Bangladesh return after series drubbing April 22, 2008

Defiant Ashraful remains upbeat

Cricinfo staff

They might have been comprehensively whitewashed in the five-match ODI series and thumped in the one-off Twenty20, but Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful was upbeat when the side returned from Pakistan.

"We played competitive cricket," he told reporters. "I think our performance was much better than our previous two series against New Zealand and South Africa. I believe we were competitive in the series if you considered our performance in the last two series. You know we have a long-term plan towards the World Cup of 2011.

"We had the target of scoring 200 runs consistently in the series and we achieved it thrice which I think is a big success for us. It could have been a much better series for us if we did not lose the last ODI that badly."

Ashraful, whose own form was poor - he managed 81 runs in the five ODIs - denied he was under pressure, although the public will continue to demand better from him and the side. "My performance was not too bad in the series as I got starts in most of the matches," he said. "You must have luck for a big score."

But Shakib Al Hasan, who scored a hundred in the fourth ODI, offered a more realistic view. "The team's morale is down after defeats one after another against the top sides," he admitted. "[This] was the main reason behind our bad performance and we have to get out from this situation."