Bangladesh in Sri Lanka 2012-13 March 20, 2013

Mushfiqur wants Bangladesh to play more Tests


Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim has made an appeal for more Tests for his side after they were much-improved competitors in the two-Test series in Sri Lanka. Bangladesh lost the series 0-1 but had positive results, forcing a draw in Galle, their first in this country.

The visitors lost the second Test in Colombo, but there were periods at the Premadasa when they were on par with Sri Lanka. The performance prompted Mushfiqur to ask for more chances to play Tests.

"It doesn't matter if we do well or not, we will have more opportunity if we get more Tests to play," Mushfiqur said. "Those who in authority, I would ask them to give us more Tests. We can show that we can play good, consistent Test cricket.

"It is up to the cricket board whether we play a three-Test series, but we must play eight to ten Tests in a year. You can play as many ODIs and T20s you want, but Test cricket is the ultimate. You have periods of long struggle in Test cricket, it builds character and confidence."

Bangladesh have only played two three-match series since gaining Test status in 2000, and the last one was nearly six years ago in Sri Lanka. Bangladesh played just two Tests in 2012, and are scheduled to play four more this year.

Questions remain, however, over the Bangladesh players' durability in Test cricket. They have shown, in these two matches in Sri Lanka, the ability to dominate a session, or even a day, but to string together consistently impressive performances over several days is still a challenge.

"We are working on this but we haven't reached a stage where we can play 10 days of consistent cricket out of 14-15 days," Mushfiqur said. "The focus that is required to face deliveries pitching on the same spot requires mental and technical skills.

"They bowl maidens, build the pressure on our batsmen. When they are batting, they are aware a bad ball is around the corner, so they wait and give enough respect to the good ball. But we have to play a lot more than just the two or four [Tests] per year."

Mushfiqur said the bowling attack needed to develop, but had to be given time. Bangladesh's highest wicket-taker in the series, Sohag Gazi, has completed only four Test matches, and without Shakib Al Hasan the attack has only shown flashes of potential.

"We made only 240 [in Colombo] against a team like Sri Lanka, so that wasn't good enough. We don't have a bowling attack that can bowl them out for 200. [Kumar] Sangakkara and [Dinesh] Chandimal played really well, they didn't give us a chance," Mushfiqur said. "In the second innings, some of us were set but we got out. The spinners should have bowled better on this wicket, which Rangana Herath showed by bowling in one spot."

Bangladesh's next Tests are against Zimbabwe in April, but they have an ODI series and Twenty20 left to play against Sri Lanka over the next 11 days.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Amila on March 22, 2013, 16:52 GMT

    To all; This is over. Lets move on to ODIs which starts tomorrow.

  • Amila on March 22, 2013, 16:20 GMT

    @ abcdef_12345; Mate you have double standards. You say "In sports, old means experience when it is judged for performance, not age." Then Herath only played 47 but Ashraful 59. Then Herath is younger/less experienced than Ashraful according to you. :) Herath has played more First Class matches than Sangakkara. That's why we say he is experienced. Not just based on age or number of International games. No body talked about Samaraweera since he got retired before this series. Anyway he is old (36) and experienced (Tests 81 FC 256). If he played and scored we would have see the same comments on him. (Old, 35+, Flat Track player, Not a world class player, etc). You say Australia is Australia. That doesn't make any sense. Any team can have a best and not good teams. Current Australian team is no where near to the team you mentioned. Having Australia name might intimidate weak teams. But not all. You got the answer from "Htc-Android" about winning is SA.

  • associate cricket fan on March 22, 2013, 12:53 GMT

    @abcdef_12345. We won a test match in SA during the last time we toured there.

  • Smith on March 22, 2013, 11:35 GMT

    @Dhutugemunu: Yes the same Ranji Trophy where a player like Jadeja scores multiple triple 100s is all we need to here :)

  • mohammad on March 22, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    Dhutugemunu Yes, I just wanted to tell the difference between Australia and Sri Lanka.No matter that Australia was indomitable or not, they were indeed Australia.Lets forget about Australia, Did SL even win in South Africa?And mate, then you say older guys, it means experience, not age in cricket.Cook has played more tests(89) than whole Bangladesh(76).In sports, old means experience when it is judged for performance, not age.What we meant is that SL has some experienced guys who back the whole team.If we meant age, why not talking about Samaraweera?

  • Amila on March 22, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    Seems Mehdi Rahi is correct. "In preparation for becoming a Test playing country, Bangladesh established its own first-class competition in 1999-2000, although the matches were not given first-class status until the 2000-2001 season. The lack of an established first-class structure in the country until shortly before Bangladesh played its debut Test has been cited as one of the reasons the side struggled to adapt to the longer format of the game." - Wikipedia @ Mehdi Rahi ; Thanks mate for clarifying the real situation.

  • Amila on March 22, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    @ abcdef_12345; Are you Kidding me? Australia's Best team (Ponting, Mcgrath, Warne, Martin, Waugh, Hayden) was like the golden era of Australian Cricket. That team was almost unbeatable. No team in modern Test era can be compared to that. Don't even try to compare that side to Sri Lanka's Best team (Atapattu, Jayasuriya, Murali, Vass). lol SL had a lot of success with them. But not world beaters at Test level.

  • mohammad on March 22, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    Dhutugemunu You know what Australia's best team(Ponting,Mcgrath,Martn,Wagh,Hayden) could do in India and we saw what Sri Lanka's best team(Atapattu,Jayasuriya,Murali) did in India.

  • Amila on March 22, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    @ abcdef_12345; No mate. There were a lot of comments saying that the Old 35+ SL players thrashed young BD team. Anyway in BD squad the oldest guy is Ashraful (28). Correct me if I'm wrong. So Shillingford is older than him. Playing less number of matches doesn't make himself a young guy. He has been playing cricket in the domestic circuit for a while. Mike Hussy debut at 30. Did they say he was a young guy back then? Ok. Forget about Samuels who is a part time bowler. Look at the situation. Again old guys in WI performed. Experience makes a player perfect. BD players should play for long. May be one day their will be legendary BD players. Complaining or worrying about other teams doesn't help BD Cricket it self.

  • Dummy4 on March 22, 2013, 7:24 GMT

    Many fans from other countries many times are asking the same question about BD's Test Status. But neither knows that before 1997 cricket was not a popular sports in BD , even Football and Hockey was the main popular sports. There was a Dhaka based premier cricket league only and not a organized first class structures at all. So suddenly when everything happens so fast after 1999 world cup , so obviously it will take some time. others have to realize that. Truly cricket lovers from other countries surely agree that BD was a breath of relief towards cricket world, surely BD will be a major cricket power with in 15 years.

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