Sunday, June 16, 2024

If those words were runs

One could easily gauge the mood of Stuart Law yesterday; the look in his eyes, though he was wearing sunglasses, was one of frustration. As well as being upset by the worst possible start to his coaching tenure in terms of result, Law was as frustrated by the happenings behind the scenes in the dressing room.
It was learned that vice-captain Tamim Iqbal argued a point Law had made during a discussion that was held right after the 130-run defeat to Zimbabwe.
“There’s a lot of talk going on. It’s time to stop talking and put them into action,” said the new Tigers coach here yesterday afternoon.
The Tigers, requiring 263 with seven wickets in hand at the start of the final day, showed a stark lack of purpose in even bringing together a few partnerships but even though these were topics of discussion on the eve of the fifth and final day, nothing came to fruition.
“Everything was discussed but if you can’t back the talk with actions, you look stupid,” said Law.
Although he did not elaborate further on the goings on behind the scenes, it was learnt that the coach had a heated exchange with his opening batsman Tamim Iqbal after the match where Law held Tamim responsible for not translating his words into action in the match. It was also learnt that Tamim’s response to rebuke the allegation.
His backing of Shakib Al Hasan and Mohammad Ashraful after the third day was commendable. He was seen during the Zimbabwe tour as someone who observes the players closely and then make changes if necessary. But Law meant business on Monday.
For a man who only arrived three weeks ago, his irritation isn’t wide of the mark. As a proud cricketer with more career runs under his belt than the whole of the Tigers together, being a witness to the manner of collapse and the lack of application in both innings of the Test match was clearly frustrating.
While the first innings performance could be put down to a lack of preparedness, given the Tigers were handed a minefield to contend with in the practice game. But the second innings performance certainly stood out both on and off the field, for all the wrong reasons.
After Tamim Iqbal got out on Sunday evening, his comments on the Zimbabwe bowlers Kyle Jarvis and Brian Vitori, who took ten wickets in the game in all, were audacious to say the least, but it was inspirational enough for the home side.
When asked to give his views on Tamim’s jibe, captain Brendan Taylor said: “I think his performance was pretty ordinary too, because he’s a quality player and his team were looking for him to get a big total. He got out pretty carelessly.”
“Let your performances do the talking and don’t concentrate too much with your mouth. We always get negative comments from the Bangladesh side and that inspires us. I think he can have a good look at himself,” said Taylor.
More tellingly, Taylor believed that the difference between the two sides, despite their wavering paths to this game, was the desire.
“We prepared the best we could possibly prepare,” he said. “The way we went about our business, I think we wanted it a bit more than the Bangladeshis, though it is easier saying that at home.”
The man who made an unbeaten century in the second innings to set up the challenging chase, said that it was an overwhelming moment. “I’m overwhelmed and very humbled with the result. We prepared very well, Zimbabwe Cricket invested in us, were patient with us and encouraged us. To repay that favour, I’m just very pleased at the moment,” he said.

-With The Daily Star input

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