Windies Must Avoid Complacency
Mon, Nov 25, '02
With the Indian series behind us, the West Indies move on to
Bangladesh for what appears to be an easy series. One-day cricket,
in my opinio,n is a game of chance and I will not spend much time
commenting on it, except to say that the boys should carry over the
momentum from their successes in India.
Bangladesh's record shows 14 trouncings (10 by an innings) in 15 Tests, one lucky rain-affected draw at home against Zimbabwe. After South Africa defeated them 2-0 recently in SA, Bangladesh broke an 81-year-old record of 8 consecutive Test defeats that was previously held by England 1920-21.
Bangladesh's continued incompetence is an embarrassment to the
game and one would expect that the West Indies should take full
advantage of this and extend their losing record to 10 straight.
While we all expect the West Indies to do well in Bangladesh, it is important that they do not underestimate the opponents and play cricket of the highest quality.
Bangladesh has done nothing but tread water since their debut in 2000-01. Not much can be said for their batting, they have consistently shown an inability to play anything that is quick and short of a length.
All the teams they have played to date have always cruelly exposed this obvious lack of technique against anything short and fast. Only Alok Kapali, among Bangladesh's lower-middle order, who bats too low down the order, has shown a willingness to get into line against the pace bowlers. Kapali incidentally is quite a useful batsman and bowler.
Their teenage fast bowlers headed by Talha Jubair, who is one for the future are very enthusiastic, even if their figures do not always show it. The rest of their team however, even Al-Shahriar, whose Test-best innings of 71 recently against South Africa was a combination of near misses, chancy drives and exasperating edges, continue to ignore the fundamentals of five-day cricket.
With this in mind, the fairly young West Indies team will not have a better opportunity to improve their statistics while adjusting the record books in regard to their recent overseas performances. The young players particularly the bowlers should grasp the opportunity provided to make an impression while preparing themselves for what will definitely be more rigorous opposition in the future.
Any result less than a 2-0 series win will be equated to a loss by a West Indies team that despite its many weak areas, is eons ahead of anything that the Bangladesh team will put on the field of play.
* Kenneth Thompson is an avid West Indies fan who regularly contributes to the CC message board.