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Mohammad Isam in Khulna
November 25, 2012
The shot selection of Bangladesh's batsmen contributed to their failure in the Test match. A lot has been said about on the subject in the past, and captain Mushfiqur Rahim brought it up again after the defeat, saying that while the batsmen should not alter natural approach too much, better judgement is required.
"We should play natural cricket depending on the situation. Chanderpaul also plays the lofted shot but when he does that, there is little risk. The team, including myself, have to learn from these things, when to play low-risk and high-risk shots. We have to understand that the team comes first, and not individuals," Mushfiqur said after the Khulna Test.
They have banked on batting aggressively at most times and this Test was no different. But this approach isn't working. They delivered two below par batting performances in Khulna, and one in the first Test in Mirpur. The first innings in the previous game, in which they scored 556, was an exceptional performance as they were playing this format for the first time in eleven months. But the same talent didn't prove to be good enough to last four consecutive innings in this Test series.
"All the wickets that fall in a Test match are not entirely down to the bowlers' credit. Batsmen are at fault too. But in our case, the batsmen gift them the wickets regularly without the bowlers earning it, that's the most terrible thing," Mushfiqur said. "We have to work on avoiding soft dismissals. We have been doing it for a long period during which many of us have scored runs as well. Sometimes situations are such that a single dismissal turns the game away from us. Questions are justifiably raised and we are concerned about it."
The balance between the batsmen's instincts and the demands of the situation hasn't been achieved, seen in Mushfiqur's dismissal in the second innings here; he had skipped down the track only to be beaten and bowled by spinner Veerasammy Permaul.
"I don't even know [if] I've got out like that before. I don't remember getting out to a nothing shot like that. It was my fault. I wanted to play a long innings and forge a partnership with Shakib, but it didn't happen," Mushfiqur said.
He was also upset with his team's unspirited comeback from the first Test defeat. "It is quite frustrating because we played well in the first Test. In the first innings here, Abul [Hasan] played outstandingly or we could have been out of the Test very early. He kept us in the game and we scored almost 400.
"We also missed some chances and it is important to hold on to them on such pitches, because it becomes difficult to get [batsmen] out. In the second innings, there wasn't much help for the bowlers. As it happens most of the times, we played bad shots to get out. If that didn't happen, you saw how Shakib and Nasir [Hossain] batted - there were no demons in the wicket."
Bangladesh play their next Test in Sri Lanka in February next year, in another two-Test series. Judging by the number of limited-overs matches they have scheduled at all levels in the interim, the repeat of these mistakes cannot be ruled out.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in BangladeshFeeds: Mohammad Isam
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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