Shakib riled by Bangladesh's lack of grit
Shakib Al Hasan voiced his frustration at Bangladesh's early exit from the World T20s saying that the team should have taken the match against Pakistan to last five overs from "where it could [have gone] either way. But it seemed we were never in the game." Shakib also added the team's failure to do "elementary" things was annoying.
Pakistan reached the target of 176 runs with eight balls to spare. A few overs earlier, in the 16th, they completed the progress to the Super-Eights when they crossed the 139-run mark that gave them a better net run-rate than Bangladesh.
He explained how, while fielding, the basics went missing; the lack of commitment too peeved Shakib. "I didn't like the way we lost. We should have been lively after scoring 175, saved around fifteen runs while fielding. I'm talking about elementary things like standing 10 yards inside the boundary on the larger side of the ground. This is just a matter of common sense," he told Bangla daily Prothom Alo in Kandy.
"These things annoy me because neither the captain nor I can tell this every ball. Then the fielder doesn't put in the dive as the ball nears the boundary line. The dive may not work but at least the action inspires another fielder. The others will run beside the ball, without diving, seeing this,".
"This is what I expected from the team when I was the captain and even now when I'm not the captain. I think I will expect these things all the time. If we had done everything properly and lost, I wouldn't have felt so bad. I would have thought, 'they are a better team on paper and on the field and as a result we lost'. The disappointment would have been two out of 10, now it is six."
Shakib's criticism of the level of commitment is significant and though he has landed in hot water in the past for giving a forthright point of view, this time it is quiet justified. Bangladesh have now failed to qualify to the second stage in all of their last four appearances in global events starting from the 2009 World Twenty20s. They had a long build-up to this campaign but it amounted to nothing after they were struck down by Brendon McCullum's second Twenty20 international century in their first group game before giving it away to Pakistan.
Their point of inspiration should have been the way Shakib bounced back after a poor day against New Zealand. His 54-ball knock put him on top of individual scores made by a Bangladeshi in T20Is, beating Nazimuddin's 81.
"I don't normally plan anything when I go out to bat in a T20 game. After the first game against New Zealand, I realised that if I bat naturally I can have a 110-120 strike rate. I didn't have to force things. So against Pakistan when I had gathered enough confidence, I started playing my shots," he said, adding that he only thought of going for the hundred in the final over of the Bangladesh innings. "From a personal point of view, I had a good day. But the disappointment was to see the game being given away."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Bangladesh