Bangladesh v New Zealand, 1st ODI, Mirpur October 30, 2013

Overcoming Shakib's absence was important - Mushfiqur

Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim said that the absence of Shakib Al Hasan due to illness made winning the first ODI against New Zealand imperative. Shakib was hospitalised with a high temperature the night before the game and was later diagnosed with dengue fever.

"We really needed this win," Mushfiqur said after Bangladesh had taken a 1-0 lead. "Shakib wasn't in the team. It is a big loss. He played very well against them last time. So I tried telling everyone that we shouldn't lose in our minds before we have actually lost."

In the 2010 home series against New Zealand that Bangladesh won 4-0, Shakib was the highest run-scorer and wicket-taker, and he had led the side too after Mashrafe Mortaza was injured in the first game. Three years on, Shakib was once again expected to recreate the same performance only to be sidelined with illness.

The 43-run victory by D/L method was only Bangladesh's sixth win without Shakib since his ODI debut in August 2006. They had beaten West Indies last year at home without him.

"We won 3-2 against West Indies last year without him, and I thought that we could have won 5-0 had he been in the team," Mushfiqur said. "We will always miss him, although we may not see him in this series."

Mushfiqur was one of those who stepped up. Though Bangladesh had lost three wickets by the seventh over, he attacked the bowlers whenever they gave him room or strayed on to the pads. He was particularly aggressive against the spinners, and forced Nathan McCullum out of the attack. He fell for 90 off 97 balls, his first half-century score after eight innings.

Mushfiqur also praised Naeem Islam, who scored 84 and put on 154 for the fourth wicket. Naeem was a last-minute replacement for Shakib and he was making a comeback after last playing in December 2012.

"I have no regrets [for not getting the hundred] because the team won. I felt a little bad not to complete the century because I hadn't scored a fifty in quite a while," Mushfiqur said. "I was determined to give it my all today, get a partnership going. Naeem played very well. He supported me. We really needed it at the time. Everyone helps each other, not just the seniors, the younger players also chip in."

Mushfiqur is looking forward to winning the series in the second match, but he wouldn't necessarily change the winning combination. However, the dew factor and Rubel Hossain's success means he might still think about it.

"There is not much of a chance [of playing three seamers], although we have the option of picking Ziaur Rahman. The spinners didn't bowl too badly. Dew also has an adverse affect on the pace bowlers as it becomes slightly easier to play them when it skids through."

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

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  • Wamiq on October 30, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    Bdesh can make up for Shakib's bat. There is depth in the lineup. Tamim, Mominul, Naeem, Mushfiq, Mahmudullah, and Nasir makes for a fairly credible batting lineup (leaving aside Anamul, who is just not ready for this level yet, and Gazi, who has some skill but is being a bit overrated with the bat after his century). There's no reason why that group can't put up runs.

    The issue is the attack. Even with Shakib Bangladesh is lacking in weapons. Without him you're relying very heavily on Gazi and praying for a bit of a miracle from elsewhere (which they were lucky to get from Rubel yesterday). Maybe Abdur Razzak or Mashrafe will have a big comeback game, or maybe Al-Amin Hossain will impress in his ODI debut as he did in his first Test. Whatever it is, someone is going to have to make a real statement, or else NZ could level the series. They will be feeling motivated after following up 4-0 with yesterday's knockout by Rubel, and they've got the heavy hitters to make Bdesh hurt.

  • obaidul on October 30, 2013, 7:32 GMT

    Manik_mia you can't compare Shakib with Kane Williamson because Shakib is a better player than him. Shakib can bat and bowl like a champion which can make possible is a tough job for any cricketer unlike the player like Kallis and Watson. These three are different kind of people. Don't compare with them others.

  • Manik on October 30, 2013, 3:59 GMT

    BD lost Shakib and NZ lost Kane Williamson for injury. Now it is balanced. Lets hope for a good game.

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