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Sunday, November 12, 2000

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Kudos to Bangladesh

Bangladesh deserves the appreciation of everyone for its splendid debut in Test cricket at Dhaka. Its performance has been excellent so far. Aminul Islam, who carved out a place in the history of Test cricket with a maiden century, fully deserves the honour and my commendations. They call him ``bulbul'' in Bangladesh. He has been on the scene for quite some time. His experience as a player in the Lancashire League came in handy against India. There was no hint of nervousness in his approach.

What I admire in Aminul Islam is his solidity and choice of shots. He never looked bogged down. In fact, he was controlling the proceedings. This is what I call the hallmark of a great player. I am also amazed by the depth of the lower order batting of Bangladesh. And this is a very good sign.

Painful for me, however, is the toothless and spineless Indian attack. Probably, we are the weakest bowling team in the world at the moment. That as many as 400 runs were conceded to a debutant nation is difficult for me digest. But the reasons are crystal clear to anyone following the sport. Our bowlers are good only on home made, bad pitches. I have been writing continuously on how the Indian bowlers, pampered on tailor-made pitches are exposed when they play outside. Unless and until we prepare fair pitches, this malady is unlikely to be eliminated. And I will continue to write in this vein till there is a noticeable improvement in the situation.

I am unable to understand the strategy behind the inclusion of three medium pacers for the Test. How can a team go into a Test without an off spinner? It is ridiculous. There was no variety, and for the last two years we are struggling to find a right combination. On the contrary, I was struck by the manner in which the Bangladesh bowlers turned the ball. I will not be surprised if our batsmen are troubled if the pitch responds from tomorrow. I am shocked to see Sachin Tendulkar as the main bowler. Should we have to depend on this gifted cricketer for anything and everything?

And finally, I cannot figure out the selection policy. If it is to preparing the team for the future, I wonder how a veteran like Saba Karim could find a place as a debutant at the age of 33. Clearly, Saba Karim is unfit, and unable to sight the ball. It is time the selectors saw India as a country and not regions to be satisfied.

Favouritism is destroying the fabric of our cricket. Already there is enough confusion everywhere and the selectors are only adding their share to it by their inconsistency and illogical approach to the task.


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Section  : Sport
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