Bangladesh v Zimbabwe, 3rd ODI, Mirpur December 5, 2010

'I need time to get my rhythm back' - Mortaza

ESPNcricinfo staff
30

Mashrafe Mortaza, the Bangladesh allrounder, has reacted to criticism about his performance in the first two ODIs against Zimbabwe by calling for more match practice following his return to the national team from injury. Mortaza is yet to take a wicket in the series, and has bowled nine overs for 53 in two games that have been dominated by spinners.

"True, it's not ideal conditions for pace bowlers, but still we could not bowl on the right areas," Mortaza told reporters in Dhaka on the eve of the third ODI. "Actually our bowling is totally spin oriented in the series as the Zimbabwean batsmen have a weakness against the slower bowlers.

"I hardly got any chance to play in the last 17 months due to injuries one after another, so I need some time to get my rhythm back and I believe things will get better only if I keep playing matches. I'm very confident about my comeback."

Mortaza said the over reliance on spinners could not continue for long. "I also believe that the scenario will be totally different when we play against the big teams because you can't depend only on the spinners against them."

Mortaza was out of action for a while due to an ankle injury that ruled him out of the series against New Zealand, which Bangladesh won 4-0. Jamie Siddons, the Bangladesh coach, admitted Mortaza had been below-par on his comeback. "He was rusty and looked a bit down. He could not bowl according to his capability and I think he needs some more matches. He will come back."

Ian Pont, the Bangladesh bowling coach, was confident about Mortaza as well. "In the nets, everything looks good; but in matches, it's not so. But it's always difficult [making a comeback], because as a fast bowler you lose your rhythm and timing. Sometimes you lose a bit of confidence, and you can have two thousand nets, but that does not always mean that you will do well in the middle.

"I think Mash will be disappointed with himself. I think he's admitted that he is a bit disappointed. But he will come back strong, he's been a great bowler for Bangladesh, and he has a lot of talent, he's very clever, and he's one of our better fast bowlers."

The five-match series between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe is currently tied 1-1.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sharif5962 on December 10, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    10-1-20-1 is a good figure in any cricket.. But if we see the match condition. abdur razzak has done the damage. zimbewe bats man were not likely to take risk that moment. Mashrafee has bowled good as 3rd simmer as selim malik in pakistan used to do.he was allowed to bowl in slog overs because match was not that close.Team captain was not confident enough to use him as pacer in first two ODI in slog over because match was much closer.we reqr a pacer to face the big team in world cup .that time we reqr pace, speed, aggressiveness and accuracy. i believe that will not come back before world cup for mashrafee.only controlled line, length and sweing does not suffice for a pacer. which Rubel hossen already proved that he is the better choice.. If we want to do better in WC BD team has to be come up as a team. If mashrafe will not prove some one will play in world cup. Why not to give him opportunity to prepare himself.

  • sharif5962 on December 6, 2010, 18:59 GMT

    He was a great bowler. Best pacer in bangladesh history. but oneday cricket should not be his practice match. Some match can be arranged.I am afraid about his comeback before world cup.The pacer will play that time he need to get opportunity. Rubel hossen is my choice. he should get opportunity to play. If shafiul can get wicket. Rubel would have done much better. BCB should arrange match for him. Not oneday international. Hope he come back before world cup. Make standard of pacer and competitive.But hard fact is when A pacer become a simmer , he cannot comeback soon..

  • on December 6, 2010, 15:49 GMT

    Mash already got his rhythm back. Today on the 3rd ODI his bowling figure is : 10-1-20-1. Econ is only 2. He has got only one wicket but he was unreadable today to the Zim batsman. Congrats Mash.

