Shakib – a Bangladeshi legend

Highest Impact ODI Players – Bangladesh

Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan

Continuing in our series of pieces on each country’s ODI history, we go to Bangladesh. From 1986 to 2012, Bangladesh played 262 matches and won 72 with a win loss ratio of 0.38. Their highest score is 320, lowest 58.

We present three lists – of players, batsmen and bowlers. The minimum qualification to be on these lists is to have played 50 matches. A match is considered in this system only when there is a result, and if the player has bowled or batted, as the case may be.

Here are the highest impact ODI players in Bangladesh’s history. As will be seen from all 3 lists, no individual player has dominated his country’s ODI impact as much as Shakib Al Hasan has for Bangladesh.

The continuous failure of Bangladesh as a team in the international arena is evident from the list above. Amongst the top 10 highest impact players in the history of Bangladeshi ODI cricket only one player has managed to have a Career IMPACT of above 2. However, what augurs well for them is the fact that as many as 7 players from this list feature in the current Bangladeshi team and with players like Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal as the fulcrum, there is a good chance of the Bangladeshi team proving their worth in the coming years.

Unsurprisingly, it is Shakib Al Hasan who tops the list as the highest impact Bangladeshi player in their ODI history. Shakib’s dominance is visible from the fact that he is not only their highest impact player but is also their highest impact bowler and batsman—a true all-rounder. In fact, the difference between Shakib Al Hasan (1st position) and Syed Rasel’s (10th position) Career IMPACT is a whopping 120% which again points to the one-man show Bangladesh has been depending on for a very long time. Interestingly, Shakib has also provided the only SD performance by a Bangladeshi player in their history of ODI cricket. On the international stage, Shakib Al Hasan is the third highest impact performer amongst all the all-rounders in the present playing generation (after Kallis and Watson). To top that, he is also the fourth highest impact performer amongst all the players who are currently active in the international circuit, even above the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Sangakkara. Undoubtedly, Shakib Al Hasan is already on his way to becoming a legend in the history of Bangladeshi cricket and with the backing of his teammates can push Bangladesh into the international spotlight; the glimpses of which he showed in the recently held Asia Cup where Bangladesh reached the finals.

Mashrafe Mortaza
is arguably the first genuine fast bowler to emerge in the Bangladeshi cricketing scene and is currently the longest serving Bangladeshi player amongst those who are active. His presence at the second spot is largely due to his all-round abilities as a player although he never did justice to his batting potential. His impact as a bowler is the third highest for a Bangladeshi bowler and his failure rate as a player is the second lowest for any Bangladeshi player (excluding the keepers); a match-winning spell against India in the 2007 World Cup bolsters that credibility further. It is a shame that Mortaza had to miss out the best part of his career due to his injuries although his recent comeback to the Bangladeshi national team has brought back the missing zing in the bowling attack.

Mushfiqur Rahim has been at the helm of Bangladeshi cricket for the last 6-7 months years and was recently appointed as the captain of the Bangladeshi cricket team. He is one of the only two Bangladeshi keepers present on this list (alongwith Khaled Mashud) and is also the highest impact wicket-keeper batsman for Bangladesh in their ODI cricket history and even though his Career Batting IMPACT is just a shade below 1, he has impressed with his recent run of form with the bat and has played some crucial knocks for Bangladesh in his fledgling international career.

It is perhaps a bit surprising to see Tamim Iqbal at the 9th position but it can be attributed to his failure of converting starts into big scores, a point which is well brought out by his failure rate of 51%. Regardless of that, he is still Bangladesh’s second highest impact batsman in their ODI history and is the only other batsman apart from Shakib Al Hasan on this list to have a Batting IMPACT above 1.

It is also worth noticing that four players on this list don’t even cross an IMPACT of 1 in their individual disciplines which again goes on to show the general mediocrity in the level of performances the Bangladesh players portray on a constant basis.

Interestingly, all the five batsmen on this list are part of the current Bangladeshi setup which also to a certain extent explains their recent accomplishments in the international circuit, especially on the batting front.

It is Shakib Al Hasan who tops the list as the highest impact Bangladeshi batsman and he has for a very long time been the numero uno for Bangladesh in almost all the aspects. His ability to withhold pressure and perform in crunch situations is what has made him a present day legend for the Bangladeshis and it is the same skill set which also makes him top three of the six batting attributes for Bangladesh, namely—Pressure IMPACT, Partnership Building IMPACT and Chasing IMPACT.

