Following their contrasting fortunes in the 2015 World Cup, Bangladesh and England have emerged as two of the most improved One-Day International (ODI) outfits in the world. Both have settled squads with plenty of experienced match winners on their ranks and these two teams were expected to produce a close contest in the inaugural fixture of this eighth edition of ICC Champions Trophy.
However, on the D-Day, it turned out to be more or less a one-sided contest with the hosts registering a dominating eight-wicket victory.
So, what went wrong for this Mashrafe Mortaza-led Bangladesh - the team which of late, has been putting up some inspiring performances on a consistent basis?
Let us find out.
Blunder in team selection
At the start of the day Bangladesh got their strategies wrong by playing an extra batsman on a flat deck. They missed a trick by picking Mosaddek Hossain in place of Mehedi Hasan Miraz, the off-spinner. The decision was probably a result of their previous batting performance at the Oval, couple of days back, when the entire team was bowled out for 84 against the Indian attack in a warm-up fixture.
However, Mortaza did justify his decision of playing eight batsmen by saying that the team management wanted to provide the top order the freedom and assurance to get on with the game early and aim a target in the range of 330-340. However, even with eight batsmen and after a decent start, they could not reach that mark.
But, the kind of bowling performance Bangladesh showcased on Thursday, even a score around 340 would still not have been enough.
On that track, an extra bowling option might have been handy for the Tigers.
Toss not going their way
Losing the toss also did not help Bangladesh’s cause. They would have loved to chase. In fact, according to England skipper Eoin Morgan, chasing is going to be the trend of this Champions Trophy, keeping in mind the kind of wickets are being produced these days in this part of the world.
“I think it will [Teams will prefer chasing]. I think the early start [Early morning help for the bowlers] will contribute to that. If you look at the last Champions Trophy, that was a big factor, as well,” Morgan said in his post-match presser.
Failed to finish strongly with bat
After being inserted to bat first, Bangladesh had a cautious beginning, which was understandable. Meanwhile, when Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim got themselves in and took the team to 163 for 2 after the end of 30 overs, their camp would have expected to at least double the score after 50 overs.
“With eight batters, we are in a great position to score 330-340. But we couldn't. We lost too many wickets in the late order. From 40-42, we start losing wickets, and really no one can go through,” Bangladesh skipper, Mortaza was highlighting the phase in which his team lost both Tamim and Mushfiqur in back to back deliveries and the Tigers ended up with just 46 runs in last six overs.
Bangladesh’s centurion of the day, Tamim Iqbal too echoed the same sentiment.
“We missed around 15-20 runs especially when I got out and next ball Mushy [Mushfiqur Rahim] got out. Mushy was actually hitting the ball better than me. He was batting superbly. Losing two wickets in two balls put us a little bit on the backfoot. Nothing to take away the way England batted, but if we could have scored 325-330 could have been a different ball game with the scoreboard pressure. But they played exceptionally well especially Root and Hales so they deserved to win.”
One must feel, that phase was the turning point of the game.
Harmless bowling and poor body language
During the England run-chase, Bangladesh did get an early breakthrough in the form of Jason Roy. However, they failed to catch in after that. For most part of the innings, their bowling seemed harmless. On a sunny afternoon in London, the likes of Mustafizur Rahman and Shakib Al Hasan – who are the wicket-takers in this Bangladesh bowling line-up, did not get any assistance from the track.
Besides, the body language the of Bangladesh players on the field was not exactly up to the mark. It seemed a below-par score of 305 did not provide enough confidence to the bowling unit at the halfway stage and when Alex Hales and Joe Root got off to a decent start, the shoulders were started to get down.
Their sluggish approach was evident in the field setting when Morgan first came to crease. England’s asking was still close to seven runs per over, but Mortaza did have any slip in place for the new man. Finally, when Mortaza realised his mistake, the England captain had got his eye in.
Bangladesh will now take on world champion Australia in a do-or-die day-night fixture at the same venue on Monday. It will be a test of character for this team, who are currently ranked number six in the world. Hope the Tiers will get rid of their conservative approach and go back to the fearless brand of play, which they have been playing in recent years.
Updated Date: Jun 02, 2017 14:02 PM