  • asadkum on December 6, 2010, 15:44 GMT

    Mohammad Asad from USA.................................................................. Mash is a good pace bowler - no doubt about it ......................................... He has bowled well in 3rd ODI ............................................................. By the way too much dependency on slow & spin wicket is NOT good for our future cricket. Youngster will lose interest in becoming pace / fast bowler ------- What will happen when we will tour SA, WI, AUS, ENG etc............................. Our players should also play in some pacy / bouncy / swing wickets.................. Cricket management should pay attention in this regard !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sarfin on December 6, 2010, 13:04 GMT

    Mash is undoubtedly the best fast bowler Bangladesh had ever produced. Most of the time he bowled in tough condition without the assistance of a good bowling partner. He also struggled against injury through out his career. Anybody who had seen him in his early days would agree that, he was more aggressive and fast. Yet he has maintained a good average and economy rate. For Bangladesh, he is a legend. Whatever happens in the future, we'll always remember you as the pioneer of Bangladeshi pace attack.

  • on December 6, 2010, 11:23 GMT

    Mashrafe back in form again.....congratulation from me.......

  • on December 6, 2010, 11:05 GMT

    finally mash does well..a real gud match for mashrafe.. 10-1-20-1....even the great figure doesn't show it all.. could have easily get a few more wickets... but as a fan, im really happy with the way mashrafe bowled today.. keep going captain... proud of u...

  • HerbieTheRipper on December 6, 2010, 10:02 GMT

    Mashrafe is the greatest pace bowler bangladesh has EVER produced. period.

  • urmi-alam on December 6, 2010, 6:48 GMT

    Mr Norail Express ! is the proudy name of Mortaza. He is the only player who is renown speedy in bolls. It is normal to get the rhythm back for a first bowler for some times.Important issue is a first bowler should back his form in home play like first division,club cricket and home league not in a international match.Mortaza should take rest from national team for few days and play in home cricket.Many players and new talented are waiting to get in national team and they should entire in team specially in home series. Mortaza should take the step from himself to take rest for some days.In our country some time our selectors select players as various pressures.If we look other team like Australia, England India we see players want to take rest and in the mean time they make themselves fit for play. Morataza is one of the founder player who lead the Bangladesh team as this level. Playing more matches is not only the symbol of great player,take rest and think next generation.

  • on December 6, 2010, 6:47 GMT

    Mashrafe is a genuine player...he plays with heart and soul. There is no doubt on him getting his rhythm back.

  • sharif5962 on December 10, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    10-1-20-1 is a good figure in any cricket.. But if we see the match condition. abdur razzak has done the damage. zimbewe bats man were not likely to take risk that moment. Mashrafee has bowled good as 3rd simmer as selim malik in pakistan used to do.he was allowed to bowl in slog overs because match was not that close.Team captain was not confident enough to use him as pacer in first two ODI in slog over because match was much closer.we reqr a pacer to face the big team in world cup .that time we reqr pace, speed, aggressiveness and accuracy. i believe that will not come back before world cup for mashrafee.only controlled line, length and sweing does not suffice for a pacer. which Rubel hossen already proved that he is the better choice.. If we want to do better in WC BD team has to be come up as a team. If mashrafe will not prove some one will play in world cup. Why not to give him opportunity to prepare himself.

  • sharif5962 on December 6, 2010, 18:59 GMT

    He was a great bowler. Best pacer in bangladesh history. but oneday cricket should not be his practice match. Some match can be arranged.I am afraid about his comeback before world cup.The pacer will play that time he need to get opportunity. Rubel hossen is my choice. he should get opportunity to play. If shafiul can get wicket. Rubel would have done much better. BCB should arrange match for him. Not oneday international. Hope he come back before world cup. Make standard of pacer and competitive.But hard fact is when A pacer become a simmer , he cannot comeback soon..

  • on December 6, 2010, 15:49 GMT

    Mash already got his rhythm back. Today on the 3rd ODI his bowling figure is : 10-1-20-1. Econ is only 2. He has got only one wicket but he was unreadable today to the Zim batsman. Congrats Mash.

  • asadkum on December 6, 2010, 15:44 GMT

    Mohammad Asad from USA.................................................................. Mash is a good pace bowler - no doubt about it ......................................... He has bowled well in 3rd ODI ............................................................. By the way too much dependency on slow & spin wicket is NOT good for our future cricket. Youngster will lose interest in becoming pace / fast bowler ------- What will happen when we will tour SA, WI, AUS, ENG etc............................. Our players should also play in some pacy / bouncy / swing wickets.................. Cricket management should pay attention in this regard !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sarfin on December 6, 2010, 13:04 GMT

    Mash is undoubtedly the best fast bowler Bangladesh had ever produced. Most of the time he bowled in tough condition without the assistance of a good bowling partner. He also struggled against injury through out his career. Anybody who had seen him in his early days would agree that, he was more aggressive and fast. Yet he has maintained a good average and economy rate. For Bangladesh, he is a legend. Whatever happens in the future, we'll always remember you as the pioneer of Bangladeshi pace attack.

