Bangladesh v Pakistan, 1st Test, Chittagong, 4th day December 12, 2011

Test form can only improve with first-class cricket - Mushfiqur

ESPNcricinfo staff

Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh captain, has said the national team's Test performances will not improve unless first-class cricket in the country progresses. Bangladesh's loss to Pakistan in Chittagong was their 10th in 11 Tests since the start of 2010, and Mushfiqur, who is three Tests into his tenure as captain, said the trend would not be reversed until players started to do better in domestic cricket.

"We must improve our first-class infrastructure; without that we will continue with this sort of performance in Test cricket," Mushfiqur said. "We may have impressive performances in one or two matches but overall the situation will be the same as it is today."

Bangladesh's batting has let them down this year. In eight Test innings they have gone past 300 just once and none of their batsmen have managed a century. Mushfiqur said this stemmed from the inability of batsmen to get big scores in first-class cricket. No player has scored more than two centuries in this year's National Cricket League, which is currently in its second phase.

"We must make a habit of scoring hundreds or double-hundreds by playing in the first-class competition," Mushfiqur said. "Another thing we need to do is make sure all the national players are available to play in the first-class competition to ensure a high level of competitiveness. We can improve our skills only by playing in the first-class competition."

One of the criticisms of Bangladesh's batsmen has been that they are being too aggressive, and after their collapse for 135 on the first day in Chittagong, coach Stuart Law had said they had "given up their wickets easily." Mushfiqur, though, said he did not have a problem with batsmen playing aggressively, though they needed to apply themselves more.

"I think our batsmen tried to play their natural game and there was nothing wrong with that. Actually we have to show more patience, determination and the right application to prolong the innings."

Debutant Nazimuddin was Bangladesh's best batsman in Chittagong, scoring 31 and 78 in each innings. His performance and the persistence of the bowlers, who were hampered by poor fielding while conceding 594, were the positives Mushfiqur said Bangladesh could take from the game.

"Nazimuddin played well in the match. We had expectations of him and he fulfilled them. We can take inspiration from him. Our bowling was also not bad, though we dropped some catches, which helped some Pakistan batsmen to play big innings.

"We were actually out of the match when we lost five wickets in the first session of the first day. But still Nasir [Hossain] batted well in the first innings while Nazimuddin and Shakib [Al Hasan] played good knocks in the second innings." .

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2011, 17:13 GMT

    few things need to sort out then it will be okay for BD.before Pak series bangladesh team wasnt paying that bad.before that they scored 9 hundrad in their last 11 tests.we have to remember this side is pretty young one.they are developing.need more tests with small team like zim,wi,nz etc.

  • Khair ul on December 13, 2011, 11:54 GMT

    Bangladesh needs to play at the Associate level too while also playing test matches. The top Associate teams like Ireland, Netherlands, Kenya and Afghanistan should get a chance to play the lowest ranked test teams from time to time. It will be good for them and also good for the lower ranked test teams too. Because then they will win a few games and that will be good for their confidence, otherwise this constant losing will develop into a bad habit and players will not do their best to win. For Bangladesh particularly, it will give them a chance to go back to their good old days when they used to regularly thrash other leading Associate teams like Kenya, Ireland and Netherlands.

  • Mihir on December 13, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    Bangladesh Performance affects other deserving associates from Becoming Test Nation.. Teams like Ireland ,Afghanistan are performing teams . Ireland are good at longer format and are ready to play test. But they don't want to rush any team as they did for Bangladesh. But they still want to keep their mistake intact rather than suspending their status for few years and let them prove by beating few top associates convincingly in longer format.. Even Zimbabwe played intercontinental cup as Zimbabwe XI . Bangladesh got more support than any other team to improve even India invited them to play in Duleep Trophy in 05 in 4day tournament . Ireland,Scotland,Netherlands plays in ODI cricket in England not in Longer format...still Ireland is formidable side..They have players playing in county but even their board is doing enough work to get fresh talent out of youngsters None of Bangla players will be taken in any full member side like Eion Morgan or Dirk Nannes. Even Sakib .

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2011, 7:44 GMT

    BD Need to play domestic competitions in Australia like (PURA CUP, BIG Bash & more similar competition). ICC need to step in and allow Bangladesh player to participate in these big competition. This way Bangladesh's player not only enhance their playing skill but also mentally strong as well. So in order to save cricket in Bangladesh their cricket board also took similar step, like invite overseas players to participate in their domestic structures.

  • sayed on December 13, 2011, 6:33 GMT

    What first-class cricket? Other south asian countries too have a pretty shambolic first-class cricket setup including India and Pak. Its just that there's enough pool of talent there that once rises up can adjust to the international cricket and which BD seems to lack. Agree with the consensus here, no test status for BD!

  • Mihir on December 13, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    Bangladesh please send your Team to Intercontinental Cup to Test your real skills rather than getting thrashed by every other team.

  • Rizwan on December 13, 2011, 4:48 GMT

    There are lots of things to be done, but first the test status needs to be revoked, at least for 5 years. These humiliating defeats may not concern BD cricket board or the players much, but we fans feel otherwise.

  • Shafin on December 13, 2011, 1:05 GMT

    Hopefully BD will have a seperate Test Team with Separate specialist coaching staff. As this team plays FC matches throught the year, and trains under tremendous discipline under the right management, BD will improve significantly. They have the talent, there is passion for cricket and there is the infrastucture in place, it just need to be enhanced with proper guidance. BD will do just fine, give them a little time guys. Just beacuse it is taking alittle time, does not mean it wont work.

  • Peter on December 12, 2011, 22:16 GMT

    Improve first class structure? There is basically none! This is what should have been addressed BEFORE allowing them Test Status. To be blunt, as far as first class matches are concerned, most, if not all the Bangers "test players" would be flat out making any first class team in any of the major test countries. This is not meant to be cruel, just stating facts. They NEED exposure to a structured first class competition. They have the talent, but their technique, application, patience is woeful and well short of test standards. Even when Zimbabwe were allowed back, they immediately hosted a SA * Aust A tour and played first class games against them in preparation against their series with Bangladesh And it showed when they beat them easily and subsequently competed against NZ. What was Bangladesh;s preparations? ODI & T20 fixtures? And they wonder why they don't last out a days play in tests? It isn't rocket science fellas, the solution is there, just isn't being followed.

  • Dummy4 on December 12, 2011, 18:19 GMT

    Revoke Bangladesh Test cricket status......please do it and save cricket.......let them play with West Indies,Zimbabwe,Afghanistan,Ireland,Canada and Kenya.........and we will have tight finishing games........

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