Bangladesh v India, World T20, Group 2, Mirpur March 27, 2014

Bangladesh must feast on crumbs of comfort

Bangladesh lost heavily to West Indies, but showed signs of turning the corner, particularly with their selections and the performance of some of their bowlers. They will need to make these gains count against India
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Losing teams cling on to morsels of confidence, and Bangladesh is one cricket team which has, in the not too distant past, made meals out of crumbs. The defeats to Hong Kong and West Indies in the World T20 have been debilitating, but they still have something to fight with against India on Friday.

It is quite obvious that there are, first and foremost, several areas to improve on. Most of the batsmen have not made a substantial contribution for a number of games, the ground fielding has been awful and catching overall has been poor too. Mushfiqur Rahim's captaincy has lacked flexibility on various occasions, and his batting and wicketkeeping have been below-par.

In the game against the West Indies, particularly after the chastening defeat to Hong Kong in their first round game in Chittagong, there were signs that the team was starting to turn the corner, but they still left a few gaps in their decision-making and productivity.

It started with the four changes they enforced. Particularly by dropping Abdur Razzak and Nasir Hossain, a message had been delivered to the team, finally, that there was no room for niceties.

Having decided to field first, Mushfiqur bowled Mashrafe Mortaza and Sohag Gazi out inside the first ten overs. It was a risk as well, but seeing how Mashrafe had tied down Chris Gayle, giving away just four runs off ten balls, and Gazi had bowled two good overs (his second and third), he decided to take the chance. Mushfiqur hasn't taken too many chances of late but this was interesting, and it worked mostly, until Gazi gave away four boundaries in his fourth over.

Throughout the West Indies innings, Bangladesh showed patience. It could also be that they were waiting for the batsmen to start taking the aerial route but it was good bowling that tied down Gayle and co.

Small things, like thinking on their feet, had deserted this team for more two months now, but there were glimpses that all was not lost. Al-Amin Hossain called for a catch from short fine-leg and held on to it. Tamim Iqbal took two great catches, the first of which was exceptional, going by Bangladesh's high-catching standards. He took the catch on the edge of the boundary, tossed it up and held on again after stepping over and back in from the boundary rope. The second catch was a spectacular diving effort at short third man; Tamim looked a little shy as his teammates gathered around him.

At the same time, though, Mahmudullah dropped two sitters at long-off and Anamul Haque fumbled a straightforward stop when Gayle had smashed one in his direction. Mushfiqur gave away eight byes in two balls.

Tamim, Shakib, Mushfiqur and the rest struggled with the bat, particularly against the spinners. They might face a similar test against India, particularly Amit Mishra who had been India's man of the match in both their games so far. Generally due to the lack of legspinners in the country, Bangladeshi batsmen are not used to facing them with confidence.

Bangladesh were meek against India last month in the Asia Cup, despite making a decent total. They must improve on that performance on Friday, mostly for the sake of making sense of their own progress as a team and as individuals in the last two years. Bangladesh are a Full Member side and shouldn't be bracketing themselves with an Associate, but having seen fellow qualifiers Netherlands give South Africa a massive scare on Thursday, they will want to match that performance at the very least.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on March 28, 2014, 16:39 GMT

    Bangladesh cricket poor and poor cricket india nice cricket team

  • BD_CricFan on March 28, 2014, 14:33 GMT

    Great article, Mohammed Isam. Hopefully the message reached the Bangladesh team (players/coaches/mgmt). Time to lay it all out on the field, fight like a Tiger. That's all we ask.

  • on March 28, 2014, 13:16 GMT

    I have no doubts that 10 years later, Bangladesh will be a team that will be a force to be reckoned with in the subcontinent, and will start challenging away as well. All the subcontinent teams, including India, took a long, long time to get to where they are today, so singling out Bangladesh for not performing is unfair. Today's Bangladesh is much more better than the Bangladesh of 2005, no doubt, and the Bangladesh of 2025 will be much better than the current team. As an Indian fan, wishing Bangladesh the best of luck...just not today. :P

  • Bang_La on March 28, 2014, 10:04 GMT

    Isam, Thank YOU! This kind of pieces we need for moral boost for our boys! Find silver lining amidst dark crowd. Many pundits have again raised voice against Bangladesh cricket standard but which team did not pass thru such bad patch in cricket?

  • on March 28, 2014, 8:27 GMT

    If Bangladesh are to win against India then they must send Shakib to open. Against the medium pace bowling he can revel and score freely. Need to change the strategy and just stick to the old batting order. Gazi should not try to bowl too fast but try and toss up as that will make it difficult for India.