Tamim Iqbal
, at the second place also shouldn’t be much of a surprise; Iqbal has been a mainstay for Bangladesh of late and also has the highest Runs Tally IMPACT (proportion of the total runs scored) for a Bangladeshi batsman. He remains a big-match performer for the Bangladeshis but it is his consistency that has been a major problem for him and his team considering the amount of talent and the frequent starts he gets as an opener. His failure rate as a batsman is 51%, compared to international standards, is on the higher side although from his country’s point of view, it is the lowest amongst all the Bangladeshi batsmen.

Both Shahriar Nafees and Raqibul Hasan have never been known to set the stage alight with their performances. However, both of them have been crucial cogs in the Bangladeshi batting order. Instead of being the primary initiators themselves they have always played the second fiddle to batsmen like Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal. Still, if Bangladesh has to go the next level as a cricketing nation, it becomes imperative for players like them to grab the initiative; both their failure rates are exceedingly high and for them to succeed in the international level, their levels of consistency needs to be much higher.

Aftab Ahmed symbolises one of the many pocket sized dynamos Bangladesh has seen over the last few years. Diminutive in appearance but explosive in nature, Aftab Ahmed has played many a cameo for Bangladesh during his playing days before he got side-lined with an injury. He was one of the main performers for Bangladesh during the middle-overs of the game even though he generally lacked the support from his partners at the other end. Given his explosive nature of batting it is not at all surprising to see him having a high failure rate (which is a case for most of the Bangladeshi batsmen) although it is the same attribute which also results in him having the highest Strike Rate IMPACT amongst all the Bangladeshi batsmen.

Two of the most notable omissions on this list are the names of Habibul Bashar and Mohammad Ashraful; both of who have been highly celebrated figures in the Bangladeshi cricketing arena. However, the fact of the matter is that none of them cross a Batting IMPACT of even 1 which is shocking considering the fact that Bashar at one point of time was the captain of the Bangladeshi team whereas Ashraful is their most capped player in the ODI format. The reason why they don’t make the cut is because of their poor consistency levels as batsmen, Bashar’s failure rate as a batsman in ODIs is a woeful 67% whereas Ashraful’s is a miserable 70%.

The stories that unfold on various batting parameters are revealing.

When it comes to Runs Tally IMPACT (proportion of match runs made through career), the highest impact batsmen are Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan and Shahriar Nafees.

The highest Strike Rate IMPACT batsmen (highest strike rates relative to all the matches in their careers) are Aftab Ahmed, Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan.

The best Pressure IMPACT batsmen (those who absorbed the most pressure that came about due to fall of wickets) are Shakib Al Hasan, Raqibul Hasan and Aftab Ahmed.

The batsmen with the highest Partnership Building IMPACT (who built the most partnerships in the middle) are Shakib Al Hasan, Shahriar Nafees and Tamim Iqbal.

The best Chasing IMPACT batsmen (who registered the highest impact while chasing a target) are Shakib Al Hasan, Aftab Ahmed and Tamim Iqbal.

The batsmen with the lowest failure rates (a failure is seen in this system as an inability to register an IMPACT of even 1 in a match) are Tamim Iqbal, Shahriar Nafees and Shakib Al Hasan.

In our earlier articles in the same series we have given the top three series impact batting/bowling performances for each and every nation. However, in the case of Bangladesh there has only been one series-defining performance and that too was an all-round effort by Shakib Al Hasan against New Zealand. So, in terms of individual batting and bowling performances, here we are providing only those performances which were not series-defining ones but still had a Big Match Bonus (performance in big matches) attached to it. In batting there has only been one such batting performance by a Bangladeshi whereas in bowling there have been two such performances (not an impressive record; it reveals Bangladesh’s vulnerability to pressure).

Highest impact Batting Innings (Series/tournament context):

1. Raqibul Hasan – 43 not out off 107 v Sri Lanka, Mirpur, 2009 – Batting IMPACT 4.96.

Coming in to bat at 42-4 against Sri Lanka in this final encounter, Raqibul Hasan played a stereotypical anchor’s role and smothered whatever was thrown at him by the Sri Lankan bowling attack. His partners though, continued to fall apart and Raqibul managed to carry his bat till the end to make sure the Bangladeshi innings lasted till the 50th over to get them to a competitive total of 152. Sri Lanka during their chase at one point of time were struggling at a staggering 6-5 but finally managed to pull the match in their favour by a margin of two wickets.

The above performance is within a series/tournament context. When it comes to a match context, Shakib Al Hasan’s 92 not out off 69 balls v Sri Lanka (Mirpur, 2009) registers as the highest impact batting performance in the history of Bangladeshi ODI cricket. Shakib Al Hasan’s  knock of 108 off 120 balls v Pakistan (Multan, 2008)  and Tamim Iqbal’s 125 off 120 balls v New Zealand (Mirpur, 2010) are the second and the third highest impact batting performances in a match context, respectively.

