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Mohammad Isam in Mirpur
February 20, 2014
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 hereFeeds: Mohammad Isam
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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