Mirpur gives Southee ‘worst wicket’ experience

Mirpur gives southee 'worst wicket’ experience0

The two leaders’ comments regarding the Mirpur surface, which hosted the recently finished second and final Test between the two sides, highlighted the disparity in cricketing culture that exists between Bangladesh and a premier Test side like New Zealand.

Despite winning by four wickets yesterday, Kiwi skipper Tim Southee was critical of the playing surface at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, but his counterpart agreed.

It is extremely unusual for a skipper to argue that a wicket was awful after winning a Test that allowed them to tie the series. But Mirpur has a reputation, and it took something extraordinary for Southee to make such remarks this time.

Only 178.1 overs were required to reach an outcome, the seventh-lowest for a Test when at least 36 wickets fell, as the match concluded on Day Four, despite the fact that the second day was totally washed out by rain.

“Probably the worst wicket I’ve come across in my career,” Southee, who has played 96 Tests since 2008, said in the post-match press conference.

“As I previously stated, the balance of bat and ball was heavily favored in the bowler’s hands.” So I think the match being over in 170 overs reflects that.

“So, for our guys to scrap away and then come away with the win was a big pleasure,” the 34-year-old continued when asked if it was the most difficult batting pitch he had seen.

Southee and Kyle Jamieson, the two pacers, bowled just 15.2 overs in total, taking two wickets. Shoriful Islam, Bangladesh’s lone bowler, bowled nine overs and took three wickets in the match.

“There are several ways to characterize that wicket. I believe the match was over in [about] 170 overs, which is a fair reflection on the pitch. I believe that is basically a scrappy Test match.

“Obviously, a difficult wicket. Runs were difficult to come by. And it was the little moments and partnerships that made all the difference. In other matches, I believe when conditions are a little more even between bat and ball, they don’t get seen as much,” Southee explained.

Glenn Phillips, playing only his third Test and already dubbed a white-ball specialist, proved to be the most effective batter in these conditions. He added an unbeaten 40 to his 87 from the first innings as part of a key 70-run partnership with Mitchell Santner.

Phillips also pitched well, taking three wickets in Bangladesh’s opening innings. Phillips’ ability to play on difficult wickets, according to Southee, constituted the difference between the two teams.

“I think it’s just the way Glenn [Phillips] plays, and how he’s able to come in and only play in his second and third test matches, and come in and play the way he knows how.” Many of his big innings have come on challenging pitches. On tough wickets, he has a knack for doing the unexpected. So, I think it was simply his optimistic attitude on a surface like that that was very important,” the Kiwi skipper added.

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