Thursday, December 8, 2011

Preview, 1st Test, Bangladesh versus Pakistan, Chittagong

On paper, this Test looks like a mismatch, that Pakistan should win with the greatest of ease. Though, the game is never played on paper, and the relationship between these two great Nations throughout their history. Makes this Test resemble, a big brother versus small brother joust, and we all know, anything can happen in those contests with the passion attached


So, let us look at the game in greater depth.


Bangladesh


Likely Team


Stealing all the headlines has been the re-inclusion of Mohammad Ashraful in the Team for yet another chance. Arguably, a more crucial add to the line up was the big hearted Vice Captain Mahmuddulah, who adds real steel to the Team. The likely spin friendly of the pitch means the Team will be laden full of twirlers, and praying for a win in the toss to support their spinners. Leaving the team like this


Tamim Iqbal, Shahriar Nafees, Mohammad Ashraful,  Nazimuddin, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk),  Mahumudullah, Nasir Hossain, Elias Sunny,  Rubel Hossain,  Shahadat Hossain.


The Key for Bangladesh to Win


When looking at any Test involving Bangladesh, the first word that comes to mind is 'temperament'. Especially in regards to its batting, that so buys into flash, and has little clue about the application needed in Test Cricket. Talent is not an issue, but their churlish ways, always undermines any good that their ability might allow.


The inclusion of Ashraful inserted another razzle dazzle type batsman in the line up. When greater sense would have been seen in picking steelier type, like Shuvagata Hom or Imrul Kayes.


Granted, Ashraful has the talent to excel, but faith in him is in short supply after more chances than he deserved. It is likely he will get to a run a ball 20, and then get caught at deep midwicket.


Away from Ashraful, Tamim Iqbal needs to lift at the top of the order, and Shakib al Hasan has to be the sublime batsman we know he can be. If, they perform, the support cast of Musfiqur, Mahmudullah and Nasir are feisty enough to help post a total. That might bring a bit of sweat to Pakistani furrowed brows.

The bowling unit that was very respectable against a West Indies batting line up so clueless against spin will find it immeasurable harder to run through this Pakistani line up. That has great comfort against spin, and has been playing risk free batting of late. Making the bowlers have to get the batsmen out, rather than batsmen throwing away their wickets. That plagues the current age.



A huge bearing on this game will be the toss, winning it, and batting first. Especially for Bangladesh, who will be so reliant on exploiting the benefits to their spinner through a wearing pitch in the 4th innings


Success will not solely be guaranteed by the support from the pitch.Instead, through not only the skill of the bowling, but the discipline they show in their lines and lengths. That will provide pressure on a Pakistani batting line up, that can be very defensive in their batting to get runs. 


The burden will fall on the glut of spinners lead by Shakib, but the pacemen will play a crucial role in the games outcome. In respect to being able to get early break throughs, that will allow the spinners to come on with attacking fields. If they allow Pakistan a brisk and assured start, when the spinners come on, they won't have the support of attacking close in fields. Allowing this Pakistani batting line up, that of late takes no risks to milk the spinners for runs through the gaps.


It is a huge ask for the Tigers, but if they are 100% in all the disciples, there is an outside chance of a remarkable upset.


Pakistan


Likely Team


Ever since Misbah ul Huq has taken over the Captaincy, the Team has been remarkable settled, and very well performed. Meaning this will be the line up


Harfeez, Taufeeq, Azhar, Younis, Misbah, Asad Shafique, Adnan Akmal, Gul, Ajmal, Rehman, Cheema


The Key to Pakistan Winning this Test


In truth, we are waiting to see Pakistan against England in January/Febuary. In a series, that will undoubtedly show where they are in the Test pecking order


In this Test, Pakistan have Bangladesh covered in all departments, and in truth over match them. Duly the only chance of them being troubled in this game is if they do not show respect to Bangladesh with a 100% display.


I cannot see a lapse in a Team, that for over a year now has been gaining respect for its heart, and real fight.


The highlight is likely to be Saeed Ajmal, who possesses arguably the most lethal ball in Test cricket at present. In his marvellous Doosra
My word is that delivery like a literal hand grenade being bowled to a batsman!


If, this lovely little off spinner, that is so full of charisma is anywhere near his peak. He will run through the Bangladesh batting, like a hot knife through butter


In the batting side of things, the solidness in all the top orders players means that the Bangladeshi bowlers could spend a long time in the field.


Barring Pakistan reverting back to the frequent insanity of their play from the past, they should win this Test easily


Prediction


Pakistan will win

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