Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, only T20, Pallekele April 1, 2013

Mushfiqur blames seamers for defeat

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After conceding the high-scoring one-off Twenty20 in Pallekele, Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim criticised his bowlers' work ethic, and said it was time the country takes a proper look at the state of fast bowling.

"The bowlers have to work a lot harder," Mushfiqur said. "What they are doing right now, is not enough. I wouldn't entirely hold it against them but maybe the team management is to share the blame too.

"I would be guilty if I blamed just an individual. If our pace bowlers had backed up the other bowlers, we would have a slightly different series, especially in the Tests. We are giving them enough chances, but they are not giving us the results. Our next tour is to Zimbabwe where we can't experiment. It is a big series for us, so we have to come to a decision."

Bangladesh were left wondering how some decisions could have changed the course of the game. While the decision to pick a pace bowler with an ordinary record in limited-overs cricket left tongues hanging, the umpiring errors also added to the visitors' misery.

On a wicket that was perfect for batsmen to tee off, Shahadat Hossain had a forgettable evening. He wasted the new ball by giving Kusal Perera far too much width, and bowled short with a pace that was hardly threatening. It contributed to the body language of the rest of the team dropping as they fielded poorly and gave away 26 extras. The 54 runs he conceded in four overs highlighted Bangladesh's pace bowling weakness in the last 18 months. It has spewed over on this tour where it has given Mushfiqur headaches.

However, one would have expected Mushfiqur to go with spin even on a good batting wicket. He had the left-arm spinner Mosharraf Hossain at his disposal but bizarrely went with Shahadat, a seamer who hadn't played an international Twenty20 for more than three years, and someone who was mostly benched by Khulna Royal Bengals in the BPL earlier this year.

"We probably needed a front-line bowler in Twenty20s. Abul Hasan is injured, so we had no other option," Mushfiqur said. "I tried Ziaur [Rahman] who bowled well in one game, didn't bowl or bat well in the third game.

"There was nothing in the track for the spinners and you had to bowl the quicks early. [Kusal] Perera played well, they took us apart in the first six overs."

Despite Sri Lanka's onslaught, Bangladesh were on course to force a tight game. Mohammad Ashraful looked in good touch again, going after Thisara Perera in his first over with two sixes and a four. But when struck on the inside of the front pad off a full toss, Ashraful almost ran the full length of the pitch thinking it was going down the leg side. The umpire however relented to Perera's long appeal. Replays showed it was quite a way down the leg side. Shamsur Rahman also got a poor decision early in the chase when an Angelo Mathews delivery was slipping down the leg side as the debutant came out of the crease to flick the ball.

"I don't know what else to say about the umpires. During this series everyone has seen the number of bad decisions that we have had," Mushfiqur said. "We can't get it back, but we feel sad when it happens to us. I felt sorry for [Shamsur Rahman] Shuvo, who got out off the first ball," he said.

However, Mushfiqur stopped short of making excuses. "I think rather than thinking about the leg-before decisions, we should avoid getting hit on the pads," he said, in all seriousness.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • satishchandar on April 1, 2013, 5:33 GMT

    Mushi should learn to use the resources better.. Picking Shahadat is not a very good option considering he has never displayed any good performance over his career.. Instead of him, he might have well opted for a spinner or even a top order bat and used up Nasir as sixth bowling option to make up the quota.. If you equate the extra runs BD donated while on field and the runs SL saved on the field, it will cross the difference between the sides.. Apart fron fielding, BD did win the game.. The difference was the fielding between the teams and of course, Malinga..

  • hasib9 on April 3, 2013, 3:14 GMT

    This article highlights my frustration, and possibly the frustrations of many Bangladeshi fans. I wanted Musharraf to replace Shakib from day 1. I'm not sure why Mushfiq kept saying he had no other options when he failed to recognize his best available option Musharraf. BD had good record in ODIs playing with 3 genuine spinners and a part time spinner like Mahmudullah. Only fat bowler worthy of a spot in BD team is Mashrafe. In his absence, I would pick Zia instead of Rubel, Musharraf for Shahadat. I hope Mushfiq learns to pick a balanced team, and he needs to learn quick. I liked his captaincy, apart from selection. Hope he has nothing personal against Musharraf, who, in my view, is as good a bowler as Gazi.

