Iyer and Pant each provided two chances before being set right after coming together at 94 for 4. The what-if scenario here might be tricky to get into, but needless to say it’s best to take shots and complete curses, especially when you’re playing against India.
Bangladeshi bowlers are used to missing opportunities for their bowlers. There have been different interpretations on offer over the past 12 months, and if there was a bit of an improvement between 2021 and 2022, it disappeared during the ODI and Test series against India. They missed 15 chances in all, including eight in ODIs.
In Tests this year, Bangladesh missed a total of 33 chances – out of 67 -, after both catches and stumpings. In terms of percentage of chances missed, 2.03 is the second lowest among Test teams, above only Sri Lanka’s 1.71. West Indies and England are at the other end, at more than four chances converted for every one missed.
Across all formats this year, Bangladesh have missed 85 times, up 21 from 2021, when their catching was particularly bad at the 2021 T20 World Cup. They missed 22 chances in Tests then, compared to 33 this year.
Those numbers may not matter terribly when a team wins, but they hurt a lot when scores don’t go their way.
“Speaking of the fear factor, we think about what are the ramifications of dropping the ball when the ball is in the air,” McDermott said. “We see a lot of high balls going down under the lights, because the players have time to think. Trying to train what we think when the ball is in the air, it’s a very difficult task. But it can be learned.
“When we put shots under the spotlight at critical moments, we create one of the greatest learning experiences. When a player walks off the ground, hoping to win the game, we can easily say to them ‘Look, [missed] Catch don’t lose matches. it’s the truth. It happens regularly. It’s part of the game. Obviously we want to drop as few catches as possible.
“As a team, if we drop an issue, our support team and our team work really well together, we try to keep everyone’s spirits up. Who knows, tomorrow it might be someone else dropping one. We might lose the game, but like I said before, we’re very happy with the way The boys train and stick to it on and off the field.”
This year, Tamim Iqbal and Russell Domingo took up the issue once each.
Bangladesh seems to be mentally handicapped in this regard. Even players with a good reputation seem to be suffering. It is likely that the good position has vanished. Perhaps it is time to look closer and harder at the problem.
Muhammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84
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