There were a combination of factors which caused us to lose that game.
One of them was the pitch and the weather conditions. In hindsight, that was a crucial toss to win. I think had we won the toss and bowled we could have got into their top order on the first day. Bangladesh won the toss and, although they could not exploit the conditions themselves, they stopped us from doing so. The hot weather baked and flattened out the pitch. Maybe batting last could have been difficult on that pitch but we didn’t have the bowlers or the runs of the board to do it.
We also weren’t properly prepared. Most of our team had not played test cricket since the Indian series. With COVID there is not much that can be done about that. I would say that this match does show the importance of making sure our test players are available for a few games of first class cricket early in the season.
There are plenty of negatives we could point out in terms of the performances. Of course, many people are looking for someone to blame. The truth is you can’t blame how the team was selected.
Boult and Southee are two of our best bowlers ever, we know what Wagner brings and Jamieson’s record speaks for itself. Given that we are going with four bowlers, we need a spin bowling all rounder in there. Santner and Sodhi have been tried and failed so it is clear why they went with Ravindra.
As for the batting, our whole team has great records. People think Nicholls is lucky to be there or should be dropped. However, his average is better than Fleming’s. Although our team has shown a good uptick in results, I think people are deluded if they think we have domestic batsmen who can slot in and average 40 plus. Mitchell has a good record but it remains to be seen if he can retain that after playing more tests. The game did show how much we miss Williamson. If he had played, I doubt we would have lost.
The only thing I will add is that it is disappointing how quickly we collapsed. We didn’t get to see a lot of fight today.
The other reason we lost is because Bangladesh were incredible! At numerous times you expected them to fold with the bat but it didn’t happen. Their bowlers were really disciplined, even when they did not look dangerous. Let’s not forget Bangladesh are missing Shakib and Tamin Iqbal.