Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Mirpur, 4th day January 30, 2014

Batting collapses 'alarming', says Mushfiqur


Isam: Bangladesh picked the wrong set of bowlers

Bangladesh's recovery from their fourth biggest Test defeat has to start from the top. Mushfiqur Rahim and his new deputy Tamim Iqbal have no more than four days to do so, but they have a few boxes in their checklist to tick.

The Bangladesh captain has to clear his mind of the four dropped catches, a stumping and a poor shot in the second innings. He has accepted his mistakes and holds himself responsible for losing the game and, although he is not the sole player to be blamed, this is a good place to start.

"I don't remember the last time when this [four dropped catches] happened," Mushfiqur said. "Maybe this is the first time. I was feeling very bad. When a batsman scores after I have dropped him, it feels as though I have lost the game for the team. This thought probably resulted in the next two or three drops.

"This is part of the game. It is hard to motivate players if I don't lead from the front. I will try to turn it around in the next three days. I have done better things in the past, so I will try to remember them."

Being a player obsessed with improving his game, Mushfiqur can be expected to bounce back strongly. That would mean more catching practice with Nasir Ahmed, the video analyst and former Bangladesh wicketkeeper. His batting probably doesn't require much attention, evident from his first-innings fifty. But his tendency to go with the flow was evident in the second innings when he stepped out and tried to drive Dilruwan Perera against the spin.

The way the Bangladesh batsmen handled deliveries of shorter length was also in the spotlight. There were times when Angelo Mathews employed six fielders on the leg side for Shakib Al Hasan, which didn't stop the left-hander from pulling the ball. In the course of the two innings, Tamim Iqbal, Shamsur Rahman, Marshall Ayub, Mominul Haque, Nasir Hossain and Sohag Gazi got out to deliveries that either pitched short or those that pitched on a close length but had disconcerting bounce.

In the case of Nasir and Shamsur, balls leapt off a good length but Tamim was caught at fine-leg hooking a head-high delivery while Marshall Ayub could not control a delivery that was bumped into his chest. Mominul was soft at the pull shot while Gazi didn't have much choice but to plank it back at mid-on.

Mushfiqur called the two batting collapses "alarming" and stressed he wanted an end to such an inexplicable approach.

"We expect to face such deliveries at this level. We should keep this in mind next time we take the field," he said. "There was lack of application. If we had been a lot more patient, they would have stopped bowling like that. It is not as if one can't play a pull shot when six fielders are out, but one must play it within his limit, which he can control.

"We have played well against good sides with this batting in the last year and a half, so there should have been a limit to a collapse. This sort of batting in two consecutive innings is alarming. Bowlers will always try to go after you, but as batsmen we have to understand and try to play according to the situation. Batting is our main strength, so we must improve quickly."

He also pointed out that Tamim could have thought more sensibly on the third evening before trying to swipe at Rangana Herath and looping a catch at point. The left-hander made 6 and 11, and was worked out by the Sri Lankan pace bowlers in the first innings before throwing it away in the second.

"Everyone is going to play their natural game. I think we should understand the situation. We should have survived yesterday," Mushfiqur said. "It is not as if he [Tamim Iqbal] didn't know. Mahela has also played over the top, but we should have thought about the situation.

"Eight overs were remaining, if we were a little more circumspect, then we could have started the day with ten wickets in hand. If he thinks deeply, he can change these things. He is one of our best batsmen. If he stays at the crease, the next batsmen will have a lot of confidence."

Mushfiqur was not so critical of the bowling, however. Bangladesh conceded the most runs in an innings in their Test history, but he said it was good enough for them to create chances on such a pitch.

"What does it mean to create chances on a wicket where wickets are hard to get? So there's nothing to be afraid about. We should bring back the batting that we did in the last 18 months," he said.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dar on January 31, 2014, 11:45 GMT

    Every morning at 3:30am, I woke up to see my BD team to play well. Got nothing but dissapointment. It's not about winning, but to have the attitude to play a Test match. Every BD player had a mental attitude to finish the game by 50 overs (ODI). When will they learn to play 120/130 overs per inning. t hat should be the target. I don't expect BD to win, but to atleast play the 5 day. Even seeing SL batting, they should've tried to stay in the crease rather than going every shot boundary. Hope they will play better next game. myBD X11 will be Shamsur, Marshall, Tamim (3), Mominul, Shakib, Mushi, Nasir, Mahmudullah, Sohag, Abdur Razzak, Al-Amin/Farhad Reza. BD don't have pace bowler and at this moment, they should use their strong point, which is spinners.

