Speed Bangladesh's biggest challenge | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 16, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 07:06 AM, February 16, 2019

Speed Bangladesh's biggest challenge

When it comes to adapting to seaming conditions the first aspect is the pace of the pitch, which generates more speed when the ball hits the deck and coupled with the movement, it makes life difficult for the batsman.

Conditions in New Zealand have been ideal for the fast bowlers because such attributes and the weather, which aids the generation of pace much more than it does in the subcontinent, where wickets are mostly dry and that cuts down the pace even for express fast bowlers.

In the first ODI at McLean Park in Napier, the difference in pace between the bowlers of Bangladesh and New Zealand played a vital role in the result. The home side, with bowlers like of Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry took a toll on the Bangladesh batsman with their sheer pace and seam movement.

The Kiwi fast bowling trio accounted for a combined seven wickets as the Bangladesh top-order batsmen like Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar and Mushfiqur Rahim struggled to handle the spice.

Even Mohammad Mithun, who top-scored with 62 off ninety deliveries after Bangladesh were at one stage struggling on 131 for seven before being bundled out on 232, admitted that he had never faced such fast bowling and had to work extremely hard for each run.

Coming back to the difference in pace between the two sides, the average speed of Trent Boult in the first ODI was 140 km/h, Lockie Ferguson 144 km/h and Matt Henry clocked an average speed of 137 km/h.

Among the three Kiwi seamers, it was Ferguson who was the fastest of the lot. The right-arm speedster clocked over 154 km/h thrice, while Boult was also venomous with his bounce and even struck Mushfiqur Rahim's helmet with a bouncer before eventually dismissing him in the same over.

On the other hand, Mustafizur Rahman's average speed in the first ODI was 133 km/h, Mohammad Saifuddin's 129 km/h and skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, who is more dependent on his variations and tight line and length, bowled at an average speed of 126 km/h.

So the huge difference in pace between the two sides actually gives a further edge to the home side bowlers when it comes to exploiting the pitch more comparing to the visitors.

From Bangladesh's point of view, if they really want to improve their fortunes in both ODIs and Tests abroad, the Tigers' think tank needs to prepare accordingly and produce fast bowlers who could get the most out of such seam-friendly conditions.

At the same time it is also true that Bangladeshi conditions have always been difficult for fast bowlers. But then again, they could also learn from India, who despite having similar conditions have managed to produce fast bowlers and bring the best out of the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma, who are leading from the front in seam friendly conditions and were instrumental in the country's maiden Test series win on the bouncy, pacy Australian pitches recently. 

Along with the three-match ODI series, the Tigers will also play a three-match Test series in New Zealand, and it's the fast bowlers who will have to play the key roles if Bangladesh want are to get any measure of success in such conditions.

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