  • Fogu on April 2, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    @Coolmaq: as I said in my earlier post on related story, some BD fans are very passionate and they go too high after a good performance and want to fire everyone after a bad one. Not saying it is logical but it is what it is. However, in this case they do have a point. BD has had several bad decisions go against them over the last few years. Once in a while is one thing but it can not be consistently against BD this way. The team that gets the bad decision remembers it longer than the one that gets a favorable one. In this regards BD fans have a longer memory than any othe team they play. A small team that is trying to make it on a big stage needs the breaks to go their way at times and it seems that they go against them at inopportune time. However, BD fans know where the weakness is and hopefully BCB will act on rectifying the fast bowler situation. All in all it was a good series from BD perspective. Go Tigers and Lions!

  • on April 2, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    BD batsmen a really well, now they can score 181 against Sri Lanka also their spinners are also doing well in this tour. but the sad part is fast bowling i cant understand why they gave that much chance to Hadath he didn't do well ever... please find new good faster then I'm suaver BD can beat any side...

  • Coolmaq on April 2, 2013, 8:57 GMT

    @waheed1233 - Generally speaking, SL is way better than BD. Get that right! Read my post properly before commenting. I never compared the drawn test and rain affected ODI and said SL were better. I was referring to the comments BD fans made after those matches. I am actually speaking on behalf of BD that if they were more disciplined in terms bowling and extras, despite the umpiring decisions, BD could have still won. I understand that fans like you are frustrated by a loss as you guys hardly win a game but gee, take a break, move on and stop crying over a loss. It's just a game! It's not like you lost a world cup!

  • ashqarmahi on April 2, 2013, 4:08 GMT

    It is better playing with extra batsman cm part time bowler instead Shahadat,Rubel,Abul ... this bangladeshi fast bowling trio are the main reason bangladesh didn't win....otherwise it will be very good series though it is the best series for bangladesh in srilanka so far....and if bangladesh can not find any good fast bowler than please select spinners instead of them...atleast they will do better or same but not worst than fast bowlers....!!

  • cricketlover4 on April 2, 2013, 2:11 GMT

    This is not new for SL umpires who always give bad decisions against BD.

  • on April 2, 2013, 1:20 GMT

    Umpires decision is not something any team can control. In their defense, Bangladeshi batsman shuffle a lot, thus expose the wicket, which tricks the umpire to give LBW. I hope the coach should able to correct the technique. The fact is shahadat has no control over bowling, Taskin is a far superior bowler at least in T20.

  • TigerRoars on April 1, 2013, 19:10 GMT

    @satishchandar said it well. SL had Malinga bowling at death, BD had Shahadat. Malinga gave 13 in his last TWO overs. Shahadat gave 24 in his last over. Part timers like Nasir and Mominul could not have done worse. The pacers allowed 94 in 8 overs, Shahadat allowed 54 in 4! In contrast, the spinners allowed 97 runs in 12 overs.

  • TigerRoars on April 1, 2013, 18:03 GMT

    @satishchandar said it well. SL had Malinga bowling at death, BD had Shahadat. Malinga gave 13 in his last TWO overs. Shahadat gave 24 in his last over. Part timers like Nasir and Mominul could not have done worse. The pacers allowed 94 in 8 overs, Shahadat allowed 54 in 4! In contrast, the spinners allowed 97 runs in 12 overs.

  • satishchandar on April 1, 2013, 5:33 GMT

    Mushi should learn to use the resources better.. Picking Shahadat is not a very good option considering he has never displayed any good performance over his career.. Instead of him, he might have well opted for a spinner or even a top order bat and used up Nasir as sixth bowling option to make up the quota.. If you equate the extra runs BD donated while on field and the runs SL saved on the field, it will cross the difference between the sides.. Apart fron fielding, BD did win the game.. The difference was the fielding between the teams and of course, Malinga..

