Following the Bangladeshi cricket side can be one challenging experience...
Being an Australian, I fall into the extreme minority of my fellow people to have a strong interest in the progress of the Bangladesh national cricket team. Ever since they reached test status, I've always seemed to keep my eye on the performance of a team that was new to playing on the biggest stage of all.
Over the past couple of years, I've developed a confidence that the Tigers will prevail in the Test arena against a major team. Sure they beat Zimbabwe and a second string West Indies side, but that win against an India, England or New Zealand still eludes them.
The three sides I just mentioned have been their three most recent opponents, and against each of these sides they have flirted with taking the game apart. But just when you have followed the live scorecard for three hours and seen a Rubel Hossain blitz through a top order or Tamim Iqbal blaze up the arena, the opposing side will put together a 250 run fifth wicket stand or take four quick wickets to move the score from 2/170 to 6/201.
It happens every time. If you go back each game for virtually the past two or three years, this pattern will happen almost without fail at numerous points in a match.
Despite such frustrations, I must say I still have quite a strong level of positivity about the Tigers in their quest to make it on the big stage. Almost every player in the batting line up has scored a hundred in either a test or one-dayer in the recent months. Even when the score is 6/180, they seem to find a way to make another hundred runs. Mushfiqur Rahim has been brilliant and so has Mahmudullah.
Shakib Al Hasan is a very astute leader of such a young side who although haven't found a consistency of winning, have certainly found a consistency of competing with the best sides in the world.
If Bangaldesh can just be a bit more solid with their batting (particularly their middle order) and gain another strike bowler, I am confident they can do what the Sri Lankans did in the 1990s.
At this current point, Bangladesh are 6/292 in 75 overs in their first innings of the second test against England. If they can score over 400, who knows, maybe a major victory could occur sooner than we think.
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