In cricket, the common phrase is that catches win matches but Bangladesh provided an example in the ongoing second Test of how catches can also cost a side a match too.
The joy of the home side of taking all 10 Pakistani wickets was short-lived as they lost five wickets for 114 runs in the second innings, which took them close to another defeat in this Test match.
But they would have seen a better result if they had not spilled six catches that allowed Pakistan to impose their authority with a huge first innings lead of 132 runs after 470 all out.
Bangladesh’s fielding had never been outstanding but at least it was not as worst as the performance in the recent past when former BKSP coach Mohammad Salahuddin was in charge.
They were going right even under Julian Fountain during the World Cup but ever since Englishman Jason Swift took over from him at the recommendation of coach Stuart Law, they have gone downwards.
The Tigers often gave an excuse that missed catches are part of the game but hardly anyone reminded them that taking a catch is also a part of the game.
Bangladesh’s bowling unit is one of the weakest in the Test arena without an iota of doubt but they at least created plenty of opportunities in the ongoing two Test match series. In the first Test in Chittagong, five catches went down and Pakistan made full use of it by filling nearly 600 runs.
In an interview with New Age after the game, Swift claimed that the fielding had improved during his time as the players were saving many runs in the outfield. He was oblivious of the fact that if they had saved four
or 10 runs with their ground work, they have gifted dozens more runs in the air.
The common argument is that many catches went down in Pakistan’s first innings which if taken by Bangladesh could have easily dismissed them for even below 300 runs.
But they went on to score 470 runs that gave Pakistan the edge before they start their victory charge with the ball.
Law initially sided with fielders and his assistant but he quickly realised that there could not be any excuses.
‘That is an area of concern for us. I think our bowlers did well and created enough opportunities. It is not a practice thing. We practice till hands are sore,’ he said in the news conference.
‘During the game, some players lapse and drop a catch. That’s part of a game. You’ll never take every catch that comes your way. We have to be switched in the field and ready to go every ball,’ Law said.
‘We are under pressure from Pakistan’s performance. When you’re dropping good players, you’re giving them two chances to bat,’ he added.
‘There’s no excuse. There are no 38-year-olds running out there. They are all in their mid-twenties. Young men should be fighting fit for 4–5 days,’ the coach said.
-With New Age input