The anatomy of Bangladesh’s Caribbean doom

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Mushfiqur Rahim gets bowled (Photo: Cricket West Indies)

(ESPNCricinfo) After their dismal showing in the Test series in West Indies, where they failed to cross 200 in four attempts and were beaten in just over five days combined, ESPNcricinfo has identified four factors that Bangladesh failed to address.

Anticipating wrong lengths

Out of the 28 times Bangladesh’s top seven were dismissed, only once was it because of a genuine short ball. The rest unravelled to mostly length or full-length deliveries. The Antigua pitch had plenty of grass around good length and further up, but that wasn’t the case in Jamaica. Yet, even Bangladesh’s most experienced batsmen – Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah – were found wanting.

Kemar Roach removed Tamim, Shakib (twice) and Mahmudullah in Antigua with deliveries that moved away a hint from around the offstump. Bangladesh generally kept playing for the short ball, even though West Indies seem to have planned the full deliveries. When the bowlers mixed it up, Bangladesh couldn’t adjust.

Poor starts lead to mini-collapses

Recovering from two wickets in quick succession can be hard, but when it happens thrice in one innings, it takes the sting out of the batting line-up, as Bangladesh found out. Together a promising partnership with Bangladesh chasing 335. Mominul, meanwhile, got out twice by walking into a shot.

Mushfiqur, Shakib and Mahmudullah fell to Roach in Jamaica as he completed his five-wicket haul in just five overs. In the second Test, Mominul, Mahmudullah and Nurul Hasan fell in double-wicket overs. Among them, Mahmudullah played back to a full delivery, perhaps expecting Jason Holder to bounce him out. Hasan, meanwhile, got a golden pair in the Test.

Repeating mistakes

Mushfiqur out bowled through bat and pad on three of the four occasions in the series. In the first innings in Antigua, he was trapped lbw by Roach’s delivery that swerved into him from wide of the crease. In the second innings, Shannon Gabriel sent his middle-stump for a toss after Mushfiqur had left the gap open again. Holder exploited that gap in the second innings in Jamaica after Mushfiqur and Shakib had put

Natural game v circumstances

This has been a long-drawn debate in the country. Batsmen swear by their “natural game” even if the situation demands caution. Former captain Mohammad Ashraful was a master of this mindset. Now, Liton seem to be the latest fan of this notion.

In the first innings in Antigua, he kept slogging after seeing five wickets fall quickly at the other end. He eventually fell to a rash shot. In the second innings in Jamaica, when he looked set, he played away from the body and fell to Keemo Paul’s outswinger.

Shakib too fell to a similar mindset. In Antigua, he was squared up by deliveries that straightened after angling into him. In the second Test, he fell playing loose cuts to deliveries that came back in alarmingly. The shots may have fetched him runs at home, but once that could have been shelved in seaming conditions. Mahmudullah too was guilty of approaching batting with a similar mindset.

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