By Mikhail Vaswani - Presenter, Neo Sports
Test debut in 2000 and a maiden series win in 2009. That is Bangladesh cricket for you. A team with a lot of promise along with a bag full of patchy performances.
So what if Bangladesh has had to weather out 61 Test matches to win their first ever Test series? So what if it has taken the ‘Tigers’ nine years to lift the cup in whites? So what if the win has come against a second string West Indies side?
A series win is a win – agreed – but so much for a maiden series triumph. Not surprisingly, the obvious question often germinating in the mind of a cricket pundit is “does Bangladesh really deserve Test status”? And what makes it even worse for the Tigers is that out of the 52 matches they have lost, 33 were by an innings.
But such is this glorious game of uncertainty that glory, until now, has eluded Bangladesh in the longer version of the game and there still doesn’t seem to be any certainty in their coming Test performances.
Natural progression is the rule of nature, but not in the case of Bangladesh’s Test history. Bangladesh's first Test win came way back in 2005 – that victory coming in their 35th Test against Zimbabwe. Many around the world then envisaged the rise of a team with cricketing culture, convention and courage. But what followed was another bout of annihilation which lasted for close to four years with the Bangladesh Test team finally experienced the winds of change in 2009.
The idea is not to thrash a great Bangladeshi performance, not to undermine a famous win. It’s just an obvious reaction stemming out from Bangladesh’s tryst with Test cricket. A history that prompts only one question – it has taken so much for one Test series win, but when is Bangladesh likely to win their next Test series?
If Test cricket is believed to be losing popularity, then Bangladesh taking on a second string West Indies side is only helping a rapid downward slide. The aim is to keep igniting interest, keenness and excitement in the longer version of the game and for that players need to transcend into legends while teams need to push for results.
A flash of brilliance in the 50 over format is something we all have associated the Bangladesh team with and India, Australia, Pakistan have all severely been wounded by the Tigers. Not surprisingly the minnows are treated with a certain degree of seriousness in the shorter version, but in Tests the writing is on the wall, that being “it signifies nothing to play well if you lose.”
It’s often said, victory belongs to the most persevering and keeping that in mind, for now let’s savor this Bangladeshi win, let’s celebrate a team who want to improve and make Test cricket their domain as well. Self-preservation is the first law of nature and Test cricket too endorses the same thought. So this series win for Bangladesh may just preserve their Test status for some time to come, but if the Tigers are listening then Test cricket needs quality and that too at a consistent rate.