  • hasib9 on April 3, 2013, 3:14 GMT

    This article highlights my frustration, and possibly the frustrations of many Bangladeshi fans. I wanted Musharraf to replace Shakib from day 1. I'm not sure why Mushfiq kept saying he had no other options when he failed to recognize his best available option Musharraf. BD had good record in ODIs playing with 3 genuine spinners and a part time spinner like Mahmudullah. Only fat bowler worthy of a spot in BD team is Mashrafe. In his absence, I would pick Zia instead of Rubel, Musharraf for Shahadat. I hope Mushfiq learns to pick a balanced team, and he needs to learn quick. I liked his captaincy, apart from selection. Hope he has nothing personal against Musharraf, who, in my view, is as good a bowler as Gazi.

  • Fogu on April 2, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    @Coolmaq: as I said in my earlier post on related story, some BD fans are very passionate and they go too high after a good performance and want to fire everyone after a bad one. Not saying it is logical but it is what it is. However, in this case they do have a point. BD has had several bad decisions go against them over the last few years. Once in a while is one thing but it can not be consistently against BD this way. The team that gets the bad decision remembers it longer than the one that gets a favorable one. In this regards BD fans have a longer memory than any othe team they play. A small team that is trying to make it on a big stage needs the breaks to go their way at times and it seems that they go against them at inopportune time. However, BD fans know where the weakness is and hopefully BCB will act on rectifying the fast bowler situation. All in all it was a good series from BD perspective. Go Tigers and Lions!

  • on April 2, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    BD batsmen a really well, now they can score 181 against Sri Lanka also their spinners are also doing well in this tour. but the sad part is fast bowling i cant understand why they gave that much chance to Hadath he didn't do well ever... please find new good faster then I'm suaver BD can beat any side...

  • Coolmaq on April 2, 2013, 8:57 GMT

    @waheed1233 - Generally speaking, SL is way better than BD. Get that right! Read my post properly before commenting. I never compared the drawn test and rain affected ODI and said SL were better. I was referring to the comments BD fans made after those matches. I am actually speaking on behalf of BD that if they were more disciplined in terms bowling and extras, despite the umpiring decisions, BD could have still won. I understand that fans like you are frustrated by a loss as you guys hardly win a game but gee, take a break, move on and stop crying over a loss. It's just a game! It's not like you lost a world cup!

  • ashqarmahi on April 2, 2013, 4:08 GMT

    It is better playing with extra batsman cm part time bowler instead Shahadat,Rubel,Abul ... this bangladeshi fast bowling trio are the main reason bangladesh didn't win....otherwise it will be very good series though it is the best series for bangladesh in srilanka so far....and if bangladesh can not find any good fast bowler than please select spinners instead of them...atleast they will do better or same but not worst than fast bowlers....!!

  • cricketlover4 on April 2, 2013, 2:11 GMT

    This is not new for SL umpires who always give bad decisions against BD.

  • on April 2, 2013, 1:20 GMT

    Umpires decision is not something any team can control. In their defense, Bangladeshi batsman shuffle a lot, thus expose the wicket, which tricks the umpire to give LBW. I hope the coach should able to correct the technique. The fact is shahadat has no control over bowling, Taskin is a far superior bowler at least in T20.

  • TigerRoars on April 1, 2013, 19:10 GMT

    @satishchandar said it well. SL had Malinga bowling at death, BD had Shahadat. Malinga gave 13 in his last TWO overs. Shahadat gave 24 in his last over. Part timers like Nasir and Mominul could not have done worse. The pacers allowed 94 in 8 overs, Shahadat allowed 54 in 4! In contrast, the spinners allowed 97 runs in 12 overs.

  • TigerRoars on April 1, 2013, 18:03 GMT

    @satishchandar said it well. SL had Malinga bowling at death, BD had Shahadat. Malinga gave 13 in his last TWO overs. Shahadat gave 24 in his last over. Part timers like Nasir and Mominul could not have done worse. The pacers allowed 94 in 8 overs, Shahadat allowed 54 in 4! In contrast, the spinners allowed 97 runs in 12 overs.

