LOOKING BACK 2015 : A year when Tigers come of age

For some it was the year of renaissance. For others it is just the beginning of something great. Atif Azam spoke to three national selectors about how they judge Bangladesh’s 2015.  

Faruk Ahmed
06It was a wonderful year. We played extremely well throughout the year and what we successfully achieved is consistency, something that was missing in the past. The boys played very well and all credit goes to them as well as the team management.
Before the World Cup there was a lot of confusion if we can cope up with the condition in Australia and New Zealand or can play up to our potential.  A sense of déjà vu gripped us before the opening match against Afghanistan as we lost to them in the Asia Cup.
But we managed to overcome all doubts in the World Cup and doing well there also gave a strong message to the other cricketing nations. Our achievement lied on the fact that we did not blow our success in the World Cup rather we had gone from strength to strength in the following home series.
Doing well against Pakistan, India and South Africa just showed we were on the right track and learning to develop as a strong cricketing nation.  Unless you are strong enough you won’t be winning series against them.
New boys such as Soumya Sarkar and Mustafizur Rahman grabbed their chances while roles of certain players also changed our dressing room.  It was satisfying to see all of them learning to cope with their new responsibilities. It was important to pick the right players for the right job.
It is very important to understand that we won’t be winning all along and there will be time when we will be on the receiving end but the vital point is to see whether we are following the right process or not. We are looking forward to take this momentum further and achieve more success in the coming days.

Minhajul Abedin
07It is a highly satisfying year for Bangladesh cricket as we managed to script several successful stories during this period. It was not easy until the Zimbabwe series ahead of the World Cup as we were losing now and then.  The success in Zimbabwe series helped regain our confidence that I believe was the key behind the success in 2015.
In the World Cup we played extremely well and throughout the tournament we played with our heads held high- a fact every team started to notice and furthermore we began to earn their respect that was crucial for our boys to perform in that manner.
Clinching series against Pakistan really gave us a morale boost and once we had defeated India every cricketing nation began to notice us through a different angle.
But in my opinion our improvement was showcased in the South Africa series when we came from behind to clinch the ODI series as it showed the character of our team considering the strength of the opponent.
We introduced a lot of new faces and everyone looked to have proved their mettle and I am sure those who couldn’t will not take long before showing their potential. Mustafizur was an exceptional talent and his arrival just looked to fill the need of time. A wicket taking pace bowler is always an asset as he can set the tone of the match early by putting the opponents on the back foot.
Our batting was stable on most occasions though at times some of our batsmen could not get a good score despite getting the start that we feel should not be repeated often.
Our shortcomings in Test cricket also came to our knowledge and we are looking forward to minimise it but it won’t be possible to turnaround everything in an overnight.

Habibul Bashar
08I think it is the best year in Bangladesh cricket so far as we had some memorable achievements under our belt.
Certainly we had team success but at the same time we had got some new faces that we believe will be able to serve our country for a long time. I consider this to be a big success because it won’t happen often that you get a crop of players at the same time.
No matter how good your system is, it is not possible
to get players like Soumya, Mustafiz and Liton all at once. I am
happy the way both Soumya and Mustafiz adapted at international level. I am sure Liton will also come good because of his immense talent.
We really played some good cricket against some cricketing giants. Beating them is one thing and the manner in which we did this is the other thing. This was something we can be proud of because we were never overawed by their names.
The only thing we were unable to produce is quality spinners and we still relied on our left-arm spinners to lead the bowling
attack. It would have been nice if we could get some more variations in this area. Surely we had
done well in ODIs with the
current attack but our strength will be considered once we start winning Test matches more often. Our identity is that we are a Test playing nation.
I feel Mustafiz was the best thing for our cricket this year because he proved his worth in all three formats. This cannot be said about all newcomers.

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