Bangladesh v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Mirpur, 5th day December 21, 2011

I let my team down - Mushfiqur


The shots played by Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah, Bangladesh's captain and vice-captain, were dreadful examples of leading from the front. The captain getting out with his team just a session away from safety was the bigger offender. Pakistan eventually beat the clock and the fading light, chasing down the target of 103 to win the series 2-0.

With bad light being so much of an issue in the second Test in Mirpur, it was likely to come into play as Bangladesh fought for a draw. Mushfiqur had done the hard work of keeping the two-hour morning session wicketless, with 86 runs in 29 overs. He added 107 for the sixth wicket with Nasir Hossain, who batted without trouble against a Pakistan attack that waned at times.

The pair surged along, knocking off Pakistan's 132-run lead, and both batsmen reached half-centuries. However, Abdur Rehman found a way through Nasir Hossain's defences after lunch, and it was all down to Mushfiqur and the tail. What the captain did next is another example of how Bangladesh implode all of a sudden. After batting nearly three hours, Mushfiqur skipped down the wicket and, in his effort to attack Rehman, ended up lofting one to Saeed Ajmal at mid-off to depart for 53.

"Of course I will take the blame. If I didn't get out, we could have batted 30 minutes more," Mushfiqur said after the defeat. "I feel guilty for my shot as I let my team down.

"I was set so I thought if I take a chance, I could score 20-30 more runs. My plan was correct but execution was wrong. They only had square-leg back. I tried it earlier but couldn't get to the ball."

The timing of Mushfiqur's dismissal was a sickening blow to Bangladesh's pursuit for safety. It was all over in 25 minutes.

On the fourth evening, Mushfiqur's deputy, Mahmudullah, had committed a similar blunder. After Tamim Iqbal and Shahriar Nafees suffered poor decisions, Mahmudullah's shot was hard to comprehend. He chased a wide delivery from Aizaz Cheema and top-edged to deep point to be dismissed for 32 off 50 balls.

"He [Mahmudullah] knows it well that when he got out, it was a bad time. He was having good partnerships with Nazimuddin and Nasir," Mushfiqur said. "We have to cut down on some shots in such situations.

"Ever since I started playing for Bangladesh, this has happened. This is the fact. We make mistakes in situations and we can't recover. If we had taken all the catches, they wouldn't have taken the 130-run lead. It would have been a different ball game if we took a 250-280 lead."

Mushfiqur, however, believed his team had improved with every innings during this Test series against Pakistan. "Overall batting-wise, we have gradually improved. Some of our batsmen could bat for a long time, which was our goal. We often get out after a quick 30-40. These are the positives.

"If we lose four, five wickets in a session, or they score 100 for 0, it becomes difficult to come back. Our bowlers created a lot of chances in this game, but we couldn't capture it."

Mohammad Isam is senior sports reporter at the Daily Star in Dhaka

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 23, 2011, 11:47 GMT

    Selectors should select good fast bowlers, don't pick Shahadat again and again, he is not at all of international standard.

  • Baundule on December 23, 2011, 0:04 GMT

    Good article, Isam. All Bangladeshi captains and players are good at the press conference after the match; but they never learn anything from their mistakes. Against tougher opponents and in difficult situations they make stupid mistakes and they will continue doing that. Accepting this fact, I would say the team management should look for capable players who will make 'less' such mistakes. Mushy, if he understands even the ABC of cricket, should give up the wicket keeping duty to someone else. There are many capable options like Dhiman and Bijoy. Tamim needs some rest, he looks confused like Ashraful. New players should be tried in place of proven failures. Finding two or three more Nasirs (if not Shakibs) is very much possible and that will take the team to a new level.

  • Dummy4 on December 22, 2011, 20:00 GMT

    Five day cricket is not for them yet. They have got the test status probably by winning a 50 overs match. ICC should be better organized in evaluating teams test performances. If Zimbabwe was out for couple of years then they can be too or else they can be allowed to use there own umpires. hahaha

  • Oneil on December 22, 2011, 12:01 GMT

    Bd are just like Windies show little glimpses of improvment but still look pretty ordinary after test defeat after test deafeat.alkso its not just there inability to take 20 wkts they also cant string 2 decent innings together (of over 300), WI still look a better team

  • ilyas on December 22, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    There is talk of BD improving and how they have some top players. Sorry have to disagree. Its fine playing on these low slow wiclets in the sub-continent (and some in the WI) where you can go on the front foot and know the ball won't go pass your throat but lets see BD on pitches where it bounces - I predict two day tests. BD need to change their pitches to get some pace men as that is what wins tests generally. Additionally they need to go and play in Australia, South Africa and England to gain the experience on batting on different types of pitches - play in their 50 over competiotins. Playing on these rubbish low,slow pitches in BD will guarantee continued team failure. I doubt any BD batsmen will CONSISTENTLY score runs outside the sub-continent if things do not change.

  • Rizwan on December 22, 2011, 10:47 GMT

    @Meety, I too disagree with the relegation, but for some different reasons. To mention one, BD needs to play more matches along with a decent first class structure & regular matches against other A teams. If, BD is relegated, no way we'll see these PAK, WI, ENG series. It'll be like Ireland or ZIM, hardly 5/6 international matches per year. I think so because I have no trust in BCB's interest to improve the game or ICC's foresight. Its one thing being stuck at the same level for 10 years, but with so few matches it'll be hard to sustain the same level of interest for this game.

  • Rizwan on December 22, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    @Tauhid Khateeb, your comment is very vaild but BD don't have enough good players to form different teams for different formats.

  • Dummy4 on December 22, 2011, 9:05 GMT

    @Dravid_Gratias: sehwag had said that because BD does not have bowlers to take 20 wickets..and in test cricket, it is the 20 wickets which matters unlike one day team..if BD can take 20 wickets in test cricket on a regular basis..then no one will call them ordinary

  • Dummy4 on December 22, 2011, 6:41 GMT

    no shame 4 bangladesh at they moment they look like champs compared 2 sri lanka pakistan must b wondering how they didnt bowl these guyz out below 50 when they wrapped up the lankns with ease

  • Dummy4 on December 22, 2011, 6:35 GMT

    the problem is after every series they said they improved throughout the series, which is eventually true, but at the starting of the next series they started from the same old position as before the previous series & doing improve again & same thing is running...

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