  • ThatsJustCricket on April 1, 2013, 16:21 GMT

    BD is greatly improving and can become a decent side who can offer seriuos challenge to other teams. They are no longer the pushovers by any means. The one area they still lack badly is pace bowling and that will continue to be a huge issue especially outside the subcontinent. If BD can unearth a couple of good fast bowlers they will become a force to reckon with.

  • TheRisingTeam on April 1, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    It was a good series where both teams were missing key players especially Bangladesh. Usually when you play Bangladesh especially at home, it is so one-sided but it wasn't. There were promising performing youngsters from both sides Sri Lanka with the likes of Kushal, Chandimal and Thirimanne and Bangladesh with Mominul, Nasir and Gazi.

  • on April 1, 2013, 14:44 GMT

    It is very frustrating follow the Mushfique's logic. There will be umpires "errors" and good teams win despite of that. To blame one or two "questionable" calls on the outcome of the game is counterproductive and sends a wrong message to the players. A sign of maturity is take responsibility and it starts at top: the coach and the captain. I think the team performed reasonably well despite some key injuries. However, we have seen a good dose of impulse kamikaze batting and running which costs wickets to fall in bunches. This tendency has not abated and even the captain was not immune to to. On the other hand, for a young team like BD, there is no excuse for giving up so many extras and dropping crucial catches. Speaking of aerial fielding, granted that our pacers are not world class but meager chances the generated were literally dropped. These do not help boost their confidence. But there were mistakable sign of improvements and I am optimisitic.

  • on April 1, 2013, 14:36 GMT

    we are saying the truth umpire make at least 7 to 8 decision which all was bad decisions. if look the body language of umpire they just looking to how give out bd players. .I would say to team management we all know SAHADAT is a expensive bowler why he is played in t20 match .and should take a proper decision to get some quality pacer .

  • aalhasankh on April 1, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    Rubel's last over was the best and Bangladesh needed a couple more of. such overs. Shahadat is a sub standard bowler and should not be in the team in the first place. He repeatedly bowled short ,wide and short plus wide balls. Shahadat single handedly defeated Bangladesh.

  • naziia on April 1, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    We seriously need to think about the pace bowler. This is very poor staffs from rubel and shahadat. The problem with Rubel is that he has no veriasion. He does Know where to bowl and what kind on ball to bowl. Musi could used nasir and mominul for couple of overs. Bring some new pace bowler in. This Rubel, shahadat, abul and shafiul not going to work for Bangladesh.

  • on April 1, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    @Coolmaq You have got a keyboard and you think you can judge everything and everyone. How cool, no? BD Captain himself said that they need to focus on their batting, instead of those umpiring decisions. And you are here to give them the same suggestion with some wording that shows how big a narcissist you are. Best teams in the world, like AUS, SA, blames umpiring decisions. It's not a new thing. And yes, that ICC and Umpires all cave to stronger cricketing nation's will is proved. Ask any cricket follower, he will be able to give you dozens of examples. And you talk about their professionalism here.

  • ExtremeSpeed on April 1, 2013, 11:45 GMT

    I just don't understand why they chose Shahadat over Zia who btw has the ability to hit big especially for T20. Anyway we still managed to score 180 score and lost by 17 runs instead of 71 runs which is usual of Bangladesh but fast bowling if not sorted will always let us down no matter if we score big. I know Taskin is not ready for the long forms but T20 should be an exception only 4 overs and he has very good control with his line and length even at his age otherwise sticking with the fast bowlers we have like Rubel or Shahadat will make sure we will be knocked out of the next World T20 held in Bangladesh early on which will be a shame.

  • JACK.SPARROW on April 1, 2013, 10:58 GMT

    @All my fellow BD fans: we have to move on. We have to streghthen our domestic cricket giving priority to pacy and bouncy wicket. Moreover, BCB should launch a campaign aiming to collect seamers aged 15- 18 from very root level and bring them up under proper care and facilities. Please let us be united and tell this to BCB . Its high time to do this. Right now.

