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July 9, 2007
Mohammad Rafique, Bangladesh's veteran left-arm spinner, says his performances in the ongoing Test series against Sri Lanka are the worst of his career.
Rafique has picked up a solitary wicket in the two Tests at a cost of 272 runs, and has also gone for over four runs an over as Bangladesh have been roundly thrashed. "So far it has been my worst-ever performance in Test cricket. I bowled 35 overs in the last Test without any success," Rafique said. He remains six wickets short of becoming the first Bangladeshi to take 100 Test wickets.
And the situation might not get any better in Kandy, where Bangladesh arrived to play the third and final Test, beginning from July 11. The pitch has traditionally favoured seamers. "Murali can turn the ball on glass, so the condition doesn't matter to him. But bowlers of our calibre should get some assistance from the wicket which was also not the case in the first two Tests and I think it will be the same here," said Rafique.
Rafique, who was greeted on entry to his hotel room by a number of monkeys who attacked him, said the failures of his batsmen had made his job tougher and that of Sri Lanka much easier.
"I think if our batsmen are able to manage at least 300 runs, then it could have been a different story for the bowlers. Actually the Sri Lankan batsmen played us freely after our poor scores in both the first innings. Another reason is that we played too many one-day games in the last year. We have to work hard to get our basics right in Test cricket," he said.
Rafique added that he did not want to be considered for the subsequent one-day series against the hosts due to a family commitment.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?