West Indies in Bangladesh 2012-13

Bangladesh's leaders set an example

Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah have led by example in the absence of Bangladesh's most vital player, Shakib Al Hasan

Mohammad Isam

December 9, 2012

Comments: 29 | Text size: A | A

Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim lead Gangnam Style celebrations, Bangladesh v West Indies, 5th ODI, Mirpur, December 8, 2012
Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah played important roles in Bangladesh's win in the deciding ODI in Mirpur © AFP
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Players/Officials: Mahmudullah | Mushfiqur Rahim
Series/Tournaments: West Indies tour of Bangladesh
Teams: Bangladesh

Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim and his deputy Mahmudullah have taken the long overdue steps from being occasional match-winners to players who can regularly do so. Their performance in the 3-2 victory in the ODI series against West Indies has been the biggest gain for Bangladesh in the last four weeks of international cricket.

In the deciding match in Mirpur, Bangladesh had stumbled to 30 for 3 in pursuit of 217, when Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah counterattacked and put on 91 runs. They only made 40s, but their contributions prevented a susceptible line-up from collapsing.

What made their contributions in this series stand out was the absence of Shakib Al Hasan, who was injured for the ODIs. Normally, Shakib does it all, and that has been the case in Bangladesh's few series wins in the last few years. When they beat a second-string West Indies in 2009, Shakib played the lead with Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah in supporting roles. Against New Zealand in 2010, Shakib did it by himself, scoring hundreds, taking wickets and leading the side as Bangladesh won 4-0.

Shakib was also a significant contributor to Bangladesh's Asia Cup victory in March, but over the last two years Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah have also been match-winners, mostly finishing tense chases. They had the leadership roles on paper but hadn't been performing them on the field. Now Mushfiqur, the more talkative of the two, has asserted himself as a captain by leading from the front in difficult times. Mahmudullah's reticent nature, however, was taken as reclusive, even soft at times.

In the last four weeks he has been anything but soft. After making 62 in the first innings of the Dhaka Test, Mahmudullah had gathered enough confidence to take on Tino Best. He was bruised but remained at the crease for 83 minutes in the second innings, taking hits on the body, fighting bouncers by hooking for six, a rarity for Bangladesh batsmen. He was dismissed by Best in both innings but his career had advanced. Just before West Indies arrived, there had been calls for Mahmudullah to be dropped after he had been in poor form in the World Twenty20s as well as in first-class cricket.

"I know that if you're not performing, you are not worth your place in the team," Mahmudullah said. "It was an extra responsibility to perform consistently. I was under pressure but all I thought of was to contribute to the team, and perform consistently.

"I didn't have a good time in the last few matches but since I batted at No. 7 my role is of the contributor, not the one who makes the big runs. It doesn't always catch people's attention as a result."

Mahmudullah credited Mushfiqur for giving him enough space, a factor that was vital in him regaining confidence. But more importantly it was taking up responsibility that pushed him to do more for the team. "Without Shakib, who is our best player, I felt I had to stand up in the team," he said. "My role as the vice-captain is to help the team's leader. Mushfiqur is an intelligent guy and we talk a lot among ourselves about what needs to be done for the team to do better."

Mahmudullah's promotion to No. 5 was not likely because of the lack of experience in the line-up, but Mushfiqur thought it would be best to give his form player more opportunity to bat. It was a positive move, one that the captain needed time to make, but he did change things around to give the team a positive outlook.

Mushfiqur's captaincy was also heavily tested in this series, and he will be pleased with his progress after taking over from Shakib in controversial circumstances last year. After the early exit from the World Twenty20s and the Test series loss to West Indies, Mushfiqur put himself under immense pressure. He came good with a Man-of-the-Series performance in the ODIs against West Indies, and will have a clearer idea of how fortunes fluctuate in cricket.

Bangladesh need more players in their team to take the step up that Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah have, if they are to build on their success in 2013.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by AzAb12754 on (December 12, 2012, 16:56 GMT)

@Stolid Raymond Gaskin Charisma: Good Joke!

Posted by Meety on (December 12, 2012, 1:28 GMT)

@Stolid RG Charisma - A bit of a reality check - how is what Bangladesh any different to the diabolical pitches the WIndies dished up for Oz??? From what I saw of the WI v banga series - deliveries went through fairly true, unlike in the WIndies where there was variable bounce on the first day. Your mob prepared pitches to suit Narine in the ODIs. The great shame of it is, the route the WIndies are taking is very similar to Bangladesh - the pity of it is, the WIndies great pace heritage is poorer for it. How Roach ever burst upon the scene is amazing, considering the pitch quality in your own backyard favours spinners. Apart from Chanders, nobody scores at an ave of more than 40 in your domestic comp. So you have a lot more things to fix than Bangladesh IMO!

Posted by Warm_Coffee on (December 11, 2012, 19:28 GMT)

West Indies were lucky because the world best one-day all-rounder wasn't playing otherwise it would've easily been a 5-0 banglawash. The two games West Indies won were only just and lack of experience got to us so you were lucky.

