0Bangladesh Cricket logoCongratulations to Bangladesh as England Spin to Defeat

Well done Bangladesh on a first test win over Eng­land. The vic­tory was thor­oughly deserved and the series could have so eas­ily fin­ished 2–0 to the hosts rather than the 1–1 draw.
Both matches were excel­lent adverts for test crick­et in that they were test­ing for both teams with the Tigers in my mind claim­ing a points vic­tory over the two games. In Mehedi Has­an they have clearly unearthed a young dia­mond who may yet help to pro­pel his team to more vic­tor­ies against the top teams.


On this evid­ence, how­ever, it is dif­fi­cult to call Eng­land a top team. What a shambles. The per­form­ances they put in were simply unac­cept­able – espe­cially the bat­ting line up. In the first test the entire XI had at least one first class cen­tury to their name. Like­wise in the second – save for Steven Finn. But in both they capit­u­lated in the face of decent spin.
The same squad travels to India in the com­ing days with much to pon­der. If they thought the bowl­ers of a test play­ing nation of the strength of Bangladesh were too hot to handle then I greatly fear what will hap­pen in India. It could eas­ily be a white­wash. I hope to be proved wrong but excuses such as those offered up in defence of Eng­land – “lack of exper­i­ence on the sub-con­tin­ent” simply don’t wash. A 19-year-old with NO test exper­i­ence has just steam-rollered through you. Think again.
There’s no quick answer for the India series. You would have thought that Gary Bal­lance and Steven Finn would have played their last tests but a demand­ing forth­com­ing sched­ule will have saved them for now. Neither would appear good enough for the demands of test crick­et.
Much rests on the broad shoulders of Ben Stokes. The Durham all-round­er showed his value to the team in both dis­cip­lines – espe­cially the ball – and must now be looked after to ensure burn out does not occur. His per­form­ances were one of the few good points for the three lions. It was good to see Ben Duck­ett at least make one knock of note – time will tell if he has the goods needed to suc­ceed long term.
With an eye on the longer term future the powers that be at the top of the Eng­lish hier­archy need to devel­op a strategy that seeks to equip Eng­lish bats­men with the skills needed to be able to play spin. Los­ing ten wick­ets for 64 runs as they did to sur­render the match is not accept­able in test match crick­et. They also need to find their own Has­an – Rashid, Batty, Ali and Ansari may be OK – but none of them are going to reg­u­larly win matches for their cap­tain. If Eng­land want to be the num­ber one side in the world they can’t just be win­ners at home and losers abroad.

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