Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 2nd Test, Colombo March 15, 2013

'Last Test is history' - Mushfiqur


Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh captain, has called upon his senior players to make use of the rare opportunity to succeed against a higher-ranked side, ahead of the second Test in Colombo. The top order that was led by two inexperienced players in Galle will be bolstered by the return of Tamim Iqbal. The team may also include veteran left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak.

Senior batsman Mohammad Ashraful, who had a memorable return to Test cricket, scoring 190, will continue to be a vital cog in the middle order along with vice-captain Mahmudullah, who didn't contribute much in the first Test.

"We have the opportunity [to draw the series], but it is still five days away," Mushfiqur said. "These opportunities don't come to us often. I think it is good to be under pressure, because the best players perform under pressure. I see it as a positive sign because some of our top players play well under pressure."

"The expectation would be to play consistent cricket. The last Test is history. We will take positives from that game. We made mistakes in the bowling and fielding departments."

The mistakes he referred to are the dropped catches and the inconsistent lines and lengths their bowlers bowled. The worry among many in the Bangladesh management is whether their seamers would have the stamina to bowl at their strongest throughout the day.

Mushfiqur is mindful of the challenges ahead, and although he mainly outlined those that they face internally, he was aware that the pitch at the R Premadasa Stadium might aid the bowlers.

"It was almost expected that if they can't get us on a spinning track, they will prepare a green wicket. They will also have to play on this wicket, so the problems will be similar for them," Mushfiqur said.

"There is some live grass in the wicket, that's why the seamers will get purchase from it. But I don't think it will last for all the five days, probably the first day or two. In that case, the new ball will be very crucial.

"If they put us in, we have to get set against the new ball and [then] there will be plenty of runs in the track. If we bowl first, we will take some early wickets hopefully and put the pressure back on them."

He was also eager to have another go at Kumar Sangakkara, who struck twin centuries in the first Test. "We have some plans for [Tillekaratne] Dilshan and [Kumar] Sangakkara, so let's see if we can manage to get them dismissed early.

"Sangakkara is a legend, he's done well against us and other teams regardless. He has played very well in the first Test but there were a few chances which we didn't grab. I think those made the big difference, so if we get another chance, we must take it," he said.

In due course, however, Mushfiqur understands where his real challenge lies: to make sure the team does exactly what it did in its last match, which hasn't happened in the past.

On four previous occasions when they did draw a first Test of a series, they went on to lose the second one. To prevent the Galle performance being perceived as a flash in the pan, they would have to back it up in Colombo.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ron on March 16, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    Every day is not Galle, Bangladesh!

  • khondokar on March 16, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    Great sportsmanship from Mushy, we are really lucky to have a captain like him to lead a prospering country. Players have great respect and affection between them under Mushy. Team is set, Tamim and Rubel should come in in place of Anamul and Shahadat. Batting looks very storng and bowling looks atleast stronger than last test. Most important thing would be, if Bangladesh bat first than not loosing more than 2 wickets before lunch in this green wicket and score at least more than 400 to keep the match alive. And if Bangladesh bowl first than take 3 quick wickets before lunch including dilshan and Sanga. Go ahead Bangladesh and Mushy..we are with u, and is watching alnight from USA.

  • KH. RAFIQUE on March 16, 2013, 1:38 GMT

    A very well said thoughts of MUSHFIQUR.No doubt he is the best man to lead Bangladesh.As i said before regarding our TEST plan that we still are not in a state to WIN test matches against Big Opponents regularly but still we can force a DRAW.So how we would do?We would try to do all the basics right means play session by session for next 2 to 3 years and bag more draws in home and abroad.As we would be able to do that often in next 2 to 3 years then it would be very clear for players to how they can snatch a WIN.But still my point is that there is no moral booster if we go for a WIN and LOSS without considering the realistic facts of winning it.Go Tigers no pressure at all on you guys.Just play at your best.Best wishes are always with you.

  • Dummy4 on March 15, 2013, 23:13 GMT

    I never thought i would say this but Go Bangladesh!

  • Shipu on March 15, 2013, 21:56 GMT

    @Mostaqur SandHunt:- Actually they went for a draw in that Windies match and lost it just look at the run rate of the second innings and compare it to the first. Even Tamim played slow in the second innings compared to the first :P

  • abdullah on March 15, 2013, 21:42 GMT

    Did not know Mahmudullah was the vice-captain. He should have been dropped from the series just because of that stupid shot he went for in the last test. These kind of irresponsible act should be harshly dealt with. Good luck to the Bangladesh team.

  • Bayzid on March 15, 2013, 21:25 GMT

    This is what i like most about mushfiq......His attitude is great.... Always talks about teams not individuals

  • Jay on March 15, 2013, 21:10 GMT

    mushi you dont have to fear anyone we are all bangladeshi fans are with you always regardless you perform good or bad. but as like you said we expect you guys shine again n if possible then draw the series but no pressure on you eh? all the best for you :D

  • Dummy4 on March 15, 2013, 20:51 GMT

    @TheRisingTeam: I don't know you watched the BD's first test match of the last series against WI or not, where they went for a win and missed an easy draw. Sometimes it's better to be realistic than optimistic. They should not go for a win and eventually lose the game in 4 days! Two consecutive draw against a team like SL is like a win for BD which will strengthen their future. Good luck Bangladesh.

  • Amir on March 15, 2013, 19:29 GMT

    Therisingteam: You save your wickets and match before you go for the win. I am sure you recall the learnings from the 1st WI match where we went for the win from the get go and lost wickets which put us under pressure (not discounting WI pace attack) and we couldn't handle it. For a rising team like BD, it is better to have realistic expectation and then stretch for the win. I am hoping for a good showing, then at least a draw and if we have the chance, go for the win.

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