Domingo rues Bangladesh’s ‘soft dismissals,’ says ‘batters are low on confidence’

A seventh defeat in 10 Tests has left Bangladesh scrambling for answers. The primary issue is their batting. They are not putting up big enough totals and the reason for that, according to the coach Russell Domingo, is lack of confidence. They lost six wickets by lunch on the first morning of the Antigua Test, handing West Indies an advantage they would run with for the rest of the game.
Najmul Hossain Shanto, who bats at No. 3, has scored just a single half-century in the last 17 innings. The next man in, Mominul Haque, hasn’t reached double-figures in his last nine innings. With key players like that totally out of form, it has been a real struggle for Bangladesh.

“[Our] batting wasn’t good, there were too many soft dismissals,” Domingo said of their performance in Antigua. “Too many poor decisions with the batting. We’ve got to get more than 103 and 245 in the first and second innings. The bottom line is, too many soft dismissals. Batters are low on confidence. Some of our big players – Mominul and Shanto – are low on confidence. Confidence is a big thing in the game and at the moment, they just don’t have the confidence in their game.”

With the second Test match of the tour starting in just five days’ time, Domingo said his team had no choice but to pick themselves off the mat and find a way to go again.

“It is tough but batters have to get through these slumps in form. There’s not much technical changes to make between now and the next Test. You have to be mentally tough, by putting all the noise, criticism outside their head, and focus on the cricket ball. The best players can do that. We know they are good players. They have made runs before. But they have to get that confidence back.”

Shakib Al Hasan and Nurul Hasan gave Bangladesh a little bit of hope with a 123-run stand for the seventh wicket in the second innings. They got together at 109 for 6, when the team was still in danger of losing by an innings, and fought hard enough to secure a lead of 83 runs.

“They just needed to get a partnership going,” Domingo said. “They batted really well. They played low-risk cricket. They showed some of the top-order guys what they needed to do. They put together a really good partnership. Pity that the second new ball got both of them out. Sixties are not going to win us Tests. The bottom line is that we need hundreds.”

“They have bowled fantastically in both innings. Keeping them to 265 in the first innings, I am very proud of the bowlers in these last couple of days. [Khaled] still has a lot of improving to do despite getting three [early] wickets [in the second innings]. He has to improve his consistency. Sometimes he will bowl well and not pick up wickets. That’s the nature of the game. He has bowled nicely, picked up a few good wickets.”

While Khaled had that strong spell on the third evening, Mustafizur was steady, at best, and accurate without really threatening to take wickets. He is playing his first Test in 16 months following a media outcry that forced the BCB to bring him back into the red-ball fold.

Domingo said that they must ensure Mustafizur’s workload is managed given his importance in the white-ball formats. “He has bowled nicely but you want a little bit more. His pace can come up, but his control was good. He needs to be managed carefully. He has played a lot of cricket, and he still has to play a lot of cricket. We can’t bowl him into the ground. He is an important white-ball bowler for us.”

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