Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo stated that custom-made pitches at home in the past had hampered the Tigers' long-term progress, and the South African also advocated for the creation of sporting pitches to increase performance in the longest format of the game.
Bangladesh's team management chose the tactic of subduing opponents with rank-turner surfaces under former head coach Chandika Hathurusingha, and Bangladesh went on to win for the first time at home against England and Australia.
Bangladesh lost the second Test by ten wickets to lose the series, but the Mirpur surface had remained sporty for both hitters and bowlers until the fifth and final day of the Test match.
According to Domingo, "It might help you in a one-off Test match, but it's not going to help in the long-run development of the Test team,"
"With all due respect to past Tests, those may have hurt us going forward. When we get on good pitches, and I'm a big advocate of playing on good pitches, we come second. If we feel that we have to doctor pitches, then we have no chance away from home. These two were good pitches," he added in the post-match conference on May 27.
Domingo also pointed out that Bangladesh secured a good position in a few Tests in the last couple of years but ended up losing.
“Sri Lanka were six down, but they ended up drawing. West Indies chased down 400. We were 180 ahead against Pakistan, five down, and lost four wickets. We get into a good position, then Rabbi gets run out. There are so many small mistakes we are making at crucial stages, but hopefully, with experience, there will be a bit more confidence. But you need to win some games to get that confidence,” he said after the match.
Before winning against New Zealand at Mount Maunganui, Bangladesh last won a Test against a side that was other than Zimbabwe was back in 2018. But before that, when Chandika Hathurusingha was the head coach, Bangladesh managed to defeat full-strength England and Australia at home. Domingo said the tactics taken by Chandika were not helpful in the long run.
“It might help you in a one-off Test, but it is not going to help in the long-run development of the team. With all due respect to past Tests, those may have hurt us going forward. When we get on good pitches, and I am a big advocate of playing on good pitches, we come second. If we feel that we have to have doctored pitches, we have no chance away from home. These two were good pitches,” said Domingo.
Even on good wickets, Bangladesh are failing to do well continuously, and Domingo thinks that is the long-lasting aftereffect of those practices.
“The reason they are not (winning) is they are so used to playing on bad pitches. Playing on good pitches will mean better development in the long run. I know everyone wants to win. I know a quick fix is them getting 100, and we get 110. But the team is not going to get better that way. I understand that those series were one-all. They (Bangladesh) didn’t win the series. It is a catch-22 situation,” said the head coach.
Domingo will not change his tactics but hinted that a change is obvious, especially in the top order, in the two-Test series against West Indies in June.
“We have to do something different. The batsmen have to prepare really well as we did before New Zealand. Be willing to leave balls. They have to go back to old-fashioned Test batting. At the moment, it is not working for us. We need to look at the batting order. If we do the same thing, we will get the same result,” he told the media.
In Tests, most teams play their best batsman at number three, whereas Bangladesh are trying Najmul Hossain Shanto, who is not experienced enough and not proven in the international arena. He also ran himself out on a crucial moment in the second innings, which increased the trouble for Bangladesh, but the coach is still backing him.
“Sometimes, under pressure, you don’t think clearly enough. Nobody gets run out on purpose. It is part of the game,” said Domingo.
The coach also feels that the wicket behaved really well throughout the five days at SBNCS, but Bangladesh failed to bowl well, which ultimately cost them.
“It was a very good pitch for batting and bowling. A fast bowler got ten wickets in the game. Shakib got five wickets. We can’t complain about the wicket,” he said.
“We probably didn’t bowl as well as we should. In my career as a coach, I have never seen that many runs scored between midwicket and fine-leg. They bowled far too straight, far too many easy balls to score off. I didn’t think it was a 500-run wicket. We didn’t bowl well towards the end of day two. We didn’t put them under enough pressure,” said the head coach.
There were no concerns about the pitches in both Chattogram and Dhaka, according to Domingo.
"It was a very good pitch for batting and bowling. A fast bowler got 10 wickets in the game, Shakib got five wickets. We can't complain about the wicket. These are the types of pitches where your skills improve."
"I know everyone wants to win. I know a quick fix is them getting 100, we getting 110. But the team is not going to get better that way. I understand that those series were one-all, they didn't win the series, " he continued.