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Horror Litton Das shot reflective of Bangladesh’s 24 years in Test cricket

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Last Updated on 3 months by Charbel Coorey

Cricket News: Awful Litton Das shot in the second innings reflective of Bangladesh’s stuttering journey as a Test nation

Sri Lanka sealed a dominant 328-run victory on the fourth day of the first Test against Bangladesh at Sylhet. After being reduced to 57/5 on the first morning, the Lions totally dominated from thereon, decimating the Bangladeshi batting lineup in both innings.

Man of the match Dhananjaya de Silva, who hit centuries in both innings, scored 210 runs in total compared to Bangladesh’s 370. The Test was another example of Bangladesh’s inconsistency in the longest format, with the highs of victories over New Zealand in recent years cancelled out by heavy defeats such as this.

Over their 24-year journey in Test cricket, Bangladesh have enjoyed moments of brilliance. In 2016, they beat England in a Test and then followed that up with a maiden Test victory over Australia in 2017. In that same year, they won their 100th Test, playing a superb game to beat Sri Lanka away from home. In 2022, they enjoyed arguably their greatest ever win, defeating New Zealand in Mount Maunganui.

However, the good moments are drowned out by the bad. Following their Mount Maunganui triumph, Bangladesh then lost the next Test against New Zealand by an innings and 117 runs. Two months later, an under-strength South Africa won by 220 and 332 runs respectively.

Horror Litton Das shot paints sorry picture of Bangladesh in Test cricket

Overall, Bangladesh have just 19 wins in 141 matches, with eight coming against Zimbabwe and one each against newcomers Ireland and Afghanistan.

It stems down to an inability to do the basics well enough consistently. Over two decades, Bangladesh have rarely fought with their backs against the wall, often winning either thanks to their spinners on turning tracks or when they’re in front from early in the match.

Shot selection has always been an issue, with the Litton Das horror show on the third evening reflective of what’s been a common theme over the years.

It is not a lack of talent that holds Bangladesh back. It’s the lack of composure and temperament.

Think back to the early days. Mohammad Ashraful was one of the most stylish players going around, but much of his Test average of 24 was his own doing. The likes of Aftab Ahmed and Shahriar Nafees also had great ability, but too often the Tigers’ batsmen gave their wickets away as they got excited after a few boundaries.

Even Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh’s greatest cricketer, has been responsible for many of his dismissals, especially after crossing 50.

Das’ shot first ball with Bangladesh four down for 37 was disappointing. It gave the impression that it’s better to swing in hope than dig deep for the cause; a mindset that has hampered Bangladesh over the years as batting long has been awfully rare.

In Mount Maunganui in 2022, Bangladesh batted for 176.2 overs. Against mighty Australia in 2006, they batted for 123.3 overs. Two years later, they gave Sri Lanka, who boasted Muttiah Muralitharan, an almighty scare, fighting hard in a chase of 521 to fall just 107 short.

While it is unfair to pinpoint Litton Das only in a match where most others struggled on a seamer-friendly surface, it paints the picture of the mindset issues. The facts are that the Tigers can fight with the bat, but sporadically, which is not good enough to win games against good teams regularly.

In fact, two of their top four totals in Test cricket were achieved in matches they ended up losing due to poor efforts in their very next innings.

Where Bangladesh go from here will be interesting when it comes to Tests. Their pace stocks have improved significantly, but runs are the issue. The focus needs to be on bouncing back strongly in the second Test at Chattogram starting March 30.

Don’t be surprised if the Tigers do well in that Test. It would be a welcome sight for Bangladesh fans if that does turn out to be the case, but it will serve as a reminder of the huge gap between the country’s best and worst performances in the longest format.

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. He is also a keen fantasy sports player. Charbel has also had the privilege of interviewing cricketers on the CricBlog TV YouTube channel, including James Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Saurabh Netravalkar: https://www.youtube.com/@cricblogtv For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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