Top-order failures in BCB President’s Cup ‘not important’ for Domingo

Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo was adamant that the top-order collapse evident throughout the BCB President’s Cup tournament was not related to larger issues but rather rustiness from not playing any competitive cricket for the last seven months due to coronavirus pandemic.

The top-order of all three teams have failed to shine this tournament with the likes of Soumya Sarkar, Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das and Mominul Haque unable to really show their mettle in domestic preparation matches. In fact, bar Mushfiqur Rahim and perhaps Mahmudullah Riyad, most of Bangladesh’s current starting eleven top-order have failed to explode.

The bowlers on the other hand, especially the pacers have been able to return to cricket with more steel in their veins. Domingo enjoyed the intensity, saying: “This tournament has been played with fantastic intensity. Look how hard the bowlers have bowled. The main thing for me was that the guys get some game time and getting back to the intensity. I am happy with how things have gone.”

But a top-order failure is not a new thing in Bangladesh cricket either. The tournament has once again shown lack of application, shot-selection and mentality as prevalent issues among batsmen.

While Chief Selector Minhajul Abedin had said that the tournament’s performances were being looked into to find players for various roles in the national team, for Domingo, the performances in itself held no real charm.

“I think it’s an unfair question since guys haven’t played cricket in seven months and it’s a long time to be out of competitive cricket. There is no doubt that they will get better and play together as a team,” he said.

Yesterday, during the match against Mahmudullah XI, Tamim XI failed to chase down a target of 164 in missed out on making the final of the tournament. Tamim Iqbal however had struck a fifty and Mohammad Mithun contributed 29 to a losing cause. Domingo was more keen to see the effort instead of focusing on the competitiveness factor.

“In last night’s match, the team that batted second maybe were two batsmen are in our starting eleven who feature in our white ball cricket. I think it’s unfair to say they are consistently failing. Just six seven months ago they scored 340 (322 in 43 overs) against Zimbabwe where Liton [Das] got 180 (176) and Tamim got 128. Most importantly the guys are getting some game time. The performances are not that important as far as I’m concerned. The obsession with trying to win this tournament and perform all the time is unrealistic for guys who haven’t played in seven months,” he said.

“Maybe give the players some breathing space,” he requested to the journalists during a press conference today.

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