  • on December 6, 2010, 11:23 GMT

    Mashrafe back in form again.....congratulation from me.......

  • on December 6, 2010, 11:05 GMT

    finally mash does well..a real gud match for mashrafe.. 10-1-20-1....even the great figure doesn't show it all.. could have easily get a few more wickets... but as a fan, im really happy with the way mashrafe bowled today.. keep going captain... proud of u...

  • HerbieTheRipper on December 6, 2010, 10:02 GMT

    Mashrafe is the greatest pace bowler bangladesh has EVER produced. period.

  • urmi-alam on December 6, 2010, 6:48 GMT

    Mr Norail Express ! is the proudy name of Mortaza. He is the only player who is renown speedy in bolls. It is normal to get the rhythm back for a first bowler for some times.Important issue is a first bowler should back his form in home play like first division,club cricket and home league not in a international match.Mortaza should take rest from national team for few days and play in home cricket.Many players and new talented are waiting to get in national team and they should entire in team specially in home series. Mortaza should take the step from himself to take rest for some days.In our country some time our selectors select players as various pressures.If we look other team like Australia, England India we see players want to take rest and in the mean time they make themselves fit for play. Morataza is one of the founder player who lead the Bangladesh team as this level. Playing more matches is not only the symbol of great player,take rest and think next generation.

  • on December 6, 2010, 6:47 GMT

    Mashrafe is a genuine player...he plays with heart and soul. There is no doubt on him getting his rhythm back.

  • Icyman on December 6, 2010, 6:36 GMT

    Sad statement from Mashrafe. He has just been picked in the side cause of his exceptional past record. He shoul understand that he is a liability on the team as of now.

  • Vilander on December 5, 2010, 17:37 GMT

    On current form BD seems to have reached the other elite teams in ODI's. WC could be interesting, seems like we have another team that can compete for Semis..

  • on December 5, 2010, 17:03 GMT

    I sort of agree with the comment by SHAHEDHAWK. I think the BCB had handled the matter very immaturely over the Sakib and Mash's issue. Not that I am a huge Mashrafee fan but I 'd have to be honest to admit that this kid had given great service to our nation over the years. He has immense talent in our limited resourced nation. I think what he lacks is confidence. He is thinking too much about his future.. I mean his career. I personally think Mash should be the captain. Let Sakib do his part and the rest of the team can work around him to put their team in the winning situations. I mean I have seen in the old days: Wasim Akram, Javed, Dean Jones, Sanjay, Azaruddin were in their greatest of forms but were still playing under their appointed captain. Even in the recent days, I reckon Mathew Hayden was literally scoring big scores in every match. Damn! He was one hard-hitting player. Now was he made a captain? You gotta nourish and nurture their talent in the right manner to get the ma

  • on December 5, 2010, 16:47 GMT

    I sort of agree with the comment by SHAHEDHAWK. I think the BCB had handled the matter very immaturely over the Sakib and Mash's issue. Not that I am a huge Mashrafee fan but I 'd have to be honest to admit that this kid had given great service to our nation over the years. He has immense talent in our limited resourced nation. I think what he lacks is confidence. He is thinking too much about his future.. I mean his career. I personally think Mash should be the captain. Let Sakib do his part and the rest of the team can work around him to put their team in the winning situations. I mean I have seen in the old days: Wasim Akram, Javed, Dean Jones, Sanjay, Azaruddin were in their greatest of forms but were still playing under their appointed captain. Even in the recent days, I reckon Mathew Hayden was literally scoring big scores in every match. Damn! He was one hard-hitting player. Now was he made a captain? You gotta nourish and nurture their talent in the right manner to get the ma

  • on December 5, 2010, 15:47 GMT

    The other thing about Mortaza when he is in full swing he can also do a little bit with the bat as well. If we had a strike bowler, it's probably all we need ... BD can bat reliably to number 9 unless of course there is some epic collapse.

