New Zealand in Bangladesh 2013-14 November 6, 2013

T20 loss highlights Bangladesh's deficiencies in format

Bangladesh made improvements in the Tests and ODIs against New Zealand but the loss in the only T20I reflected a deeper problem of the side's ability to understand and cope with the nuances of cricket's shortest format

Losing the one-off Twenty20 game against New Zealand has put a slight dampener on what Bangladesh have achieved over the last four weeks. Despite the drawn Test series and 3-0 whitewash in the ODIs, the hosts went back to their listless ways in the shortest format of the game.

Bangladesh have now lost seven of their last eight T20s, and with the World T20s just four months away, questions are being asked of the team's temperament and their ability to grasp the nuances of T20 cricket.

"To be honest, we still cannot understand this format of the game," Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh captain, said. "You can always say that we fought with the bat but if we play like this, we cannot improve. We need to bring more maturity in our planning and also in our power-hitting and that's what we can earn by playing more matches. Even if we don't win them, we can at least understand the game."

Bangladesh have already criticised the format of the 2014 World T20s because it has pitted them against three Associate Nations in the first round, and while it can seen as a bit of an affront for the host nation of such an event, there is a deeper problem facing the team - they are unsure if they can shorten the gulf between them and their opponents in a T20 game.

On Wednesday, Mushfiqur was left frustrated by a bowling performance that lacked discipline, and a batting effort that was directionless despite having a target in front of them.

"We didn't bowl according to plans and gave away 20 extra runs. We haven't become a Twenty20 side of note. You cannot expect a team to win a Twenty20 match four or months after they play their last game.

"We have to play more Twenty20s, so that we can react to every situation. We should be able to handle the pressures of match situation."

The New Zealand openers scored 70 runs in the batting Powerplay and ended up on 204 for 5, to which Bangladesh replied recklessly in a gung-ho fashion. They lost two wickets in the first over, followed by a third in the second. Two partnerships followed but again, they didn't rely on anything other than boundaries.

Bangladesh struck 18 fours and eight sixes during their 189 for 9, while the visitors blasted one extra six in their total. New Zealand, like any reasonable Twenty20 side, knew how to pace their 20 overs, while in contrast, the hosts looked lost.

"We cannot bat this way all the time. It was an unusual way to bat. We cannot do well by batting like this. We need to rotate the strike more, build an innings after early loss of wickets. Who will attack, who will play the anchor role. But I think we need to practise more of these situations.

"We can't attack every ball, that's not my natural batting or Naeem bhai's or any of our batsmen's. I doubt we can click if we play like this in the future. We had lost too many wickets early on. In the last two overs, if we had a set batsman, I think we could have chased down the last 22 runs [needed in the last over]."

One would imagine that the Bangladesh team would still leave the Shere Bangla National Stadium a happy lot. They were presented the ODI series winners' trophy by the country's prime minister, Sheikh Hasina.

Mominul Haque, Sohag Gazi, Shamsur Rahman and Rubel Hossain have become key performers in the side. Tamim Iqbal's new sense of responsibility, Mushfiqur Rahim's leadership and Mashrafe Mortaza's trouble-free comeback are the other positives that Bangladesh can take away from this series.

Ultimately though, it will be the 3-0 ODI triumph and the 0-0 in the Test series that will matter the most to Bangladesh cricket. T20 cricket will remain a headache for Bangladesh, which isn't necessarily a bad thing for the side. Players, coaches, officials and administrators quickly lose confidence when things don't go right for a short time, and they get a sense of complacency in success. The T20 loss can keep them grounded and busy, and help them prepare for the 2014 World T20s.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nasim on November 9, 2013, 6:24 GMT

    Few thoughts for the T20Is - Mushfiq should open with Tamim. There should always be a combination of a 'pinch hitter' and a 'finisher' down the crease to score quickly without pressure. Shakib/Nasir should come up the order. We need more seaming all-rounders. If Zia can tame his madness, he should serve BD a lot in T20s. Fast/medium fast bowlers are better than spinners for T20 if they learn to bowl good yorkers and vary their speeds.

