The celebrations of winning the Under-19 World Cup have calmed down. And now, the focus is back on the national side, who have returned home after conceding yet another innings defeat. The Tigers' next mission is their one-off Test match against Zimbabwe at home. Before that, a lot of questions are hovering around.
There is speculation about the team being revamped and taking recent performances into the calculation, that might be very necessary.
Bangladesh have lost all of their last six Tests. Among them, five were innings defeats. The one which was not was a defeat to Afghanistan on home soil.
Bangladesh's major concern is not in any of its departments. Rather, it has been all of them.
Their batting has been fragile and their bowling has looked toothless. Bangladesh's opening pair have failed to give them a solid start for some time now and various combinations have failed.
Their seam-attack have been a tad better than their batting but still, below par than most of the Test sides in the world. The spin attack has been weakened by Shakib Al Hasan's ban and often Taijul Islam has been left alone to do all the spinning.
But if one major concern has to be pointed out, it must be their muddle-order. Bangladesh have failed to set up a stable middle-order and it has been a lot similar to a musical chair rather than anything else.
The biggest worrying factor is, none of Mahmudullah Riyad, Mohammad Mithun, Liton Das or Soumya Sarkar have averages above 30 in Bangladesh's last five Tests.
Mahmudullah has only managed 189 runs in his last 9 innings at an average of 21 whereas Mithun has averaged only 18.75, scoring 150 runs in 8 innings. Liton has been consistent at scoring 20s but nothing much and Soumya has only played 4 innings among Bangladesh's last 10, scoring only 80.
Quick fixes will not work
Bangladesh's only batsman to have 10 thousand runs in the domestic circuit, Tushar Imran, believes that the middle-order's inconsistency was because of a lack of preparation mentally while facing quality bowling attacks.
"They might turn things around in the series against Zimbabwe but we are playing poorly against quality bowling attacks. It is our fault. We lack in preparing well mentally before facing quality attacks," he said.
Tushar insisted on having long-term planning to create quality players who can solve the problem.
"We need long-term planning. We don't have quality backups to replace the current players. It will take time to create players, they will not suddenly appear from the blue. Until we create quality players, I think it is better to give those who are playing a chance," the veteran batsman said.
How much is BCB at fault
Many have often put Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to the sword after the national side's poor outings. But former BCB Director Khondoker Jamil Uddin believes that it is the players who are at fault rather than BCB.
"BCB can't be given any fault. BCB have brought in good coaches for the national side but they (BCB) can not play on the field. The players are inconsistent. The players are more liable than BCB on how they have prepared themselves for Test Cricket," he said,
Mr. Jamil further added, "The national team players don't take part in the longer version domestic cricket so much. Because they are often playing for the national side when the leagues are being played. What BCB can do is to ensure the national team players playing in the domestic arena and arrange the leagues when the players are not busy with the national side."
BCB President Nazmul Hassan has also been heavily criticised over time for his interference in the national side's decisions. In a press conference on Wednesday, the BCB President had said that the team had lost their rhythm and he was willing to be 'Mr. Interferer' for the greater good.
Mr. Jamil believed that if it was for the team's betterment, then the BCB President should interfere in the decision-making.
"The President has no reason to interfere in the team's internal matters. This is his personal matter but if he thinks it is for the better for him to interfere, then I think that he should. Because anything must be done for the betterment of the side," he implied.
Bangladesh's national side are currently in a tight spot. And with their successors winning the U-19 World Cup, the pressure is even higher. They need to turn things around. If not, dreadful days are imminent.