  • Sorwer on December 5, 2010, 15:28 GMT

    Mashrafee should be played all of matches if he is in fit because of there is no option. I am sure if he keep playing continue, he will find his rhythm. Bangladesh's other fast bowlers have not standard for playing international cricket.

  • on December 5, 2010, 14:57 GMT

    He has just bowled rubbish that's all. Mpofu has done well. As a zim supporter though Chigumbura and Meth need o be dropped. H Masakadza and Cremer to come in. Chigumbura is only batting and no bowling so with his rubbish performances so far masakadza is a better bet. Cremer is also a better bowler than Meth and this is a bowling track for spin as well. So for lineup: 1 h masakadza 2 taylor 3 chakabva 4 taibu 5 ervine 6 chibhabha (for big hitting) 7 dabengwa 8 utseya 9 cremer 10 price 11 mpofu

  • on December 5, 2010, 14:44 GMT

    When Razzak came back from break, he took time to get back to his rhythm as well. Now he is paying back. We just need to be patient with him as he is the best fast bowler BD ever had. He will pay it back soon. Hopefully in the WC… if not in next 3 games

  • on December 5, 2010, 14:33 GMT

    3rd ODI rescheduled to 9.00 BST from 1.00 BST......

  • SheikhZaman on December 5, 2010, 11:44 GMT

    how long masrafee could resist injuries one after another? Arguable he's the best pacer Bangladesh has ever produced, but u can't rely on a injury prone Pacer. Its high time to think about alternative.

  • benjer on December 5, 2010, 11:11 GMT

    Mashrafee is only the player who never think about himself & he given that more Example in BD team earlier.Since we forget everything very quickly specially about the past.He already passed 10 years in bd team for international arena & none of our fast bowler has shown this consistancy erlier.So it's useless to prove himself.We all have to respect this kinds of senior performer always then would be better for future.Now spinner is doing good & that is best time to give setteld himself in the team then only we hope to get the real performence from Mash.........Pls stop the comparision about captency btn sakib & Mashrafee.It's creat a big problem in future since we need all the senior & junior both performer same time in the team.Pls think abt BCB...........Otherwise you will see the future of Bd team like pakistanissssssssss which don't expect at all.Mashrafee like palyer never come regularly in the team.Spinner we have seen as past & you will see more in future regularly.Best of luck.

  • trotter on December 5, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    I have nothing against Mash and I completely agree that he is one of the assets to BD Team. But as (ex) Captain I expected a little more maturity from him. He recognized that he needed more match practice to get his rhythm back after prolonged injury. He could have shown more sense if he had withdrew himself from the team and test himself in the domestic cricket before returning to international. He is now just occupying a slot in the team, doing damage to his own game as well as team.

  • Love_Tiger_Cricket on December 5, 2010, 8:17 GMT

    I totally agree with A_Proud_Bengali's comments. MASH (or anybody else for that matter) didn't have to be very smart (which he is) to point out the obvious. Unfortunately, as good as Shakib is as an all-rounder, his decision to allow his fast bowlers to bowl only 8 overs in the 2nd game is regrettable & shows a great deal of immaturity on Shakib's part. I'm pretty sure winning the current series against Zimbabwe & cultivating &/or maintaining the winning habit is important. But the glory of winning the series against Zimbabwe by utilizing primarily the spin bowlers would totally evaporate if BD fails to compete at a respectable level in the upcoming World Cup due to a lack of quality fast bowling. Shakib needs to wake up & smell the roses & come to his senses very quickly. If our fast bowlers are not well prepared & not firing in all cylinders due to a lack of playing time, it is very unlikely that a spin-oriented BD attack will see much success against the big teams in the World Cup.

