Whence Cricket In The Indian subcontinent?
On the way to whitewashing India, England dethroned them from the #1 position in Test cricket. Commenting on India’s pitiful performance against England, England great Geof Boycott wrote, “India played like Bangladesh in disguise,” and added that he expected a better contest this summer. He thought India's bowling was so poor that even a second string England team would have out bowled them.
Whoever is familiar with Bangladesh cricket, would readily agree that Boycott had meant his reference to Tigers as expression of his ultimate disgust against the performance of M S Dhoni’s team. Bangladesh cricket team, although called 'Tigers,' seldom exhibit the tenacity, or, courage of tigers—they are mostly paper tigers. Having said that, Bangladesh’s performance against Zimbabwe this summer was a break from the past, and therefore, merits mention.
Bangladesh went to Zimbabwe with the thoughts that they were the superior team and the series win was in the bag. A Masakadza century at Harare, in the only test match, helped Zimbabwe score a respectable 370. Bangladesh in their 2nd innings had to score 375 to win the match, however, they folded for 244 runs, giving Zimbabwe a much coveted victory by a commendable 130 runs. This loss was so unexpected that the tiger fans were totally dumbfound, regardless, everyone expected that team Bangladesh would recover from this loss by winning the one day series comprehensively.
All hell broke loose when the tigers even lost the one day series by coming deficient in three consecutive matches. The specter of a whitewash was looming large, and no one expected anything from this team anymore back home, at the time. And right at that monent, the Bangladesh team came back in the series by winning the 4th one day match at Bulawayo by a convincing 6 wicket, and followed that in the final match by a solid 93 run victory.
In fact, the third one day match the tigers lost by mere 5 runs, and the next two they won consecutively. Therefore, in the recently concluded away series, we see a pattern of team Bangladesh coming back consistently at their opponents. And despite the series defeats in both the long and short versions of the game, I find this attitude of the Tigers, refreshing. But we have not seen any such determination from this Indian team. Matches after matches they surrendered meekly without any fight whatsoever.Continued on the next page