  • waheed1233 on April 1, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    @ Coolmac: yeah, scoring 600+ runs in a road does not make srilanka any better than Bangladesh as well. and i m sure u know that the odi that srl won, the match was also decided on D/L method. So, as per your logic, winning that match does not make srl any better than BD. In T20, playing with 13 players against a 11 member side and then winning makes srl worse of the two sides for sure..

  • TheRisingTeam on April 1, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    Yes Umpires decisions were poor but had our fast bowlers did their job and fielding was a bit better we still would've won. Everytime us fans have been saying do not ever pick Shahadat again he had his so many chances and has proven to be a failure. 4 overs for 54 runs in which his last over he gave away 24 the same as the Asia Cup final showing he just doesn't learn. Our batters gets the run but our fast bowlers spoils it for them.

  • SyedAreYouDumb on April 1, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    Finally they have realised Shahadat is useless and after this performance wont be picked for a long time. Only performance he played well in was when he got 6/27 (and could have got 7/27 if an UMPIRING decision went our way). Btw South Africa were bowled out for 171 in 1st innings of that test).

  • Coolmaq on April 1, 2013, 10:00 GMT

    As usual, BD fans crying & complaining. Scores 600+ on a road and they reckon they are the best in the world. Wins an ODI due to D/L method and all of a sudden they are good in ODI's. Lose a T20 and it all starts again. I respect the passion and enthusiasm all BD fans show as it's scarcely received for a team like yours but please stop complaining and blaming the umpires. Decisions can go anyway. Every team goes through it. It's not like umpires and ICC are discriminating a weak team. Maybe BD could have won if they showed more professionalism like bowling better and reducing extras. Get those right before complaining things that are outside your control.

  • ctgcricketfan on April 1, 2013, 9:35 GMT

    i think shahadat has great back up in BCB management for this he is continuously getting chance despite of his poor performance and all time being the cause of loosing bangladesh, pls selectors and BCB dont put politics and greediness in cricket.

  • on April 1, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    Why always decisions go against us? Is it for our being weak team? None has time to look into this? this injustice? ICC should have take a proper step against thous umpire.

  • Tapash on April 1, 2013, 7:52 GMT

    We say 'shame' to both the umpires. They calculatedly given LBW to two Bangladeshi batsman Ashraful and Shamsur. Umpires knew Ashraful can hit Sri Lanka to loss. At the same time they did not give at least one confirm LBW against Sri Lankan batsman. Umpiring was sadly very very poor and we believe these two umpires do not deserve to umpiring to any International matches. As a cricket lover, I will request ICC to investigate this matter and take necessary action. After drawing ODI Sri Lanka was desperate to win this T20 and umpires given them necessary support. It was total dishonesty shown by the umpires. Entire Bangladesh is unhappy from two wrong decision given by the umpires.

  • BOND_OO7 on April 1, 2013, 7:39 GMT

    Why always decisions go against us? Is it for our being weak team? None has time to look into this?

  • on April 1, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    Mushfiqur don't just blame seamers for defeat but also umpires !!! Umpires intentionally helped Sri Lanka by those LBW decisions.

  • on April 1, 2013, 7:04 GMT

    If there's one thing that changed the course of the match, that's Mohammad Ashraful being given Out poorly. Ashraful was on supreme touch and he looked like he had plans to go after the bowlers at some point of the game. I am not saying he could see Bangladesh off but at least he didn't deserve to get out in such a fashion. Every time he is on song, umpires ruin the day for him. :(

  • Happy_AusBang on April 1, 2013, 7:04 GMT

    Bangladesh lost because of three reasons:-

    1. Atrocious pace bowling. Shahadat cost BD the Asia Cup final against PAK too - a game BD would have won easily. 2. Poor fielding. SL were making twos out of ones easily. 3. Most crucially, horrendous umpiring. Even after 1 and 2 BD still had a good chance of winning. Two very bad decisions while BD was batting and one or two questionable decisoins in favour of home team when BD was bowling.

