Dhaka Dry Pitch Wasn’t Unintentional One – Habibul Bashar Opens Up On The Rage Turner For The Second Test Against New Zealand
Dec 11, 2023 at 12:07 PM
Bangladesh member of the national selection panel Habibul Bashar claimed that the pitch preparation for the second game against New Zealand, which was heavily skewed against spinners, was not intentional and that the Mirpur soil had a lot to do with how it played.
The pitch at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium has become a major topic of controversy in the aftermath of Bangladesh’s four-wicket loss to New Zealand in the second Test in Dhaka. The Bangla Tigers failed to utilize the home condition to win the test series against the Blackcaps.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Cricbuzz, Habibul Bashar admitted that they wanted to play on a spin-friendly wicket against New Zealand and revealed that it was not an unintentional one, stating that playing on those wickets against SENA countries grabs all of the attention rather than playing on subcontinental teams.
“We would obviously want to have a spin-friendly wicket against New Zealand but the only problem is when we try to prepare a spin track in Dhaka, it turns out that way and probably it has got something to do with the soil. If we had tried to make a similar wicket in Chattogram or Sylhet it wouldn’t have been the same case.”
“So I don’t think there is anything intentional regarding the wicket in Dhaka. I don’t think anyone would like to play on this kind of wicket because if you want to have the ideal wicket it is the wicket in Sylhet where there is something for everyone. What I understand that because of soil when Mirpur wicket is prepared to assist the spinners, it turns out that way”.
“I think what people don’t understand is that we highlight (the Dhaka wicket) very much but we didn’t play on similar wickets against Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, or Ireland. It is only when we play against New Zealand, Australia, or South Africa though – we are not playing against them for quite some time – when we play in this kind of wicket and it grabs all the attention.”
“You just see its not long ago when pacers took most of the wickets against Afghanistan and Ireland and against India we had a comparatively sporting wicket while against Sri Lanka we did not play on a similar surface. Our captain said that when we are playing with three pace bowlers no one raises fingers but when we are playing with three spinners there is a lot of talk. When we are playing on this kind of wicket we hog the spotlight but when we are playing on a green top we don’t have a similar kind of noise,” Habibul Bashar said.
Habibul Bashar explained that the Bangladesh batsmen failed to acclimate to the shifting track because their domestic cricket is not played on furious turners. The wicket is not like this even when we play first-class cricket at Mirpur. Our batsmen struggle because they aren’t used to playing on this type of pitch.
“Our domestic cricket is played on grass wickets and our batters do well when the ball is coming onto the bat. In the whole National Cricket League (the country’s traditional first-class tournament) only two matches were played on spin tracks because we planned to play on similar wickets against New Zealand”.
“The whole tournament we played with six mm grass though normally we don’t see wickets with more than four mm grass. Earlier it was two mm later we did four mm and now we are playing on six mm grass. So our batsmen are not prepared on this kind of wicket.” Habibul Bashar added.
New Zealand levelled the two-match Test series against Bangladesh by winning the second game in four days on Saturday at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, tying the series at 1-1. Spinners dismissed thirty batters in 178.1 overs of play, the third-lowest number of balls delivered in a Test (1069) for that many wickets to fall.