  • on March 28, 2014, 7:06 GMT

    It's annoying for the most part but sometimes laughable how everybody has an opinion about the Bangladesh cricket team. It took India 50 years to come to grips with cricket. It took Sri - Lanka almost 70 years to win the World Cup and Pakistan got test status in the 50 s. I admit, Bangladesh did not show a steady upwards curve since being awarded test status but it took time for all other teams to become world beaters. The team is still at an early stage and with time we'll get there too. The passion for the game and the talent we produce gives us a very good chance of getting there. We should learn from our mistakes and make sure we don't repeat them. We need to play more tests with other countries, domestic cricket has to improve simultaneously and tournaments like the BPL should be run smoothly. We show glimpses of what we are truly capable of, we need to do that more consistently. Players and Selectors alike need to held accountable and the fans need to demand and get answers.

  • AuntyChrist on March 28, 2014, 7:00 GMT

    I hope Bangladesh come out all guns blazing and push India to the limits. The latter really needs a tight and big scoring game before the semis.

  • Abaa on March 28, 2014, 6:46 GMT

    Nice to see a Bangladesh fan like TheRisingTeam ... Not many of your country men are like you though. They are unbelievably delusional and immensely disrespectful. This is the reason that fans from countries like Ind, Pak and SL can't stand most of them! It is one thing to be confident. It is another to be brash and arrogant! If your team wins it is a completely different matter. Ind has won heaps when it matters. Pak has won everywhere against everyonel. And SL? Well they make every competition final which they cannot do without being consistent which is not possible without winning. So when their fans boast they have actually got some back up. Past records. Consistent, contemporary performances. Statistics. Consistent game changers and proven match winners like a Dhoni or a Sangakkaara or an Afridi. But when Bangladesh fans do it that too while losing to Afghanistan in an ODI and Hong Kong in a T20 and specially not having won a game against a top 8 in 2014 its just plain ridiculous!

  • on March 28, 2014, 3:02 GMT

    @TheRisingTeam Is it really you? I thought someone with this name was calling NZ to be banished from test playing nations and their position to be given to someone who "deserves" it. And I replied to you, what goes around comes around. Seems like that time has come.

  • on March 28, 2014, 1:22 GMT

    @abcdef_12345- I don't understand your logic bro..There's lot of difference between Indian cricket and SL cricket..Different amount of talent, Different class of batsmen, A well experienced captain who has won every single ICC world trophy, Different kind of bowlers and the team which SL were beaten by are more experienced than Bangladesh team.. So how can you say if SL lost yesterday than India would lose today? Please clarify your statement..

  • on March 28, 2014, 16:39 GMT

    Bangladesh cricket poor and poor cricket india nice cricket team

  • BD_CricFan on March 28, 2014, 14:33 GMT

    Great article, Mohammed Isam. Hopefully the message reached the Bangladesh team (players/coaches/mgmt). Time to lay it all out on the field, fight like a Tiger. That's all we ask.

  • on March 28, 2014, 13:16 GMT

    I have no doubts that 10 years later, Bangladesh will be a team that will be a force to be reckoned with in the subcontinent, and will start challenging away as well. All the subcontinent teams, including India, took a long, long time to get to where they are today, so singling out Bangladesh for not performing is unfair. Today's Bangladesh is much more better than the Bangladesh of 2005, no doubt, and the Bangladesh of 2025 will be much better than the current team. As an Indian fan, wishing Bangladesh the best of luck...just not today. :P

  • Bang_La on March 28, 2014, 10:04 GMT

    Isam, Thank YOU! This kind of pieces we need for moral boost for our boys! Find silver lining amidst dark crowd. Many pundits have again raised voice against Bangladesh cricket standard but which team did not pass thru such bad patch in cricket?

  • on March 28, 2014, 8:27 GMT

    If Bangladesh are to win against India then they must send Shakib to open. Against the medium pace bowling he can revel and score freely. Need to change the strategy and just stick to the old batting order. Gazi should not try to bowl too fast but try and toss up as that will make it difficult for India.

  • on March 28, 2014, 7:06 GMT

    It's annoying for the most part but sometimes laughable how everybody has an opinion about the Bangladesh cricket team. It took India 50 years to come to grips with cricket. It took Sri - Lanka almost 70 years to win the World Cup and Pakistan got test status in the 50 s. I admit, Bangladesh did not show a steady upwards curve since being awarded test status but it took time for all other teams to become world beaters. The team is still at an early stage and with time we'll get there too. The passion for the game and the talent we produce gives us a very good chance of getting there. We should learn from our mistakes and make sure we don't repeat them. We need to play more tests with other countries, domestic cricket has to improve simultaneously and tournaments like the BPL should be run smoothly. We show glimpses of what we are truly capable of, we need to do that more consistently. Players and Selectors alike need to held accountable and the fans need to demand and get answers.