  • Alimul-Ahsan on April 1, 2013, 5:54 GMT

    Well said about umpiring, captain. But, I don't agree with your thoughts about playing ordinary Shahadat & not playing Mosharrof & Zia

  • on April 1, 2013, 5:53 GMT

    Why BD lost the match A) Terrible selection (Shahadat) B) Extremely unprofessional bowling (3 overs in extras) C) Terrible fielding

    Forget it BD didnt deserve to win period

  • on April 1, 2013, 5:47 GMT

    BD always crying after losing... first in asia cup final now in this series.

  • jewel1000 on April 1, 2013, 5:32 GMT

    Yes, Insha Allah Mushfiq has the ability to bring revolution in Bangladesh Cricket. He with Tamim, Shakib, Mashrafe, Ashraful, Anamul, Shohag, Abdur Razzak, Nasir. We need just extra 2 fast bowlers. Allah, Please give us 2 first bowlers.

  • Tabrez_22 on April 1, 2013, 5:27 GMT

    Yes, I completely agree with Mushfiqur. Great to see something which i was crictizing on cricinfo about bangladeshi fast bowlers, i guess he must read and spoke it out with guts. They surely need few gud fast bowlers t least better than Shahadat Hossain or they should seriously play only with spinners.

  • Dr_Zeus on April 1, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    They are still a young side...I think we will see them rising in the next couple of years...

  • fariha_loves-afridi on April 1, 2013, 5:05 GMT

    I truly believe that mushfiqur has the power to revolutionize Bangladesh cricket. Best of luck tigers!

  • fariha_loves-afridi on April 1, 2013, 5:05 GMT

    I truly believe that mushfiqur has the power to revolutionize Bangladesh cricket. Best of luck tigers!

  • Dr_Zeus on April 1, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    They are still a young side...I think we will see them rising in the next couple of years...

  • Tabrez_22 on April 1, 2013, 5:27 GMT

    Yes, I completely agree with Mushfiqur. Great to see something which i was crictizing on cricinfo about bangladeshi fast bowlers, i guess he must read and spoke it out with guts. They surely need few gud fast bowlers t least better than Shahadat Hossain or they should seriously play only with spinners.

  • jewel1000 on April 1, 2013, 5:32 GMT

    Yes, Insha Allah Mushfiq has the ability to bring revolution in Bangladesh Cricket. He with Tamim, Shakib, Mashrafe, Ashraful, Anamul, Shohag, Abdur Razzak, Nasir. We need just extra 2 fast bowlers. Allah, Please give us 2 first bowlers.

  • on April 1, 2013, 5:47 GMT

    BD always crying after losing... first in asia cup final now in this series.

  • on April 1, 2013, 5:53 GMT

    Why BD lost the match A) Terrible selection (Shahadat) B) Extremely unprofessional bowling (3 overs in extras) C) Terrible fielding

    Forget it BD didnt deserve to win period

  • Alimul-Ahsan on April 1, 2013, 5:54 GMT

    Well said about umpiring, captain. But, I don't agree with your thoughts about playing ordinary Shahadat & not playing Mosharrof & Zia

  • Happy_AusBang on April 1, 2013, 7:04 GMT

    Bangladesh lost because of three reasons:-

    1. Atrocious pace bowling. Shahadat cost BD the Asia Cup final against PAK too - a game BD would have won easily. 2. Poor fielding. SL were making twos out of ones easily. 3. Most crucially, horrendous umpiring. Even after 1 and 2 BD still had a good chance of winning. Two very bad decisions while BD was batting and one or two questionable decisoins in favour of home team when BD was bowling.

  • on April 1, 2013, 7:04 GMT

    If there's one thing that changed the course of the match, that's Mohammad Ashraful being given Out poorly. Ashraful was on supreme touch and he looked like he had plans to go after the bowlers at some point of the game. I am not saying he could see Bangladesh off but at least he didn't deserve to get out in such a fashion. Every time he is on song, umpires ruin the day for him. :(

  • on April 1, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    Mushfiqur don't just blame seamers for defeat but also umpires !!! Umpires intentionally helped Sri Lanka by those LBW decisions.