Bangladesh v Afghanistan, Asia Cup, Fatullah

Jurgensen hopes to lift Bangladesh

Mohammad Isam in Fatullah

February 28, 2014

Comments: 13 | Text size: A | A

Mushfiqur Rahim left the field after hurting his right shoulder, Bangladesh v India, Asia Cup 2014, Fatullah, February 26, 2014
Should Mushfiqur Rahim's not recover from his shoulder injury, Bangladesh would be left hampered for experience © BCB
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Bangladesh coach Shane Jurgensen wants his injury-hit side to overcome their lack of experience and take a forward step against Afghanistan. A day ahead of the game, Mashrafe Mortaza was ruled out of the Asia Cup with a side strain while captain Mushfiqur Rahim's shoulder injury has kept everyone on edge.

Already, Bangladesh are without Tamim Iqbal, one of their heroes in the 2012 tournament, and Shakib Al Hasan is under a three-match ban imposed by the BCB last week. Should Mushfiqur not regain full fitness, the hosts will have only one player - Abdur Razzak - who has played more than 100 ODIs taking the field on Saturday.

Jurgensen believes that if the team focuses on improving themselves, that intent will become a vehicle to play better cricket, and translate into a win.

"We have a few unfortunate injuries so all I have asked the players is to step up for their country," he said. "We have had one-day success in the last 18 months and that was because everyone stepped up. I have asked nothing more than that tomorrow. All we can look forward to do is to continue improve tomorrow. Last game was an improved performance.

"Hopefully we will have a good result. I would like to think that we will win. What is really important is to get our basic rights. For me that's the most important thing for me. It doesn't matter who the opposition is.

The top-order with Anamul Haque, Shamsur Rahman and Mominul Haque have only played 35 ODIs between them. Tamim's absence has been palpable but they have the choice of including Imrul Kayes, a more experienced opener who looms a prospect against Afghanistan.

The middle-order is being marshaled by captain Mushfiqur, but if he is sidelined, Naeem Islam and Nasir Hossain will have to take up responsibility. Naeem probably requires a little more time to get going but Nasir is having a more difficult time off-late to get balls off the square. There has also been a suggestion that he has been playing half-hearted shots even when he is going for big ones.

Jurgensen is hopeful the absences of Bangladesh's more experienced players would only spur the younger ones to perform better.

"It just provides an opportunity as a cricket team to create depth," he said. "It is a fantastic opportunity for young players to execute all the training we have been doing in such a big tournament. This is a positive when it comes to the 2015 World Cup in 12 months' time."

"There is probably some shuffling that needs to be made around the batting order," Jurgensen said. "The squad that's here though has a nice balance. I thought Ziaur bowled well and applied quite well with the bat. In that sort of area it creates a good balance to the whole side."

The performance of Razzak and Sohag Gazi with the ball has also been cause for worry. Given how Afghanistan looked uncomfortable against Pakistan's spinners, there seems merit to draft Arafat Sunny into the XI. But Jurgensen is more interested in helping their first-choice duo do better.

"I think the spin attack is one of our strengths but I don't think there will be too much of a change. I think what's more important is how we will be using our spinners tomorrow at what stage of the game because conditions will be different when you bowl first as compared to when you bowl second. Tactically we need to get that right," he said.

Realistically, Bangladesh are far above Afghanistan, in terms of cricketing heritage and performance, all of which is reflected in the ICC ODI ranking of the two sides. Jurgensen has enough respect for their opponents but he expects Bangladesh to respond well to the favourites tag.

"There is always going to be expectation," he said. "We are playing here in our own country, we are going to have the higher expectation and we have to deal with it. There was a lot of expectation in the Sri Lanka series and we have to deal with it now.

"We will definitely be respecting Afghanistan. They are an improving cricket team. They are not a young team as well, but with some experienced players who have played quite a bit of cricket. It is going to be a very competitive game tomorrow. I am quite excited to see these young teams face off against each other."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 6:11 GMT)

Who are the 11, playing for Bangladesh today?

Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 5:12 GMT)

This is another opportunity for us to pull an upset after losing to Pakistan unluckily. They were the second best team and best team lost. I thank ACC for including us in this competition because this will not only give us experience but make the competition more lively and entertaining for cricket fans. I hope for best team of the match to win tomorrow Come on Afghanistan we love you

Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 3:20 GMT)

@asif khan noorzai Ameen!! :)

Posted by   on (February 28, 2014, 21:54 GMT)

Instead of like for like replacement for Mashrafee, it should be 'horses for courses'; go for Arafat sunny. Bangladesh badly needs to strengthen their spin department, which is pretty thin in absence of Shakib and Mahmudullah. 20 overs of spin is not going to do. Rubel and Zia should be good enough as far as pace is concerned ( Nasir is also there with his medium pace!) Afghans has already shown their weakness against spin against Pakistan. Go, Tigers.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2014, 20:04 GMT)

Wow... come on Shane motivate these guys as your the right man to do it!

Posted by i_golam on (February 28, 2014, 19:56 GMT)

Win tomorrow BD ... then we can talk & not before that !!!

Posted by   on (February 28, 2014, 18:28 GMT)

Watch out world cuz the Afghans are coming and will rule over some of the full member cricketing nation and one day(Not far) we will see ourselves in the top ranking in every format. Happy to see where we have come and last game was a won game but as they say catches win matches which clearly toppled our yesterdays game. InshAllah We will show what we can do and what we have come to do. No more wining hearts cuz thats all we have been doing. Good Luck to Bangladesh cuz they are going to be needing it tomorrow. Happy Game guys.... :)

Posted by   on (February 28, 2014, 18:04 GMT)

Shane has been a great coach so far. Just because the team played poorly for some time doesn't mean it's the coach's fault. He is right. For some reason, the players are not concentrating. They need to pull up their socks now.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2014, 16:48 GMT)

Never thought I would see the day when Bangladesh would be worried about Afghanistan. What is our cricket prowess coming to? Nasir should be dropped. The bloke doesn't seem interested. Give his place to a new lad who will try his heart out. Mahmudullah and Nasir can comfortably retire now. We don't need thier kind of non-performers. Their body language shows they have little intent to perform well.

Posted by rsmehdihasan on (February 28, 2014, 13:01 GMT)

what ever the situations BD players need to focus and stick with plan. match can not win by just playing. Concentration is very important. Forget about who is the opponent or what players you have in your team or due factor. Just stick with plan and play according to

Posted by   on (February 28, 2014, 12:57 GMT)

i really cant understand why Ziaur is not included in the WorldT20 squad. cant understand the thought process of the selectors. he is a handy seamer and good heater, which is pretty much rare in bd.in my openion Zia should be picked ahead of farhad reza. really disappointing to see him (zia) sidelined in WT20. and for 2moro's game, if Mushfiq cant play then it will be a massively inexperienced team, but still its enough to go through the afghans

Posted by rsmehdihasan on (February 28, 2014, 12:26 GMT)

Shane was great to motivate this team. need a win badly to gain confidence,

Posted by sirnayem on (February 28, 2014, 11:39 GMT)

I think its time for Jurgensen leave the team and someone from Bangladeshi former cricketer should take the charge! yes we might have some expat as physio, bowling and fielding coach. But the main coach should be a Bangladeshi.

Bangladesh as a team has come a lot of road and have a lot of potential in the players, now they need a person who will understand their mental situation and build the team as a family where all the members of team will play for the country first and than for the team and than for self!!!

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