Bangladesh v NZ, World T20 2012, Group D, Pallekele September 20, 2012

More match-winners in this side - Mushfiqur

ESPNcricinfo staff

Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh captain, has said his current side is better than the one that beat New Zealand 4-0 two years ago in a home one-day series; the teams meet again on Friday. The reason for Bangladesh's improvement, Mushfiqur said, was the rise in the number of match-winners in the side as opposed to just Shakib Al Hasan previously.

Mushfiqur said Shakib a freer role to play and is not burdened with too much pressure. Shakib has been Bangladesh's highest run-getter and wicket-taker in Tests and ODIs since the October 2010 ODI series win while also playing a role in Kolkata Knight Riders' maiden IPL triumph earlier this year. But, in recent times, Mushfiqur, Tamim Iqbal, Abdur Razzak and Mahmudullah have also played major roles in Bangladesh's successes.

"To compare this team to the one in 2010, I think this has more balance and a few more match-winners. So in that way, this is a better team," said Mushfiqur said on the day he completed a year as Bangladesh captain."He [Shakib Al Hasan] is our best cricketer. Probably in the last two years a couple of the guys have also put their hands up so he's quite free in his role and not under too much pressure to perform. And not just with bat and ball, he is always helping out on and off the field as well. His presence means a lot to our team."

Shakib played a pivotal role in those four wins against New Zealand, leading the batting and bowling charts and also captaining the side after Mashrafe Mortaza got injured in the first game.

Mushfiqur, who is familiar with tracks in Sri Lanka, having played a couple of games during the Sri Lanka Premier League, said the team composition would depend on the nature of the pitch. He added Bangladesh would employ "special plans" to counter the threat of Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor, who've been part of the IPL. "They are both very important and we have special plans to contain them. The bowlers have to strike at the top order to win games, so it's nothing out of the ordinary."

Mushfiqur was aware New Zealand will not be playing with the baggage of their humiliating defeat two years ago. "That [4-0 win] happened two years ago and this is a Twenty20 game, a different format. And it is a totally different setting as there are several players in both sides who weren't around in 2010. But New Zealand have a lot more Twenty20 experience compared to us," he said.

In order to get Bangladesh well prepared for the World Twenty20, the BCB paid for their tour of Zimbabwe where they played in unofficial matches against the hosts and a South African XI led by Hashim Amla, beating each side once. They then travelled to Ireland and the Netherlands where they won four out of six Twenty20 internationals. Subsequently, in Port-of-Spain they won against Barbados and Afghanistan.

An extensive preparation bodes well for Bangladesh's World Twenty20 and though Mushfiqur would have liked to have test his side against higher-ranked teams, he believed they learned a lot on the road. "We played in different situations and conditions. Everyone has had a good hit. It would have probably been better if we played against major teams, but still we played some competitive matches but now we are at the business end, so hopefully it'll go really well."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Manesh on September 21, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    @ ExtremeSpeed. Have you checked T20 rankings? Do you still believe uneven matches brings you down?? Do you think more test matches will bring you in at least top5??? pathetic! Do not comeup with lame excuses...there is only one reason BD do not have a good team to beat others.

  • Deepak on September 21, 2012, 9:39 GMT

    SL has more match winners than Bangladesh and but still SL fails miserably.We dont consider SL as an opposition despite of many match winners.Its pretty an ordinary team.So dont boast of match winners as we have seen more of them.So match winners are defined by their own fans.Actually all the guys in a team are match winners.

  • Sriram on September 21, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    Fans around the world should stop ridiculing opponents..its not healthy..its not a rowdy game like EPL..why not just stick to your own teams and offer criticism that can be positive. its not healthy to read these posts simply accusing and ridiculing opponent teams. Every team has strong and weak why simply keep repeating obvious...its a world cup..somone will play best someone worst..somedays will be gr8 and other ordinary..every team will have ups and downs..there is no one team that will dominate every day..Lets enjoy the game dears..stop this hatered please!!!!

  • Sami on September 21, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    @cooljack_143 - Fair point but the problem with rankings is that they're clearly unevenly distributed in terms of matches for example teams like India, England and Australia play far more matches than anybody else whilst teams like Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Ireland etc play limited so you can see why lower ranked teams remain low on the table. I don't think most teams apart from a few are playing well at abroad at all also I didn't know Pakistan have their T20 franchise based league already.

  • Dummy4 on September 21, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    This is the day to prove..Good luck Bangladesh..

  • Dummy4 on September 21, 2012, 6:33 GMT

    cooljack_143 true BD sucks overseas, but what team not named SA or Australia can say they don't suck overseas. Definitely not INDIA!

  • joseph on September 21, 2012, 6:20 GMT

    I still believe that SAKIB is the lone match winners in this side

  • cool on September 21, 2012, 6:11 GMT

    BD LAST IN rankings of ALL FORMATS.That should tell the story.Whether u perform in IPL,SLPL,PPL,BPL,or your home matches who cares..BD has abysmal record abroad.

  • Dummy4 on September 21, 2012, 4:28 GMT

    @ Wonderstar1 Dont underestimate BD. Sakib played in KKR..Tamim is a world class could say not all of them are at that level..if you are a good critic of cricket..I could accept such awful comment. So please make comment with enough information and knowledge. There are some class cricketers in BD will see that.

  • Jawwad on September 21, 2012, 4:27 GMT

    We'll see about that @wonderstar1!!! Don't forgt to show up and leave a comment when BD reaches the S-8s!!! Oh, and did you mean to say that the India team is worse than their A team and got beaten by them BADLY in the Asia Cup!!!lol

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