    However, it won't fit us to pick some young 'T20 specialist' on the basis of few BPL performances. Because, we play too few a match of any format, both domestically and internationally, to appreciate one's talents as a cricketer. No doubt we have to play more T20s though. In fact, I think mature players have better chance to succeed in T20s since its more of a mind game than any other formats.

  • Dummy4 on November 8, 2013, 19:36 GMT

    Some main and best players should play automatically in T20 squad but selectors also should give more opportunity to players like bowlers who did good in domestic T20 competition. T20 needs special type of bowler and batsman . Here good bowlers who are bowling in good length sometime become expensive. Need a type of bowler who can check runs somehow. similar way batsman who can play according to situations in short period becomes vital for the team. other international teams are selecting different squads depending on the domestic performance of that format.

  • Dummy4 on November 8, 2013, 19:18 GMT

    The problem is adjusting this format for the same group of players who are playing one day's . T20 needs more young starts and totally different kind of sets from one day squad. But selectors put the same squad for t20 as well. give more opportunity for young star in T20 formats.

  • Hasib on November 7, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    I wouldn't blame the batting. They tried. They had a huge total to chase and they gave it their 100%. Though 3 fast bowlers should have been selected. Can't win T20 matches with just the spinners. Shakib for Naeem will add a bowling option, but either Mahmudullah or Gazi will have to make a way for a fast bowler who is good in the first 6 overs as well as batting power play.

  • KH. RAFIQUE on November 7, 2013, 6:23 GMT

    We really don't need to be worried as it was just a T20 which is not a real game of Cricket at all.T20 is all about FUN for the supporters and earning source for the players and boards.So, keep that thing apart and concentrate more on TESTs and ODIs;specially to TESTs as its the real exam of any cricketers and we really have to be good at playing TESTs to show our critics that 'WE CAN'. Roar TIGERS Roar>>>

  • Dummy4 on November 7, 2013, 6:08 GMT

    I don't feel badly about this loss. Tamim and Sakib were absent. In their place we brought in a mad man - Ziaur. At the International level, one doesn't expect the stance that he took - swing wildly at every ball. Cricket at the elite level demands a lot more respect for the bowlers; one has to play each ball on its merit. It was embarassing watching Ziaur's stance - his mind made up already that he is going to hit every ball out of the park. Tamim is a slugger too. But when he is on song, its sheer poetry in motion. Once Sakib and Tamim are back, we will be fine. Even in this game there were times when it looked like we might win. Mominul should have scored more runs. Nasir was unlucky because his shot was a blistering one and if it had been hit a foot or two wider, it would end up as a boundary. BD fought gamely till the end and it was anyone's game till the very end. Well played boys!

  • Dummy4 on November 6, 2013, 21:49 GMT

    In a way, I am happy BD lost. It will make them better prepared for the WC.

  • shameem on November 6, 2013, 21:32 GMT

    "Catches win matches" ---- everything went fine and good for the tigers except the nervous drop by young debutant off veteran tiger Mash's bowling. Don't worry Mushi, things will be fine in world cup T20 In-Sha-Allah. We are proud to see the team's mental toughness to chase mammoth total. Don't be disappointed, I can understand your frustration Mushi, best of luck in your future T20s.

  • Dik on November 6, 2013, 21:27 GMT

    I'm glad they lost. I was really hoping, against my will, for a loss. I didn't want them to become complacent with T20 WC around the corner. This will help them prepare better.

  • Amir on November 6, 2013, 21:21 GMT

    The following is my suggested T20 team for BD for the world cup. Tamim, Shamsur, Mominul, Mushfique, Shakib, Nasir, Zia, Mahmudullah, Sohag, Al-Amin and Mashrafe. This allows us the option of using 3 fast/medium fast bowler and 5 spinners depending on the pitch. Besides Shakib, we have bunch of average all rounders who can swing the game on their day either with the ball or bat. Zia can be used as a pinch hitter depending on the situation. I also believe we should set up a few T20 matches with local teams and other associate nations to work on our skill set. However, we should not use the excuse about not playing T20 enough because all of our players played in BPL. We should have enough understanding of the game. Go Tigers!

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