Bangladesh have been beaten but not broken
The interest regarding the second quarterfinal clash was enormous in Bangladesh. It created a massive hype all over the country and even the remotest of places of Bangladesh were gripped by the cricket fever. Bangladesh’s inspiring performances in the group stages made the nation hopeful of another glorious moment in Melbourne, but in the end, there were no delirious moments.
Bangladesh didn’t have a great day in the office against neighbours India. It was one of those days when nothing worked in their favour. Bangladesh took the field beaming with confidence and spirit but certain moments left them dispirited.
The umpiring errors
Mashrafe and his men suffered some pathetic decisions from the umpires. Was the full toss that Rohit Sharma hit down the throat of deep midwicket a no-ball? The ball was only waist-high when Rohit’s bat met it in front of his body, and it was on its way down. It was not a no-ball but the umpires thought otherwise. Bangladesh lost a wonderful opportunity of a breakthrough in the most crucial juncture of India’s innings. His dismissal at that point would have changed the complexion of the game.
Many experts are saying that the no-ball decision was a marginal one. In case of such ‘marginal’ matters, the benefit of doubt always goes to the batsmen. Well, if that is the case then why was Mahmudullah Riyad’s dismissal not seen in the same light?
Shikhar Dhawan’s gallant effort to catch Mahmudullah was a touch-and-go one and it was referred to the third umpire for further evaluation. Surprisingly, the third umpire was quite reluctant to have a closer look at the catch by zooming in on Dhawan’s foot to see whether it had touched the ropes or not. The benefit of the doubt didn’t go in favour of the batsman.
There were also controversy surrounding Tamim Iqbal’s catch being taken cleanly, and an lbw decision given in favour of Suresh Raina.
Umpiring errors do happen in a cricket match, but when such errors happen more often than not, it not only dampens the spirit of a team but also kills the charm of the match.
Mediocre fielding and leadership
Bangladesh should have lifted themselves up after suffering such poor umpiring decisions, but they failed to do that. The world has witnessed a fearless Bangladesh unit in this tournament, but at the MCG the fearlessness was not to be seen.
This team has fought well against all sorts of adversities, but sadly, gave up too easily while chasing India’s total.
When Mahmudullah was dismissed, a healthy partnership was needed and more emphasis on occupying the crease and picking up singles and twos was needed. But the Bangladesh batsmen simply threw their wickets away cheaply.
Moreover, Mashrafe’s captaincy and Bangladesh’s fielding was below average – Mash lacked a clear vision and never created enough pressure to make things happen. Also, there was no need to include Imrul Kayes in the team and Mominul Haque could have been a better choice.
It has been a day every Bangladeshi would wish to forget soon. The sadness does not need to be internalized however, because this time Bangladesh have surprised everyone with the successes they have garnered and their fearless brand of cricket.
Coach Chandika Hathurusingha has done a wonderful job in such a short period to galvanize a fragile team into a cohesive unit. The current team is in brilliant shape and they must continue displaying such attacking brand of cricket consistently and work harder for a better tomorrow.