Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Why Nasir bats at 7?

A series draw against Zimbabwe was not the result that many were hoping for before the start of the tour. After all, it was one of those rare occasions where the Tigers, following their decent performance in Sri Lanka in March, went in as favourites.
However, the way Bangladesh came back in the Test series following their disastrous 335- run defeat was acclaimed by former captains and cricketers.
Chief selector Akram Khan described the series as ‘a difficult job’ and stated that the Tigers had to battle both ‘on and off the field’.
“Almost everything was in their [Zimbabweans'] favour. The conditions were difficult and our cricketers were not at comfort at their hotels either. But I guess the best part was the way we came back in the series,” said Akram, who himself was a national captain.
While Akram was not so pleased with the way the players batted in the first Test, he was however, content with the pace attack. “The kind of wicket that it was, if a bowler got into a rhythm then no one could stop him from getting wickets. Robiul [Islam] worked hard and I am happy that he did so well. Ziaur [Rahman] also bowled well,” said Akram.
Another former national captain Khaled Mahmud echoed Akram’s thoughts and believed that the result of the second Test depicted a true picture of where the two teams stand. He, however, was critical of the batsmen and the team selection.
“The way our batsmen fell against such a mediocre bowling attack shows that we need more practice against swing bowling. It’s going to be a lot more difficult in other countries,” said Mahmud. “We also need to think about the right balance for the right conditions. For instance, we definitely missed an extra pacer in the first Test,” he added.
Former chief selector, Faruque Ahmed described the series as a ‘mixed-bag’ and expects Bangladesh to put up a better show in the limited-overs series. He was impressed with Robiul and Nasir Hossain and was of the opinion that the latter should bat up the order.
“Nasir’s a genuine batsman and it’s not a good decision to bat him at number seven. If he doesn’t want to move up then the team management should figure out why that is so. There’s no point in him arriving at the crease when half the team is gone,” said Faruque.
In a similar vein, former left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique also praised Robiul for his bowling efforts. “I have seen him grow at Abahani and honestly speaking his performance in the series was not surprising. But this is just the start, he has a long way to go and should work hard,” said Rafique. Reflecting on the series of missed chances and dropped catches, Rafique stated that the team that commits the ‘lesser number of mistakes’ would win the one-day international series.