Bangladesh v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Mirpur, 5th day

I let my team down - Mushfiqur

Mohammad Isam

December 21, 2011

Comments: 31 | Text size: A | A

Mushfiqur Rahim shapes to play a powerful shot, Bangladesh v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Mirpur, 5th day, December 21, 2011
Mushfiqur Rahim said his poor shot contributed to Bangladesh's collapse on day five © AFP
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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

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Posted by   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.

Posted by Baundele 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.

Posted by   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

Posted by WICric101 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

Posted by 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.

Posted by Praxis 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.

Posted by Praxis 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.

Posted by   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

Posted by   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

Posted by   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...

Posted by Kazi1517 on (December 22, 2011, 6:13 GMT)

Bangladesh team's main problem is their lack of mental ability to play test cricket. They know how to bat, how to bowl & how to catch, but unfortunately they fail to perform it in the 22 yards. The shot Mushfiq played last day was simply devastating for his team. I still can't believe that how a CAPTAIN could play such that shot when his team was struggling to save the match on the last day's second session. No doubt this is the worst influence of playing lots of T20s in both national leagues & international matches. As a Bangladeshi & a hardcore supporter of Bangladesh Cricket Team, now I can't but pray for their maturity of mentality.

Posted by JustIPL on (December 22, 2011, 6:11 GMT)

It can be said that you let them down but it was all the calculated freedom that was given by Pakistan. In the first innings the long partnership was finished in two balls and in the second innings screws were tightened after lunch exclusively at will. First innnings first 4 for 43 and last five wickets in 27 runs and in the second first 5 for 95 last five for 22. Only one partnership was allowed in both innings. Also, Pakistan scored at their own pace whenever they wanted to be slow they were slow and when they had to accelerate they did so.

Posted by satish619chandar on (December 22, 2011, 5:39 GMT)

BD can do better if they work harder and earn some draws.. It will first eradicate the losing mentality of the team and get rid of the minnow tag.. NZ did it when they tour tough nations.. Inspite of weak top order, NZ always give fight.. BD could well do better if they follow the Black caps spirits.. Draw is always better than losing.. Hard fought draw will give as much satisfaction as a win sometimes..

Posted by mrgupta on (December 22, 2011, 5:09 GMT)

After their first 73 tests Zimbabwe had a Win-loss ratio of 0.19, after their first 73 tests SL had win-loss ratio of 0.24, after their first 73 tests India had a win-loss ratio of 0.20 and after their first 73 tests BD has a Win-loss ratio of 0.04. The major reason for the other team's better win-loss ratio is the fact that these teams were able to avoid more defeats and get more draws instead of loosing test matches. The second test till the Lunch on 5th day looked almost certain to be drawn and that would have been a moral victory for BD and would have made them proud, but no, that was not to happen. As a cricket fan i feel very disappointing with the way they lost the plot and ended up loosing yet again. Even after 11 years of playing regular test matches the result of every series involving Bangladesh is known, even before the start of the first Test!

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (December 22, 2011, 5:06 GMT)

Bangladesh shouldn't be allowed to play test cricket. Remember what Sehwag said about Bangladesh being an ordinary test team. I think Sehwag was being very generous when he said that Bangladesh is an ordinary test team. They play decent ODI Cricket though. I don't know what's wrong with their domestic setup or board, but it's better they start playing associate nations and teams like that to regain some confidence IF they succeed against them.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 3:34 GMT)

Don't forget, this is the same team that beat New Zealand 4-0 last year. Give them some time. I think fielding made a big difference in this game. Just proves that catches win matches.

Posted by jrm1186 on (December 22, 2011, 3:23 GMT)

Actually Bangladesh always lets "Cricket" down...They've been playing cricket for more than a decade now and they're yet to win a major tournament... They've got opportunities more than any other associate team...Had ICC rather given these many opportunities to teams like Ireland, then Cricket World would have had a much better team by now....Bangladesh got the Test Membership at least 10 years before they should have got...

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 2:38 GMT)

Bangladesh... give back the captain-ship to Shakib.It will make huge difference or stop playing test cricket.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 1:59 GMT)

awesome... next time Mushfiq go for a double century next time....

Posted by nlambda on (December 22, 2011, 0:35 GMT)

I am sure @bang_la would agree: Bangladesh need Sehwag to give them tips on how to bat against Pakistan!

Posted by Shah-Ji on (December 22, 2011, 0:17 GMT)

I am a PAK fan but I should acknowledge BD played good cricket . Nasir and Shakib were champions. Shakib is not only the world class rather one of the all time best all rounder , Who can be an automatic selection in any team test team.

Mushfiq has accepted his mistake of wrong shot selection. This is the learning process I am sure with the playesrs like Nasir and Shakib ,BD will start winning very soon.

BD fans support this team , They will bring joy for you .

I am also very happy to hear about academy exchange program . This will help both countries.