  • Siddiky on January 31, 2014, 5:30 GMT

    What happened is not batting collapses Musfi! you guys just have thrown away your wickets. Accept it and try hard to develop.. you are the ambassadors of the country you dont have the right to do anything on your own will..

  • Dummy4 on January 31, 2014, 5:16 GMT

    So the delusional Bangladesh fans are quiet.. I thought they would be going how fast Rubel bowls and how he hurts batsmen with the taped tennis ball. Bangladesh by and large is a team which cant bat,bowl or field.. They should have an arrangement with the better leagues like Australia or SA or even India where some of their players learn some discipline and play to their strengths..

  • Dummy4 on January 31, 2014, 5:05 GMT

    I still don't understand why don't BD players duck and be done with the short stuff?? BD spent the last two years employing this strategy and was working fairly well. People still don't understand the value of Mahmudullah in the team. He got a good mind for strategy and the only team player BD has got. And it is ok to be natural. But it is 'not ok' to stop having a brain and going slam-baam against every ball in the name of being natural.

  • Dummy4 on January 31, 2014, 4:47 GMT

    Every team needs a specialist wicketkeeper in test cricket. This is why Prasanna J is so important to SL. For me, Chandimal & Rahim are similar as players; means not specialist wicketkeepers.

  • Peter on January 30, 2014, 21:28 GMT

    How was it you were alarmed at the batting collapses when just about every cricket follower with barely a hint of knowledge about the game could see it happening? You cannot go into a test match without the proper grounding & I don't believe T20 games & ODI's count. There is no shortage of talent in BD, but their whole FC infrastructure needs a total overhaul & better preparation at grassroots level is the only answer. Since their test debut, BD haven't progressed one iota, & I feel for the players.

  • Dummy4 on January 30, 2014, 20:56 GMT

    Back to SQ1. However; I think there are some underlying issues, we never address. The body language of all most all the players was quite visible -- they look depressed and showed lack of confidence. Is there any link to BCB's recent stance on ICC changes? And overall Bangladesh political situation -- no matter how much we say there's no place of politics in sports. Do we really believe sports is above country? Have the players wanted to send some message to certain quarters. But it could have been the other way round too and obviously more responsible and patriotic way of response.

  • Dummy4 on January 30, 2014, 20:49 GMT

    Taqmim should be dropped. He is said to be the BEST batsman, but he never delivers. Why not give others a chance? The worst that they can do is fail like him. Tamim's biggest flaw is that he gets aggrwessive; the team suffers , but he just doesn't care. No one seems to be playing for the team. They are all after personal glory. sakib should have dug in there; Mominul and even Mashfiqur. I think its too much responsibility on Mushy - being the only dependable batsman, wicketkeepr and Captain as well. That's too much for one man. Just keep him as keeper and batsman and he will continue to do wonders. Find another for the captaincy. Maybe Nasir.

  • Amir on January 30, 2014, 18:21 GMT

    The way we got out is a major concern. Many teams have collapses on good bowling pitches but not to control our shots when required points to a lack of discipline and application. I do feel bad for the bowlers. On a pitch like this where the wickets were hard to come by, we dropped 5-6 catches. I am not saying the result would have been different but the game could have been more competitive. Test matches are not ODIs and we batted with an average of over 4 runs. Test is about taking singles and doubles and occasional boundaries with a lot of defending in between. You have to work the bowlers and the fielders. You have to tire them out but we seem to try to win the test in two days. Disappointing performance all around. Hoping for a better showing in the next match.

  • shan on January 30, 2014, 17:58 GMT

    I am a Sri Lankan and I always believe BD players have lots of talents. They need to address some issues. Mental preparation is the most important thing for them in test batting. They have to forget ODI and T20 formats and try to play longer innings. Leaving good balls, attacking loose balls and rotating strike are few aspects to be addressed. I don't think bawling is a very big issue. You cannot hold bowlers totally accountable for leaking over 700 runs. Fielding needs to be improved urgently. I understand you feel down now, but forget then past and be positive. Good luck Bangladesh for the next game.

  • No featured comments at the moment.