The saga of Shakib’s greatness continues with him being the highest impact bowler for Bangladesh in their history of ODI cricket. As has the case been with Shakib on each and every front, the gap between him and his teammates on this list is also awe-inspiring. The difference between his Bowling IMPACT and that of Mohammed Rafique’s who was himself considered one of the greatest Bangladeshi bowlers is a whopping 42%. Shakib’s bowling dominance can also be understood from the fact that out of the 6 bowling attributes, he tops in three of them and most importantly also has the lowest failure rate for a Bangladeshi bowler.

Abdur Razzak in the last few years has developed into a crucial contributor to the Bangladeshi bowling attack and has shown his skills both with the new as well as the old ball (even though he is a spinner). The fact that that he is regularly used to open the Bangladeshi bowling attack can be attributed to his Economy IMPACT which is the second best for a Bangladeshi bowler. It is also worth noting that out of the six bowling attributes, he tops the list in four of them which again goes on to show his significance in this present Bangladeshi set-up.

Mohammad Rafique till date remains as one of the most iconic figures in the Bangladeshi cricketing history. Along with him being the longest serving Bangladeshi player, his quota of 10 overs was the only source of respite for the Bangladeshis at a time when their rest of the bowling attack would be absolutely ripped apart by the opponent batsmen. His basic modus operandi as a spinner was to come first change, break the partnership and to slow down the scoring rate. The same point can also be understood from the fact that he has the third highest Partnership Breaking IMPACT and the second highest Economy IMPACT for a Bangladeshi bowler (during his playing days, he had the highest impact in both).

The highest impact players in all bowling parameters are quite revealing.

When it comes to Top/Middle-order Wickets Tally IMPACT (wickets taken from nos. 1-7 in most cases), the highest impact bowlers are Shakib Al Hasan, Abdur Razzak and Syed Rasel.

Lower-order Wickets Tally IMPACT (batsmen nos. 8-11) – highest impact bowlers are Abdur Razzak, Mashrafe Mortaza and Shakib Al Hasan.

The highest Economy IMPACT bowlers (lowest economy rates relative to all the matches in their careers) are Shakib Al Hasan, Abdur Razzak and Mohammad Rafique.

The highest impact Partnership-breaking bowlers are Abdur Razzak, Mohammad Rafique and Shakib Al Hasan.

The bowlers with the highest Pressure Building IMPACT (taking quick wickets to put opposition under pressure) are Abdur Razzak, Shakib Al Hasan and Mashrafe Mortaza.

The bowlers with the lowest failure rate (a failure is seen in this system as an inability to register an IMPACT of even 1 in a match) are Shakib Al Hasan, Abdur Razzak and Mashrafe Mortaza.

Highest impact bowling performances (Series/tournament context):

1. Mashrafe Mortaza – 3 for 31 in 10 overs v England, Birmingham, 2010 – Bowling IMPACT 5.21

In this series deciding encounter against England at Birmingham, Bangladesh after electing to field struck through Mashrafe Mortaza who got rid of Kieswetter in his very first over while also managing to keep a lid on the other English batsmen even as they butchered the rest of the Bangladeshi bowling attack. Mortaza’s first spell of 8 overs yielded only 17 runs but by the time he came back England were cruising at 250-1 and although he took out Trott and Luke Wright off successive balls, the English went on to score 347 which eventually proved too much for the visitors.

2. Nazmul Hossain – 3 for 30 in 10 overs v Sri Lanka, Mirpur, 2009 – Bowling IMPACT 4.20

Chasing a modest total of 153 against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka were given a rude awakening by Nazmul Hossain  who ripped apart the top order including the likes of Tharanga, Jayawardene and Thushara to reduce Sri Lanka to a score of 5-6 after 7 overs. After his first spell, Nazmul’s figures read 4-3-1-3; unfortunately for him and Bangladesh though Sri Lanka found an unlikely batting hero in the form of Muralitharan (33 off 16 balls) who saw them through with two wickets in hand and with that destroyed Bangladesh’s biggest chance of winning their first ever tri-nation tournament in the international circuit.

The above performances are all within the series/tournament context. When it comes to a match context, Aftab Ahmed’s 5-31 v New Zealand (Dhaka, 2004) registers as the highest impact bowling performance in the history of Bangladeshi ODI cricket. Rubel Hossain’s 4-25 v New Zealand (Mirpur, 2010) and Shakib Al Hasan’s 4-33 v New Zealand (Christchurch, 2010) are the second and the third highest impact bowling performances in a match context, respectively.

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