BAN v IND: What's ailing Bangladesh in T20Is?

Bangladesh look lost ahead of the home T20 World Cup with struggles in all three departments, especially batting

Pranav Mathur
New Update

Dejected Nigar Sultana Joty © Getty

It was yet another nightmare of a series for Bangladesh, as India knocked their doors down by triumphing over them 5-0 in the recently concluded T20I series. After losing the white ball series 6-0 to Australia, Bangladesh would’ve hoped for a much better performance, but India were all over Bangladesh, ticking all the boxes. Player of the series Radha Yadav made a strong comeback after not being on the Indian team for over a year. On the other hand, Bangladesh were heavily falling behind in every aspect. All three departments failed to show the progress they made in the last year.

Where did the Bangladesh side struggle?

Batting intent

Looking at the Indian side, they had Shafali Verma who gave them good starts from the front on a couple of occasions, but when she failed to perform, Dayalan Hemalatha came in with crucial cameos. If there was a top order collapse, Harmanpreet Kaur and Richa Ghosh helped them put up respectable totals time and time again.

The fiery intent that was seen on the Indians’ side was not reciprocated by Bangladesh. On a few occasions Dilara Akter gave a decent start in the powerplay, but once she fell, it seemed like it was game over for Bangladesh. While captain Nigar Sultana Joty anchored the innings with her batting, her strike rate in this series was not laudable. Considering the format of the game and its stress on the strike rate, Joty was going at a strike rate of 83.78.

In the power play, Dilara showed the intent that the Bangladesh side was supposed to follow, but couldn’t keep it up for longer periods. She was the most consistent boundary scorer for Bangladesh with ten fours in her five knocks. The means she cored a total of 78 runs in the series, out of which 40 runs came through boundaries, but it wasn’t enough.

Bangladesh have had trouble in the powerplay and this is seen in the way the openers have performed. In the past year, Bangladesh have struggled to find an impactful opener and have been chopping and changing the openers. Since the T20 World Cup 2023, Bangladesh had the most number of openers (eight), while India have stuck to their two openers - Smriti Mandhana and Shafali. These changes also were driven by the fact that no one could put their foot down and Bangladesh had a strike rate of 84.72 for the opening partnership, which is the lowest amongst the ICC Women’s Championship (IWC) teams in this period.

What Bangladesh missed out on was also a strong finisher, who could play a small cameo and increase the run rate a little, while also adding valuable runs on the board. On the Indian side, this push came at number 5 and number 3 in the form of Ghosh and Hemalatha, who were striking the ball with the strike rate of 140.67 and 141.55 respectively.

Their innings helped India reach totals that could be easy for the bowlers to defend. On the Bangladesh side, the quickest striker of the ball was Shorifa Khatun, with a strike rate of 114.70, followed by Dilara Akter with a strike rate of 113.04. Without a strong finisher, Bangladesh were not able to put up runs on the board, crossing the 120 run mark only in the last match, scoring 135, even as they lost by 21 runs.

A point of concern for the team is their scoring rate. For the past year, Bangladesh have scored their runs at the rate of 5.38 per over, and it did not change this series. After the powerplay, Bangladesh would always face boundary droughts until the death overs where a desperate Joty would somehow find the ropes on a few occasions. Not only did they struggle to find the boundary, their dot ball percentage were staggering as well. In the fourth T20I, after the match was reduced to 14 overs, they faced 48 dot balls while chasing 125. To put into better perspective, they scored runs only on 36 occasions in a chase.

With the run rate being so slow, there is a lot of pressure on the team in the death overs. Bangladesh were looking to get runs from everywhere possible, causing them to take risky singles. These desperate singles led to bad calls, bad calls led to confusion on the pitch. The result? easy run outs. The Bangladesh side saw a total of six run outs in this series. 

ALSO READ: Powerless after Power Play

Spinners dilemma

Sylhet turned out to be of great help to the spinners this time around. The Indian spinners combined together to scalp 23 wickets in the series. On her return to international cricket, Radha took ten wickets in five innings and won the Player of the Series award.

The spinners needed to step up to the occasion, and they did, for one side and that wasn’t the home side. This stellar performance of the Indian spinners set the standards which the Bangladeshi spinners couldn’t live up to.

Indian batters also proved to be too much for the Bangladesh bowling side, finding gaps and boundaries as though it was a walk in the park. The leggie Rabeya Khan was the lone performer for Bangladesh, who picked up eight wickets in four innings, and the next best spinner was Nahida Akter, who managed only three wickets in her five innings. In total, the Bangladeshi spinners were able to get the better of the batter just 14 times in the series.

When India toured Bangladesh last year, one player showed her experience and class. The same player gave Australia their run for their money earlier this year. It was Nahida - the vice-captain. With consistent performances and a low economy rate, she was supposed to be the X factor for Bangladesh. But this series proved that sometimes, even the greats fall.

While she wasn’t successful in getting wickets the last time India toured Bangladesh, Nahida eventually ended up with an economy rate of 5.00. Against Australia, she was the leading wicket taker for Bangladesh, and second highest in the series, getting five wickets in three innings.

Coming into the India series this year, all eyes were set on Nahida and her experience, the home side hoping that she would showcase her masterclass. Little did they know, they were in for a disappointment.

Not only did Nahida fail to get wickets (three wickets in five innings), her economy rate was high (7.86)  as well. She could not get her line and length right this time, and the price was paid. The Indian batters didn’t shy away from opening their arms against experience and made full use of the opportunities that were presented to them. In the first four matches, she claimed just one wicket, and bowled at an economy rate of 8.28. In the last match, she found some momentum and scalped two wickets, bowling at an economy rate of 6.75.

Missing links

With the T20 World Cup 2024 dawning upon us, it is now time for Bangladesh to make amends. Hosting the big event, they would want to reach as far in the tournament as possible. Looking back at the series, Bangladesh seemed to have been majorly lacking in the batting department, especially the top order. If they fill in that missing link, Bangladesh can be a side that can go far in the tournament, as the spinners would get the job done from their end.

They would be looking at players who could have the potential to increase their low rate of scoring, both in the powerplay and the middle overs. It is imperative that Bangladesh find the missing link to the dot ball distress that the side is facing.