Vantage point

Friday, April 14, 2006

Rue Fatullah, Bangladesh

I am not going to write a condescending and patronising post gushing over Bangladesh's performance against Australia at Fatullah. I am sure they wish to be counted as a proper test playing nation, and in that spirit I am going to criticise Bangladesh for losing this test match after being 158 runs ahead at the end of the first innings.

Fatullah will be remembered by most as the test equivalent of Sophia Gardens, the venue where Bangladesh beat Australia in an ODI. But if Bangladesh are to make progress, they should remember that Fatullah was NOT Sophia Gardens. At Sophia Gardens, Bangladesh held their nerve till the end and won the match. The scorecard showed them as having beaten Australia. At Fatullah though, they lost their nerve, capitulated in the second innings, dropped catches and let history slip by.

Of course, Bangladesh should derive confidence and self-belief from this test. But the desire to improve even on your greatest moment is what what sets you apart from the rest.

For the world to take Bangladesh seriously, they should first take themselves as a test team seriously. And any serious test team would rue the Fatullah defeat.