  • on December 5, 2010, 7:58 GMT

    he got heart feelin cuz of sakib he only let him ball 3over both game sakib bein too selfish now dayz is all he want too get wicket for hes self he think he smart

  • googletalk on December 5, 2010, 7:08 GMT

    One shouldn't have any doubt about Mash's dedication & capability. BD team will need him, if not now then later on. He always has given his best shot and with right attitude. I'm not so happy with Ashrafool's act though; how he can cry after the match which we actually won is beyond me! Does BD team play to entertain an outform player, or millions of fan? BD sports journalists & BCB must act rationally. Their blatant backing for Ash doesn't do any justice to other young batsmen who are lining up with talent and performance in their bag. Ash has to explain why he was dissappointed so much after second match. BD team needs best 11, and best 14; Ashrafool doesn't seem belong into that category anymore. each time Ash is playing, all the focus is how he can perform etc; but it should've been into team's result instead. We also saw, how his exclusion helped BD team firing from all cylinders. Just hope BCB pick best 14/15 for World Cup, and Nafees, Kapali, Jahurul are there to be considered.

  • on December 5, 2010, 6:58 GMT

    Bangladesh really need 2 good quality fast bowlers.We can no longer depend on mashrafe as when he is in injury most of the time

  • BDHUNTER on December 5, 2010, 6:53 GMT

    he was the bowler that given 24+ run twice against ZIM,Daccan Charger in final over thoungh he was in form,So ques! is how mash define good form for him........................Which is important Rythm or form.....................for a bowler!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • bdcricfan21 on December 5, 2010, 6:26 GMT

    Mash looked awful in the first two matches. He obviously is not match fit, and I cant understand why he is playing. No pace, no movement, line and length were awful-not opening bowler quality. How is gaining your rhythm for 3 matches going to help you two months from now? Two months from now, he has to "gain his rhythm" all over again. I feel bad for Rubel Hossain; after his match winning performance, he gets dropped. Zim series would have been ideal for rubel and shafiul to follow up on a good performance against NZ. Rubel's bowling in last over against NZ was a huge improvement over what he did a couple years ago against Sri lanka (where murali smashed all over the field for a win). Instead of these two youngsters, we play an out of form, injury prone bowler. Please drop Mashrafe.

  • SHAHEDHAWK on December 5, 2010, 6:19 GMT

    Mashrafe is undoubtedly one of the best pace bowlers in the history of Bangladesh Cricket. He has contributed significantly in the rise of BD cricket over years. But alas, He is so injury-prone! We thought, he will come back with a roar in the Zim-Ban series. No doubt, the hide-n-seek play of BCB Selectors regarding the Captaincy issue must have hurt his ego a lot.However, Captain or not, we want Mash to be back soon, at least in the WC team. @Mash: Don't loose your heart mate! do come back and show your true colours. We love you.

  • A_Proud_Bengali on December 5, 2010, 5:55 GMT

    Mash's statement about over-reliance on spinners against big teams is spot on. We will need our fast bowlers to step up and not just the spinners in WC. I hope during this series, Mash will gain his rhythm back and put it to use in the upcoming mega event.

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  • A_Proud_Bengali on December 5, 2010, 5:55 GMT

    Mash's statement about over-reliance on spinners against big teams is spot on. We will need our fast bowlers to step up and not just the spinners in WC. I hope during this series, Mash will gain his rhythm back and put it to use in the upcoming mega event.

  • SHAHEDHAWK on December 5, 2010, 6:19 GMT

    Mashrafe is undoubtedly one of the best pace bowlers in the history of Bangladesh Cricket. He has contributed significantly in the rise of BD cricket over years. But alas, He is so injury-prone! We thought, he will come back with a roar in the Zim-Ban series. No doubt, the hide-n-seek play of BCB Selectors regarding the Captaincy issue must have hurt his ego a lot.However, Captain or not, we want Mash to be back soon, at least in the WC team. @Mash: Don't loose your heart mate! do come back and show your true colours. We love you.