Posted by unsynchronized on (December 11, 2012, 2:20 GMT)

@ charisma sorry for hurting u so bad hahahaha

Posted by Ismot on (December 10, 2012, 11:29 GMT)

@Mr Charisma@ u r welcome mate, we accept your chalenge, i like to remind you about the serise of 2009! there were only few were missing who are playing current series.best of luck for the future

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 11:29 GMT)

i think bd teams future is bright. now our reserve bench is too high.

Posted by SarfBD on (December 10, 2012, 11:27 GMT)

@ Stolid Raymond Gaskin Charisma, you are a stubborn and stupid. Did you watch any match? These pitches only rewarded GOOD cricket. Batsmen without proper technique suffered here. Spinners got turn, pacers got swing with the new ball. Good batting was rewarded. Two hundreds were scored, two pacers got 5 wicket haul and not to mention about spinners. This is the definition of GOOD pitch. Reward for everyone. I think you are one of those morons who think flat highways are good pitches. It was WI who played poorly. Bangladesh scored 292 and WI could not reach 200. Why? Because your batsmen FAILED. Most of your batsmen lacked the technique and temperament to cope with it. I love WI team. But fans like you only bring hatred.

Posted by The_Ashes on (December 10, 2012, 11:10 GMT)

@Stolid Raymond Gaskin Charisma:- haha...Then what does India use? you lost to minnows so no excuses for you. Cricket is a sport played in all sorts of surfaces and conditions. The same West Indies before this series that said they want to be number 1 in ODIs lol first beat Bangladesh then you can start dreaming of such positions. Your next series is interestingly against Zimbabwe at home, that's where things will really get interesting and funny if you struggle to play against them good luck! The pitch for ODIs had a bit of bounce carry, was swinging, spinning so what's your good definition of an ideal pitch? just curious :D

Posted by The_Ashes on (December 10, 2012, 11:04 GMT)

@Anas Nawaz:- What? did Bangladesh play series against the big teams before 2000? the year they got full status lolz please don't try to twist things I know the truth is hard to take :P

Posted by Meety on (December 10, 2012, 10:33 GMT)

Whilst I love a succesful WIndies, I was really happy that Bangladesh stood up & beat the WIndies over 5 ODIs. There is so much talent in the country, yet measurable improvements have been few & far between. This is probably their best bi-lateral result IMO - just shading the 4nil whitewash of NZ. Bangladesh to be succesful overseas - they need to get a 2nd seamer to support (a fit) Mortaza. Maybe Shafiful is the man, still think in ODIs & T20s, that Reza is the better option, as he is really slow & the batsmen have to really middle him to get a boundary, & he is a competant batsmen. == == == Zimbabwe really need to be playing Bangladesh (or anyone) as I would imagine that if the two teams clashed now, Bangladesh would thrash them as a) Bangladesh are in form, & b) Zimbabwe have done nothing for ages.

Posted by Maruf27 on (December 10, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

When u say abt BD leaders then first came in mind the disgraceful politicians of BD who r simply destroying the public property at will through their agents. At least they can learn something from the cricketers.

Posted by Rafayz789 on (December 10, 2012, 6:36 GMT)

Dear Isam, Thanks for the wonderful article. Bangladesh Cricket Team is really maturing into a good one day side and this is a really great victory over a formidable West Indies Team. I would just like you to correct that Bangladesh were Asia Cup winners in March 2012. Shakib, was indeed instrumental in Asia Cup but he cannot keep Aizaz Cheema's slider out.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 3:38 GMT)

A lot of people want to know how we in the West Indies feel about this series loss. Truth is, we don't really care. It was like playing on an Arnos Vale pitch after the ground staff had been on strike for a month. Five low scoring games. Pitches were positively posthumous. We don't mind. We see the kind of game Bangladesh wants to play. Sacrifice good playing surface to wrong foot the WI at every turn. Every WI batsman lost their timing during that ODI series. Pitches so dead, Bangladesh batsmen were pulling in front of square. The audacity of these people to gangnam style on the most talented ODI team in the world. Yet still, it's okay. Most of us think fine, I see what you did there. We will patiently wait for Bangladesh return tour. Our only mission would be to depress a nation. Put such a through disciplining on them anti depressant sales will go up. Bangladesh youths must develop a life long hate for the WI. They must burn WI flag and contemplate military action.

