches. He aspired to the life of the Bangladesh batting unit. There is concern that this has scared the hitters to go for their shots on the power play, permanently.
Bangladesh averaged just 30 per innings in the power play in the Pakistan Series, the lowest this year. They posted totals of 127, 108 and 124, below-average scores that visitors successfully pursued. Bangladesh had started their T20I assignments in 2021 with an average of 51 in New Zealand, hitting conditions deemed difficult for the Bangladeshi hitters. The power-play score was still healthy in Harare in July, but the fall began against Australia in August.
They won against Australia and New Zealand by margins of 4-1 and 3-2 respectively. Spinners took 40 wickets at 16.07 and pace bowlers averaged just 13.6 for their 33 wickets. Combined team batting averages were between 13.50 and 16.54 among the three teams, among the lowest in T20Is played among the top teams. The Bangladesh team’s scores also showed a sharp drop.
Captain Mahmudullah and coach Russel Domingue both have repeatedly claimed that the team’s overall confidence in the wake of those two series wins – Bangladesh’s first over Australia and New Zealand – was more important than their hitters’ declining belief in their approach.
In an interview with ESPNcricinfo in SeptemberDomingo said he was not concerned about batting confidence heading into the T20 World Cup.
“I don’t think hitters will be scarred before this event (T20 World Cup),” said Domingo. “I think it’s always easier to go from bad pitches to good pitches, than the other way around. We’ve had a tough few weeks here, but a lot of positives have come out of it. Once we hit better ones. surfaces in the Cup world, it won’t be long before the boys return to their best level. “
But Bangladesh are also a team that relies a lot on humor and momentum. At the end of Bangladesh’s World Cup campaign, Mahmudullah said they had to start off on the right foot to do well in the T20Is. Good starts with bat and ball set the tone for most teams regardless of format, but Bangladesh have shown time and time again that it takes a long time for them to recover from bad starts.
Bangladesh averaged 51 and 45 on the power play in New Zealand and Zimbabwe in the first two T20I series this year. He continued the 46 powerplay average of the previous four years (except 2020). But Bangladesh has had a difficult year in 2021. They were winless for ten matches from January to May, before beating Sri Lanka in an ODI series and Zimbabwe in all three formats.
The belief in the Bangladesh camp was that winning against Australia and New Zealand at home would not only be good preparation for the World Cup, but also save face for the cricket team and the cricket plateau. The victories did the trick. The turnaround pleased the president of the BCB Nazmul Hassan sufficient for Domingo’s contract to be renewed. Hassan also apparently forgave Mahmudullah for retire in the middle of a test match.
But a large part of the fans and the media were not convinced. While Australia brought about half of their World Cup squad to Bangladesh, New Zealand sent a second-place squad. They were international cricketers, but none of them would feature in the New Zealand team linked to the United Arab Emirates. Bangladesh have fielded all of their World Cup players.
The movement backfired dramatically for the home side. Bangladesh’s fight with the bat was highlighted by the rise of Australia and New Zealand in the tournament, both in the final. Many fans pointed out how Matthew Wade overcame his struggle in Bangladesh to play a winning hand in the semi-final against Pakistan. This was arguably the most accurate assessment of Bangladesh’s reliance on low, slow pitches: T20s are best when played on athletic fields that have a little bit of rhythm on the bat.
Bangladesh won half of home T20Is from 2016 to 2019. In each of those four years, their power-play average was 42, 53, 51 and 42. The average number of points balls played also declined during this period, before climbing to arrow. The average number of limits has also taken a nosedive.
The power-play dive also knocked out Soumya Sarkar and Liton Das, two of Bangladesh’s most blessed stroke players in whiteball cricket. Liton had the second-best strike rate in the world between 2016 and 2019. His power-play strike rate in 2021 was 96.57, which led to his ouster from the T20I squad after the World Cup. He shares half the blame for his inability to cope with conditions at home and then unable to regain his 2016-19 World Cup form.
Soumya thrives on the power play because he enjoys playing high and above. Its strike rate has dropped from 120 (2016-19) to 96 this year. None of the Bangladeshi hitters who have faced more than a hundred balls on the power play this year have a 100-strike rate.
The three batting shots against Pakistan are an encouraging sign. BCB and team management may have realized that there is no point in torturing their own hitters, especially without the experienced trio of Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal. With less than a year to go until the next T20 World Cup, Bangladesh must come up with a new game plan. They also have a difficult 2022 schedule to manage. Building a pool of T20I-only players can be a good option, but for that they need a national T20 tournament played on good grounds.
Bringing back their quick power play score should be one of their main goals when they return to play with the T20Is starting in February. Starts are important for Bangladesh, and without races no team can win the T20s.