  • bdcricfan21 on December 5, 2010, 6:26 GMT

    Mash looked awful in the first two matches. He obviously is not match fit, and I cant understand why he is playing. No pace, no movement, line and length were awful-not opening bowler quality. How is gaining your rhythm for 3 matches going to help you two months from now? Two months from now, he has to "gain his rhythm" all over again. I feel bad for Rubel Hossain; after his match winning performance, he gets dropped. Zim series would have been ideal for rubel and shafiul to follow up on a good performance against NZ. Rubel's bowling in last over against NZ was a huge improvement over what he did a couple years ago against Sri lanka (where murali smashed all over the field for a win). Instead of these two youngsters, we play an out of form, injury prone bowler. Please drop Mashrafe.

  • BDHUNTER on December 5, 2010, 6:53 GMT

    he was the bowler that given 24+ run twice against ZIM,Daccan Charger in final over thoungh he was in form,So ques! is how mash define good form for him........................Which is important Rythm or form.....................for a bowler!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • on December 5, 2010, 6:58 GMT

    Bangladesh really need 2 good quality fast bowlers.We can no longer depend on mashrafe as when he is in injury most of the time

  • googletalk on December 5, 2010, 7:08 GMT

    One shouldn't have any doubt about Mash's dedication & capability. BD team will need him, if not now then later on. He always has given his best shot and with right attitude. I'm not so happy with Ashrafool's act though; how he can cry after the match which we actually won is beyond me! Does BD team play to entertain an outform player, or millions of fan? BD sports journalists & BCB must act rationally. Their blatant backing for Ash doesn't do any justice to other young batsmen who are lining up with talent and performance in their bag. Ash has to explain why he was dissappointed so much after second match. BD team needs best 11, and best 14; Ashrafool doesn't seem belong into that category anymore. each time Ash is playing, all the focus is how he can perform etc; but it should've been into team's result instead. We also saw, how his exclusion helped BD team firing from all cylinders. Just hope BCB pick best 14/15 for World Cup, and Nafees, Kapali, Jahurul are there to be considered.

  • on December 5, 2010, 7:58 GMT

    he got heart feelin cuz of sakib he only let him ball 3over both game sakib bein too selfish now dayz is all he want too get wicket for hes self he think he smart

  • Love_Tiger_Cricket on December 5, 2010, 8:17 GMT

    I totally agree with A_Proud_Bengali's comments. MASH (or anybody else for that matter) didn't have to be very smart (which he is) to point out the obvious. Unfortunately, as good as Shakib is as an all-rounder, his decision to allow his fast bowlers to bowl only 8 overs in the 2nd game is regrettable & shows a great deal of immaturity on Shakib's part. I'm pretty sure winning the current series against Zimbabwe & cultivating &/or maintaining the winning habit is important. But the glory of winning the series against Zimbabwe by utilizing primarily the spin bowlers would totally evaporate if BD fails to compete at a respectable level in the upcoming World Cup due to a lack of quality fast bowling. Shakib needs to wake up & smell the roses & come to his senses very quickly. If our fast bowlers are not well prepared & not firing in all cylinders due to a lack of playing time, it is very unlikely that a spin-oriented BD attack will see much success against the big teams in the World Cup.

  • trotter on December 5, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    I have nothing against Mash and I completely agree that he is one of the assets to BD Team. But as (ex) Captain I expected a little more maturity from him. He recognized that he needed more match practice to get his rhythm back after prolonged injury. He could have shown more sense if he had withdrew himself from the team and test himself in the domestic cricket before returning to international. He is now just occupying a slot in the team, doing damage to his own game as well as team.

  • benjer on December 5, 2010, 11:11 GMT

    Mashrafee is only the player who never think about himself & he given that more Example in BD team earlier.Since we forget everything very quickly specially about the past.He already passed 10 years in bd team for international arena & none of our fast bowler has shown this consistancy erlier.So it's useless to prove himself.We all have to respect this kinds of senior performer always then would be better for future.Now spinner is doing good & that is best time to give setteld himself in the team then only we hope to get the real performence from Mash.........Pls stop the comparision about captency btn sakib & Mashrafee.It's creat a big problem in future since we need all the senior & junior both performer same time in the team.Pls think abt BCB...........Otherwise you will see the future of Bd team like pakistanissssssssss which don't expect at all.Mashrafee like palyer never come regularly in the team.Spinner we have seen as past & you will see more in future regularly.Best of luck.