Mashrafe defends plan to try new players
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza has defended his team's plan of trialing players against Zimbabwe, after the hosts lost the third T20 international by 31 runs in Khulna. There were four debutants and Imrul Kayes replaced Tamim Iqbal at the top of the order, as Bangladesh searched for the right combination ahead of the World T20.
Bangladesh had to leave out Mustafizur Rahman and Mushfiqur Rahim because of injuries, Al-Amin Hossain and Tamim Iqbal were rested, and Shuvagata Hom was dropped. Mosaddek Hossain, Muktar Ali, Abu Hider and Mohammad Shahid made debuts, while Kayes was given a chance to display his newly acquired T20 skills.
When Mashrafe was asked if he thought there were too many changes, he said the new players knew their roles but could not implement properly. Hider took two wickets and Shahid one; Mosaddek made 15 off 19 balls and Muktar an unbeaten 19 off 15 balls.
"It would seem so from the outside," Mashrafe said about perhaps there being too many changes. "Four debutants and one addition does make it look that way. We were not up to the mark with our planning on the field. We lost because we didn't play according to the plans. As a captain I always give importance to winning. We didn't want to lose, that's for sure. Everyone was given a specific plan but they couldn't put it into action.
"We had said before that we will test combinations. We had to make three changes because two players were injured and we rested Al-Amin. We made two more changes. It was clearly going to be a little harder for us with a number of new faces. Rain didn't do us any favours either."
Mashrafe said they wanted to see how Mosaddek played at No 4, which is why he was sent ahead of Shakib Al Hasan. "We tried that player to see how he does at that position in that type of situation. It was a test for the newcomer, how he reacts to that particular scenario. We rested Tamim to see Imrul Kayes. Tamim is in good touch though you may ask why we have rested a player in form."
Mashrafe said it would not be fair to evaluate a player after his first game at this level but said Hider and Nurul Hasan had to develop more for international cricket. "We brought [Mosaddek] because he is a promising player. It wouldn't be fair to put him under pressure after just one game. We can't judge him so quickly. He bowled well. He can bat better, but it wasn't that bad.
"He [Abu Hider] is definitely promising. It is hard to compare him to Mustafizur but he did well for his first game. I think he will slowly bowl a lot better, wherever he gets the chance to play. I think Nurul Hasan played some good shots towards the end, which looked nice. I would hope he will continue to bat like this."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84