Posted by ArifurKhadem on (December 10, 2012, 3:24 GMT)

What a game! What a history! What a stylist and responsible batting displayed by Bangladeshis! And what a series win! I am equally proud alongside all patriotic Bangladeshis who have really enjoyed every moment of this match home and abroad. TIGERS, we are mainly lacking this consistency not due to talent but because of patience and self respect. Once we constantly maintain it for a number of years, it will be very difficult to beat us in any game, I bet (like former Pakistan and West Indies). We have to change this longstanding strategy that winning one match ensures we have achieved everything and we are on the top of the world. And this is the prime cause of majority of our defeats. Although you made this great victory last night, please consider that you learned how to win a match patiently and responsibly. So please keep learning this lesson to maintain the consistency. BILLIONS OF CONGRATULATIONS FROM MY HEART - A.R. Khadem

Posted by Ashique129 on (December 10, 2012, 2:48 GMT)

I have been a keen follower of Mahmudullah over the years and he has nicely come of age. In the local leagues, his temper and in-filed conducts over the last 12 months made me upset (and raised a few issues with the match officials as well). I was thinking - is this guy really good enough to lead the team, which a vice-captain may have to do any time? I hope this series will make him more disciplined and determined. He has been into tough situations at the crease so many times (thanks to our reckless top and middle orders), and I always thought all this experience must make a positive impact in his temperament. As a result, we now have a tough nut at no #7 :) I still think he should be at 5/6. Shakib did well at #3, hence, Mushfiq, Mahmudullah and Nasir can come at 4-6. Watch out - these are still kids and may have many years of cricket ahead. I am so excited!

Posted by Fogu on (December 10, 2012, 2:05 GMT)

Great win by BD. Encouraging despite another top order collapse. I have to say that the dance at the end was not necassary. We should behave like we expect to win and show respect for our opponent. Hopefully we will have more wins like this in the future.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 22:00 GMT)

great stuff bangladish. I wish you all the best ahead.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 19:34 GMT)

Go TIGERS, make it a Bangla Wash in the T20 series and end the series on a 2-1 win

Posted by Guyanese2Dbone on (December 9, 2012, 19:18 GMT)

As a guyanese i should not be happy that West Indies lost the ODI series to Bangladesh but i am simply because of the fact that it is a slap in the face of the WI seclectors. The policy of packing the team with a bunch of 'HAPPY HITTERS' didnt work and won't work a fact that i have been pointing out forever more. The team needs stable batsmen with cool head that brings calmness to chaotic situations as were seen in the last few games where all the batsmen felt the need to hit everything in their sight out of the country. South Africa has Amla and Kallis, Australia Clark and M.Hussey all great test cricketers in thier ODi teams too. These men bring level headedness to chaotic situations when need. Who does WI team has of that caliber in it. NONE!! Mr Gayle rarely shows any of this when it comes to ODI matches as the only batsman of the afore mention caliber. The selectors reason to leave Chanderpaul with 8000+ runs whose wishes are to get to 10000 runs out the team is stupifying.

Posted by Tamoor002 on (December 9, 2012, 18:54 GMT)

good bngla dase nice kamal

Posted by Sadequl on (December 9, 2012, 18:10 GMT)

Really our leaders set an example in this ODI series to give us such a joyful & memorable day to come for us. Sometimes it makes us really worried to see mini collapses in bating line up to loose a game in a winning stage. So some way or other captain & vise captain really showed a matured role by playing a positive cricket which we always want to see from them. Wish a continuous progress & stability in their performance to take BD team on top of the ranking near future.

Posted by WindiesCity on (December 9, 2012, 18:06 GMT)

Glad to see Bangladesh experiencing some success but extremely disappointed in the Windies. Is it work ethic?

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 18:06 GMT)

Best of luck Bangladesh. This is the celebration time for all the Bangladeshi persons and all the supporter of Bangladesh cricket all over the world.

Posted by AdamShadam on (December 9, 2012, 18:01 GMT)

Sometime your best needs a rest, Shakib is good but all team's know him too well and break the ShakibCode very well.. I remember at this last ODI MushfiqarRahim got one by Roach to his rib 'that woke him up and then in anger he took him on board smashing him to all over the parks.. BraveHeart!!! both MahmudUllah and the Skipp a long some new players are venomous! the key is to do your home work on opponent and have plan B,C,D,E. Thanks and well done, wish you all the very best for your future. :)

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 17:53 GMT)

shakib shakib shakib ... have to get his name in no matter what!

Posted by haseeb_bdcricfan on (December 9, 2012, 16:27 GMT)

Keep it up and go forward Mushfiq and Mahmudullah.I think selectors have thinking about number three position batsman.Still not to find any batsman who will perform consistantly.Junaed/Naeem/Jahirul/Rakibul/Ashraful etc.I think they should try to Marshal Ayub or Sovagotohome for in this position, but only for test and ODI.And immidieatly they have to collect more at least two strike fast/medium bowler.So i think we will get more positive result from test and ODI formet.

Posted by nazmulrana on (December 9, 2012, 16:21 GMT)

this is aiiround bangladesh

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 15:10 GMT)

Its a very nice report. Thank you Mohammad Isam,

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 14:32 GMT)

bd winning their only 3rd series against better ranked teams after playing 36 years of cricket bd fans and players reacting like that they won the wc lolz.... plz guys don't over react they are just 1 rank ahead from bd in the rankings so plz stop over reacting ............cricinfo plz publish my comment

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