Head coach of the Bangladesh national team Russell Domingo believes that the Bangladesh cricket set-up needs structural changes to becomes a side to be reckoned with in Test cricket and take on the best nations. Bangladesh was humiliated by India in the first Test as the visitors lost by an innings and 130 runs.
They were also embarrassed by Afghanistan in their den by 224 runs before the ongoing Test match and a disappointing performance in the series opener only indicates that all is not well in the longer formats for the visitors.
Russell Domingo, who is guiding the team in only his second Test, believes it is high time they start investing in new blood.
“There’s no doubt that the structure of the team needs change, otherwise the results are going to be the same,” he said after the second day’s play. “I need to sit with the selectors to plan the way forward. I need to identify the players that can take the team forward. If it means that we need to go with some new faces and struggle for some time, I don’t think it is any different from what is happening at the moment.
“There are some fantastic players in our side that need to be respected. We need to value their performances for Bangladesh but we also need to decide on the best interest of the team,” he further added.
Despite taking charge of the team in only his second Test, Russell Domingo believes he has already identified the areas to strengthen.
“Bangladesh’s Test record isn’t good,” he pointed out. “They have won 13 Test wins in 115 matches. It has been happening for a long time. If we want to become a serious Test team, we need to make structural changes in the team to ensure performance at home and away. I need to discuss these things with the selectors and captain and plan a way forward.
“Now that I have seen a few players in my second Test, I have more of an impression about what the team needs and where the team is falling short. Hopefully, we can make those changes and progression.”
“It is a challenge which I need to come to terms to, as a coach. It is a tough one being my second Test match and seeing how guys approach Tests. How they train to lead into Test cricket. It is hard for me to say whether guys prefer, that you need to ask them. Some players are more suited to T20s, and some more suited to Tests,” said Domingo.
“Some players are hungry when they play T20, some are hungry when they Tests. I think trying to siphon out the T20 into one side and Test match guys into one side is something that I am grappling with. After this last T20 series and the first days of the Test, I am starting to get an understanding.”
Russell Domingo added that they did not play a third seam bowler as their batting unit is not as strong as the Indians that allows their opponent to have a three-man pace attack. Bangladesh opted to play with two-seam bowlers and instead added a batsman despite having the luxury of adding another pace bowler.
“It is very hard to play with two-seamers,” he pointed out. “We need to find a third bowling seamer who can bat. There’s Saifuddin but he is struggling with injuries. But the structure of the team needs attention. I think a lot of teams that play against Bangladesh will prepare good wickets, which won’t spin much. We need to find a seamer who can do a No 7 or 8 jobs for us with the bat.
“Hindsight is a great thing. We considered playing three seamers but that leaves us very light with the batting line-up. We probably should have played three seamers but it hasn’t worked out for us. I think it is easy to say when you have six batters who are all averaging 45 or 50. You look at the number of the Indian batters, but unfortunately, we don’t have those numbers in our batting line-up. We are playing that extra batter to make up for that. It is a catch-22 situation. If you don’t pick up wickets, people say why you didn’t take the extra bowler. Hindsight is a great sight, guys.”
The South African reserved praise for new skipper Mominul Haque who took over the reins following Shakib Al Hasan’s suspension. “We had two days with the Test squad before the first Test. A lot of the focus was with the T20 as it was the format taking place first. There hasn’t been a lot of preparation for Test cricket and getting to know some of the players. It is a very inexperienced Test team,” admitted Domingo.
“It was Mominul’s first day as captain in the field. It is a tough place to be a captain. But he is a calm and composed guy. I am sure he would have learned a great deal today. It is very hard to judge him on one Test match in India after two tough days. He will grow into the job. He has all the right attributes. He is a good young player. He is eager to learn. I think he commands respect as he is such a calm person.”
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