Australia v Bangladesh, 2nd ODI, Darwin September 2, 2008

Bowlers must also lift - Mortaza

Cricinfo staff

Shahadat Hossain leaked runs in the opening match and Bangladesh want a tighter effort from their bowlers © AFP

Bangladesh's batting woes have been well documented but their main fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza said the attack must also lift if the team is to avoid another drubbing on Wednesday. They lost the opening ODI against Australia by 180 runs after falling for their lowest one-day international score but Mortaza knows the bowlers need to help out by restricting Australia more.

Early in the innings Shahadat Hossain could not keep the openers tied down and then through the middle overs Shaun Marsh and Michael Hussey easily picked off ones and twos while taking few risks. It let Australia build a solid platform that in turn allowed Hussey to pick up his rate in the final overs and guide Australia to 254.

"In the last game I was bowling tight from one end but Rajib (Shahadat Hossain) was leaking runs," Mortaza said. "Against Australia it is mighty important to bowl a high percentage of good balls. We had a chat with the AIS bowling coach Damien Fleming during our warm-ups and he also stressed on making scoring difficult and said that you win yourself a point with every dot ball you bowl against Australia."

But even if the bowlers do their job on Wednesday, the batsmen must also show far more concentration to challenge Australia. In the opening game they were bundled out for 74 with nearly half their overs still available and Mortaza hopes the top order can show more confidence the second time around.

"I personally thought that two or three of our top-order batters did not look confident in that game," Mortaza said. "I am not giving excuses but the drop-in track was difficult for run-scoring and we did not look like working our way out of pressure at any time.

"We have to be more than twice as good, play our natural game and get near 220 or 230. That's the only way we can get over Saturday's poor show."