Posted by Meety on (December 21, 2011, 23:13 GMT)

@ tfjones1978 - I disagree with relegating them mate. The fact is, this is a team that has youth on its side, they have unearthed Shakib, Tamim & Rahim as genuinely good cricketers who could play for most other test sides (name a country that wouldn't want Shakib?). I think Mahmudullah & Nasir are 2 young players who COULD join Shakib as world class. The problem is that Bangladesh shouldn't of played 100 tests in 10yrs. It should of been more like 60, with most of those tests at home, & they tour abroad for one off encounters. This would lessen the warping of statistics that occur at the moment. The other problem is internal. IMO, Bangladesh have better players than Zimbabwe, but Zim beat them recently because they were WAY better prepared, having played A games against Oz & SA. The Bangas were underprepared for the clash with Pakistan, with most test players NOT playing in their Domestic FC comp during November - for reasons I don't know. I see good signs in Banga, give em time!

Posted by dmqi on (December 21, 2011, 21:08 GMT)

Mr. Captain and others, How many years and how many more tests do you need to understand that it was not a T20 or 50 over match. It was very disappointing to see a drawn match has been given away, first by the inept umpires and then by the Bangladesh players. 10 years a long time, should have improved much in last 3 years.

Posted by Sam_k14 on (December 21, 2011, 19:54 GMT)

Mushfiqur should not blame himself. The result was inevitable. He did a favour by getting out early. What was he expecting? Ein the match single handedly? There was no way BD would have even foced a draw. Get back Ashraful and Habibul Basher. the current players are way below par and BD as a team is less than ordinary.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 19:30 GMT)

Rahim needs to step up even more, in both occasions he got out straight after his partner got out, this basicaly gives back the momentum to the opposition, getting 2 wickets within a short amount of time will demoralise one team and give momentum to the other. But he did contribute in both innings so thats a plus I would say. Would say Bangladesh need a new wicketkepper thou, Rahim can be in the team only as a specialised batsmen, isn't good enough eespecially after that Taufeeq miss in the first innings. Want to see Naeem Islam back in the team, if he was in this squad rather than the extra seamer of Shahadat or Robiul, Bdesh would have atleast drawn this match. He is one of the few who can bat a long period and be the no 4 batsmen for them. Congrats to Pakistan, they applied the pressure and once they sniffed an opening they exectuted it to plan.

Posted by Rakim on (December 21, 2011, 19:14 GMT)

Keep it up tigers. I hope you learn from your mistakes and bounce back.

Posted by StJohn on (December 21, 2011, 19:13 GMT)

Bangladesh really should be doing a bit better than this. It is a very poor country, but with such a large and cricket-loving population they should do better and should be able to produce enough talented cricketers to compete more consistently. The Bangladesh team that toured England a couple of years ago showed some real fight and promise and it seemed like Bangladesh's performance, at least at Test level, might be on the turn. Alas, that promise appears to have come to nought. What a pity.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 17:19 GMT)

Mushfique is a good player,played some good innings in odi this year,but no sympathy to for him this time,he ran shakib out in 1st innings,missed stumping,and played irresponsible shots,thats really poor.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 17:06 GMT)

Three cricketing formates should have three set of mentalities; 20/20 formate of cricket; Runs are the priority and not much of patience needed 50/50 formate of cricket; Runs and patience both are the requirement. Test cricket; Patience, Patience and patience then runs

Bangladesh has joined cricket when are three formates are in place so they have mixed up and confused their priorities. They are playing test as 50/50 over match. They have to correct their technique by separating their teams into Test and 20 overs and 50 over match. I don't know they ever be able to correct the situation.

Posted by AnotherCricketer on (December 21, 2011, 16:58 GMT)

Pakistan should be seriously concerned about the batting display. Had Bangla not dropped as many catches, the match would have been a lot closer. And the big surprise was Ajmal not a beneficiary to as many wickets as the big threat he was called out in the preview news before the Bangla series started. Yes, congrats to Pakistan for winning the series. Though tomorrow is a new day. Good luck.

Posted by tfjones1978 on (December 21, 2011, 16:43 GMT)

It was good to see Bangladesh do better, but the thing is that after nearly 100 matches they have only not lost 10 of them with three wins against weak opponents (Zimb A & WI A) and seven draws that occurred mainly due to 1 or 2 days of rain. Of those 100 matches, only a handful have Bangladesh survived into the 5th day without weather affecting the match. This test is another example of that, as Bangladesh didnt survive to the conclusion of 24 hours (4 days) of total game play in a form that last for 30 hours. I think its about time ICC consider a relegation system to force Bangladesh to win the ICup against Ireland, Afganistan & six other associates every two years with the ICup winner given temp full membership instead of Bangladesh. If Bangladesh deserve to play test cricket, then let them prove it every two years against the best of the rest.

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