Bangladesh v SL, 2nd ODI, Mirpur February 20, 2014

'We are very slow learners' - Mushfiqur


Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim is unsure whether his team is willing to listen and learn. He cut a frustrated figure while attending the post-match presentations and the press conference and later as he walked back to the dressing-room.

The home team conceded the ODI series to Sri Lanka with the last match still left to play. The fielding once again let them down. Nasir Hossain dropped Ashan Priyanjan when his partnership with Kumar Sangakkara had just started, with Sri Lanka struggling on 65 for 3. There were three other dropped catches over the course of Sri Lanka's innings.

The 290-run chase never got off the ground, despite the batsmen always maintaining a healthy run-rate. The trouble was playing one shot too many, and it was pretty much the same problem for every batsman in the line-up.

Mushfiqur felt let down by his teammates, and he drew an example from the Chittagong Test from earlier this month, to point out exactly how communication falls through in the Bangladesh team.

"I tell them but the results are different than when other captains tell their players to do things in certain ways," Mushfiqur said. "I will give you a simple example. Al-Amin [Hossain] played a shot towards the end of the first innings of the Chittagong Test, and was dropped at long-on. He had [Mahmudullah] Riyad bhai at the other end telling him to not play big shots. [Shamsur Rahman] Shuvo and I were shouting at him from the dressing-room prior to that shot, but he still played the shot.

"Now when [Kumar] Sangakkara bats with Mendis and Lakmal, he says the same things. If someone is not willing to listen, then it is not the fault of the person telling him. It will depend on him, whether he wants to listen or not. He came back and told me that my bat automatically goes when I see a ball like that. I think we are very slow learners. We must learn as fast as possible."

Mushfiqur said his team's inability to win crucial moments and the poor form shown by some of the senior players were the main reasons for the defeat.

"I think the environment outside the field is the same [as before]," he said. "It is the mistakes in the crucial times which have affected us. The senior players and performers are going through a bit of off-form, which might be a problem.

"As a whole team, we are a bit low on confidence and mentally weak. We need a win to get out of this phase. But to get that one win, the work that we did in the last one and a half years, we have to work doubly hard. A win against any team will be difficult. We have to give more than 100 per cent in the last game."

Despite the form shown by the players, what has also undermined the team has been a spate of injuries. The team have also stuck with Mahmudullah, despite his poor form.

He bowled three overs, dropped a sitter and was run out for just one in this game. He was out for a two-ball duck in the previous game, and also dropped an easy chance at slip. Naeem Islam made two crucial fifties against New Zealand in November but hasn't played since.

Mushfiqur explained that he needed an allrounder at No 7, but said he wouldn't drop players without giving them a proper run. "Naeem [Islam] generally bats at No 5 and in that position now we have Shakib," he said. "We need an allrounder at No 7 and we need an input from there, whoever it is, be it [Sohag] Gazi or Mahmudullah.

"As a Bangladesh captain, dropping a player without giving him another chance is something that I am not in favour of. Even if someone goes through a bad patch, I will try to back him. We did a similar thing in the case of Marshall Ayub. Although it didn't work out today, I believe that in the near future a player receives at least this much of support."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Naimur on February 22, 2014, 11:46 GMT

    Bangladesh coaches Jurgensen, Mcinnes should take the blame as they are not interested.

    They are too soft and dont tell the players anything inspite of repeated mistakes.

  • Abdul on February 22, 2014, 0:19 GMT

    Dont blame the players only. The coaching staff are even more responsible for the poor performances.

  • Dummy4 on February 21, 2014, 13:28 GMT

    The way Shakib just got out it is just damaging the balance of the team. When players like Shakib and Tamim those who are the most experienced and regular choice just fall down in that fashion then we can not blame others. Others might say that after playing so many years if they can not learn, still play in same fashion then why we would be blamed!. That teams win who have the chemistry among players, right combination and everyone just play their parts. Small small commitment of few players can win matches. Just look at NZ and WIndies tour. So here advice is not working. So i will request BCB and Advice them! just sit down and draw a plan for next 3/4 seasons or 5 years to make some changes and development for our domestic cricket. Where is the problem! why they just break down in a pressure situations. This is happening from Junior to Senior level everywhere again and again from out first inaugural test so just let them play in a pressure situations and grow as more professional

  • Dummy on February 21, 2014, 12:51 GMT

    BD played well except last game. more than their ability to be honest. What is this fuss

  • Pr on February 21, 2014, 8:17 GMT

    Its time to drop sakib.look what we have achieved without him-won series against wi 3-2.won against nz 3-0.draw with sri in sri 1-1.but when sakib joined the team in zim we lost drop sakib we have much better left arm spinners than him.and his batting dont count.

  • Nasim on February 21, 2014, 8:09 GMT

    Why on earth, dragging poor Al-Amin? (Is that why Mashrafe was chosen ahead of Al-Amin? for 'sensible batting'!!?) If you are disappointed with Shakib or Nasir for this match, and you decide to speak out anyway, then speak straight at least! Shakib should be the captain. Yes after all those shots he is playing recently. If Shakib did not bear the cross of being Bangladeshi player he would bat at no.7 in any international team. After all the honest efforts to restrict opponent's scores being nullified by fellow bowlers/field and the 'specialist' no. 1-4 fail to build 100+ partnerships as usual, I appreciate his attempt to keep BD alive in the match. These negative trends remind me of the early days when BD played cricket for 'respectable defeats'- an opener getting so full of himself after one fifty; one player is called in not for superior abilities but for the incumbent's failure; a performing player abruptly rested while out-of-form player persisted with etc.

  • Sudhakar on February 21, 2014, 7:54 GMT

    Coming from an Indian Fan..Well done Sri lanka..but my heart goes out to Bangladesh as they have faltered only on the winning moments..time is on their side..they have to quickly make ammends..

    I think Asia Cup is the best opportunity to prove everybody right through consisten performances.. Problem is the expectations of the people We Indians are experiencing right is tough..

    Anyways best of luck BD Boys..

  • Android on February 21, 2014, 7:25 GMT

    BD playe still playing with a match planning. no one play according to match

  • Dummy4 on February 21, 2014, 7:23 GMT

    I just wondering why Shakib was going after each ball in 2nd one day. What was going in his mind?. Definitely he was not thinking for the team or game plan (is there any game plan) . one answer can be either he was playing for himself or just not in a situation to play calmly , low in confidence. I think advice will not work in practically. Our domestic cricket need to be more competitive with standard pitches. More and more our players are used to play similar pressure situations , they will be more professional and grow as a constant performer. Domestic pitches must be difficult. balanced teams and format can make tournaments competitive. Spinning or bounce track can make even contest for teams. Domestic coaches should focus on innings building approach. How to rotate the strikes and wait for bad balls to hit. Just imagine when BD will travel foreign soil then how much difficulty our players can suffer. BD bowlers need a special spinning coach permanently.

  • Dummy4 on February 21, 2014, 7:00 GMT

    bangladesh should any how try to win against least 4 their fans whold support them eyery time....i guess what will happen if they loose that game....but it will be cracker of a game when two minows play....

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