Bangladesh news July 16, 2010

Bangladesh must maintain self belief - Bashar

Cricinfo staff

Former Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar has said the team needs to maintain a level of enthusiasm even if the results don't always go their way. With the World Cup early next year, Bashar felt it was important for the team to build self belief in the coming months, and that could translate into better results. He added it was a good decision by Shakib Al Hasan to give up the captaincy when he was struggling for form on the tour of England.

"I think the level of satisfaction should go up," Bashar told the Daily Star. "People always talk about too much expectation, which I think is not a good thing but if there's no expectation, it does no good to the team. It is time we shed the habit of being happy when we are 'playing well'. You must have some belief if you are looking for the right results."

Bangladesh recently recorded their first ever win against England, in Bristol, but they failed to convert it to a rare away series win when they lost the deciding ODI by 144 runs at Edgbaston.

"I am not saying the win (against England) was insignificant," Bashar said. "It is a huge achievement to win against England in their home conditions."

Bashar also threw his weight behind the struggling batsman Mohammad Ashraful, who for a long time hasn't repaid the faith shown by the selectors.

"You cannot question [Mohammad] Ashraful's quality and I'm confident that Ash will make his comeback in the World Cup, but now he's badly out of form," Bashar said. "I think he needs a break to do well in the coming months. That will make sure of his return to form as far as I'm concerned."

Mashrafe Mortaza regained the captaincy after regular captain Shakib struggled to combine the roles of leading allrounder and leader. Mortaza only recently returned from a long-term knee injury, and he was the automatic choice to take over from Shakib. Bashar, however, felt Shakib would do better when given a second chance.

"Shakib must feel better now that Mashrafe has the captaincy," Bashar said. "I think it was too much pressure on him. I always felt that he was made captain too soon for his age. He can be the country's best captain, but only in the future."

Bashar doesn't expect wholesale changes to the squad for the World Cup, and felt it would be worth investing in the current group. "I see very little chance of that happening because in the past two years, player production hasn't been too good and backups are not in place. We have a few options but I still think this current team is good enough and talented enough to produce the goods in the World Cup."