Bangladesh in Sri Lanka 2016-17 March 27, 2017

Mashrafe wants batsmen to emulate 'big teams'

'The batsmen should learn how to convert 50-60 into a hundred, which is what big teams do' - Mashrafe Mortaza © AFP

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza wants his batsmen to continue converting starts into big scores, like how "big teams do", in order to push totals higher. Tamim Iqbal's 127 played a major role in Bangladesh reaching their second highest ODI total, 324 for 5, in the first match in Dambulla.

Tamim supported Sabbir Rahman and Shakib Al Hasan who made rapid half-centuries. They have lost only once out of ten occasions in which they have scored more than 300 runs.

Bangladesh's best batsmen, though, have a poor conversion rate. Tamim has scored eight ODI hundreds from 42 50-plus scores in his career. Shakib has six hundreds and 33 fifties, while Mushfiqur Rahim has four hundreds and 23 fifties.

Among the younger players, Soumya Sarkar has scored one century and four fifties in his 21 ODIs. In ten of those innings, he has scored between 20 and 40. Sabbir meanwhile hasn't struck a century in 33 ODIs, scoring just four fifties.

"[Our strength playing abroad] has to be our batting," Mashrafe said. "We wanted our batsmen to cross the 50 to 70-run mark and get a big score. It was a learning curve for us. Sabbir missed out in the last game but Tamim got to a big hundred. It makes winning easier when someone does that.

"It is a good lesson for us. The batsmen should learn how to convert 50-60 into a hundred, which is what big teams do. We have to learn this continuously, and ensure that we keep doing this. Finishing is also an important matter, which has helped us get to that score."

Mashrafe said they are applying some of the lessons they learned from New Zealand, where they pushed the home side in the second and third ODIs with good starts but couldn't quite win games.

"After the England ODI series which was our last ODI series at home, I said that the different challenge will start in New Zealand," Mashrafe said. "But we couldn't win there, despite creating opportunities.

"We won the second Test and the first ODI here. We will improve slowly. Other teams also took time to win abroad. New Zealand was difficult for us but that experience will work for us here," he said.

Bangladesh are mulling over a different combination in the second ODI, considering how much grass was left on the Dambulla pitch on the eve of the game. Sri Lanka have also added two pace bowlers to their squad.

"I think the wicket will be good for batting," Mashrafe said. "In the sub-continent you have to keep a lot of grass to make a wicket that suits the fast bowlers. We will have a look at the grass tomorrow, and whether they have watered it or not. We also have to find out if the wicket ends up as soft or hard.

"We have always broken our winning combination against India and South Africa in 2015. The wicket tomorrow may be different, so we have to keep that in mind," he said.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • hussyy on March 27, 2017, 21:10 GMT

    Mash talks sense you gota respect this guy. Bd players need to conpete with eachothers to see who gets the most runs most wickets etc, the great Wasim Akram once said during his time he used to compete with Waqar Younis

  • raadin8388482 on March 27, 2017, 19:46 GMT

    you dont emulate class, its the very essence, BD should have their own idols and class to follow, when it comes to respect, you dish out what you get, tits for tats

  • yadavk5152547 on March 27, 2017, 14:25 GMT

    Along with emulating their performance, please first emulate their class ,respect and maturity ,Banglades

  • krishnakumar on March 27, 2017, 13:13 GMT

    imagine sub- continent players facing starc Cummins hazzlewood in in Indian pitches Cummins and starc were unplayable champion trophy England south Africa and Australia are favorite

  • Nimrod on March 27, 2017, 12:46 GMT

    This same BD team is capable of thrashing Australia and England in the champions trophy and winning the tournament. While Pak, SL, WI cricket declines, SA, BD, NZ are getting better year by year. Since BPL started, I'm seeing BD quality getting better

  • Elomelo on March 27, 2017, 12:44 GMT

    I think Sri Lanka should fight wholeheartedly in tomorrow's match so that the margin of defeat can lessen the disgrace somewhat for them.

  • Mo Alam on March 27, 2017, 11:29 GMT

    To me Mashrafe is the main reason behind BD's improvement since the world cup. He may not be a match winner with his individual performance but his excellent leadership qualities is what binds the team together. It is not easy to captain a side like Bangladesh when they used to win 1 and lose 10 matches. But he has shown great character when the times were bad, which to me is one of the main reasons amongst others behind this team's transformation.

  • wahidk3579263 on March 27, 2017, 11:12 GMT

    He is an inspirational leader and will be a good coach as well. He thinks about the game and got the right attitude. He is a great star in the cricketing sky.

  • imranh5593295 on March 27, 2017, 11:09 GMT

    No need to broken the wining combination. It is the best team for all time at any combination. As a BD fan i wish that this team will accumulate so many glory for BD Cricket all around the world.

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