Bangladesh v Afghanistan, Asia Cup, Fatullah March 1, 2014

'This is a shameful loss' - Mushfiqur

Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh captain, has called his side's 32-run loss to Afghanistan a "shameful defeat". He has questioned the dedication of his players and said those not motivated enough will have to be replaced.

"This is a shameful loss. For a split second I thought we wouldn't lose this game, being honest with you. I thought that someone or the other would stand up and bail us out. But in the end we were not good enough.

"We have to replace those players who, after being motivated, do not understand. It is not my or someone else's team. It is a matter of the nation. I think it is time to replace those who cannot perform. If they don't feel bad after losing to Afghanistan or Sri Lanka, they should not play cricket. After seeing some of their cricket, I think some of us can't feel what is going on. The team management and selectors will probably think about changes."

There are several areas of concern but the fielding has been particularly poor since the ODI series against Sri Lanka. Even on Saturday, Imrul Kayes dropped two catches and there were far too many singles given away between the bowler and the extra-cover fielder. At times, Bangladesh's body language didn't suggest the urgency that was needed.

Mushfiqur said that he is seeking answers from his team-mates. "If I knew what was wrong, I would have fixed it after a game. I don't have any answers about fielding. Our fielding hasn't been this consistently bad for so long.

"I have to answer this question time and again. If the players don't understand, it becomes tough. I cannot spoon-feed all eleven players. If they don't show responsibility at this stage, it becomes very tough."

Mushfiqur's tactics as the captain were also called into question during the post-match press conference. With the opposition 90 for 5 in the 27th over, there was a need to up the ante and attack a little more. But just like he didn't attack after reducing Sri Lanka to 67 for 8 two weeks ago, he allowed Asghar Stanikzai and Samiullah Shenwari to craft a recovery.

He said that Sohag Gazi's finger injury early in the game handicapped him, forcing the use of part-timers like Nasir Hossain and Mominul Haque. "We were one bowler short so I had to make do with some part-timers. I think they batted really well at that stage. We dropped a couple of catches. But I still feel we should have chased down this target."

There was further bad news for Bangladesh as Gazi's injury ruled him out of the rest of the Asia Cup. "The cut was caused by the seam and it had to be stitched up. He will need seven to ten days to recover," said Bangladesh team physio Vibhav Singh said. Mahmudullah has been called up as his replacement.

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

Comments