  • AuntyChrist on March 28, 2014, 7:00 GMT

    I hope Bangladesh come out all guns blazing and push India to the limits. The latter really needs a tight and big scoring game before the semis.

  • Abaa on March 28, 2014, 6:46 GMT

    Nice to see a Bangladesh fan like TheRisingTeam ... Not many of your country men are like you though. They are unbelievably delusional and immensely disrespectful. This is the reason that fans from countries like Ind, Pak and SL can't stand most of them! It is one thing to be confident. It is another to be brash and arrogant! If your team wins it is a completely different matter. Ind has won heaps when it matters. Pak has won everywhere against everyonel. And SL? Well they make every competition final which they cannot do without being consistent which is not possible without winning. So when their fans boast they have actually got some back up. Past records. Consistent, contemporary performances. Statistics. Consistent game changers and proven match winners like a Dhoni or a Sangakkaara or an Afridi. But when Bangladesh fans do it that too while losing to Afghanistan in an ODI and Hong Kong in a T20 and specially not having won a game against a top 8 in 2014 its just plain ridiculous!

  • on March 28, 2014, 3:02 GMT

    @TheRisingTeam Is it really you? I thought someone with this name was calling NZ to be banished from test playing nations and their position to be given to someone who "deserves" it. And I replied to you, what goes around comes around. Seems like that time has come.

  • on March 28, 2014, 1:22 GMT

    @abcdef_12345- I don't understand your logic bro..There's lot of difference between Indian cricket and SL cricket..Different amount of talent, Different class of batsmen, A well experienced captain who has won every single ICC world trophy, Different kind of bowlers and the team which SL were beaten by are more experienced than Bangladesh team.. So how can you say if SL lost yesterday than India would lose today? Please clarify your statement..

  • huffpost on March 28, 2014, 0:47 GMT

    @risingteam...You have spoken the truth and every BD fan must read your comment and realise the inherent truth in it..winning one off game is not good..winning consistently is the key and BD are yet to get there...So the fans must lower their expectation not only in the next game but whenever they play a top 8 team..

  • TigerRoars on March 27, 2014, 21:17 GMT

    Professional attitude and sensible captaincy are the first things I want to see from the BD team. Yes, the results have been painful, but but their pathetic attitudes have been shameful.

  • on March 27, 2014, 19:36 GMT

    I think Mushfiq should retire as a captain. His emotions always get the better of him. Every time the team loses he blame others, this way he looses respect. Shakib captained once and I think he did a decent job. Just imagine how young he was. He should get a second chance; he will turn things around. He can make critical decisions in pressurized situation. There's no doubt that he's the sharpest bloke in the squad.

  • on March 27, 2014, 19:22 GMT

    While I mostly agree with the opinion of @The Rising Team (especially showing respect to top 8 teams); he is probably a bit harsh on the players. At least Shakib definitely is a world class spinner ( a no.7 ranking in T20I's, no. 18 in Tests and no.21 in ODI's speaks for itself).

  • indianzen on March 27, 2014, 18:58 GMT

    India will Chase and will win over BD easily... Pace bowlers are just a pack of jokes at the moment for BD...

  • i_amVIVA on March 27, 2014, 18:13 GMT

    Dear BD mgmt.: Pls note - I support Zia, Sabbir, Mominul & Nasir be in the team consistently. Razzak & Mahmudullah be dropped. Constant change is not a good idea, team should grow as a unit, thereby, know each others approach, it's a team game. I question Mushi's captaincy, the management should look into it. He left behind the basics of rotating bowlers, utilizing prize bowler to keep the run rate low, & the like mistakes game after game. At least 2 or 3 games BD could've won had there been sensible leadership in the field. Finally, all bd management, coach, captain should sit with the team to explain consequences of throwing wickets away, playing rash batting; there should be clear accountability established, - make clear, no position is guaranteed, there's consequences for irresponsibility. And, this approach may yield productivity, stability and gradual success soon. And most of all, BD needs to plan and establish core domestic cricketing structure on an urgent basis for success.

  • i_amVIVA on March 27, 2014, 18:01 GMT

    For a competitive game tomorrow, I pled to BD mgmt., please consider my suggested playing 11 as follows:

    1.Tamim 2.Anamul 3.Shamsur 4.Rahim 5.Sakib 6.Nasir.7.Ziaur 8. Gazi 9.Masrafe 10.Sabbir 11. Al amin

  • i_amVIVA on March 27, 2014, 17:54 GMT

    BD should open with Anam-Shamsur, then Tamim, Shakib, Zia, Mushy; if the top order plays without rash shot, show sensible ball selection & produce stability, then the middle could build up on that to a decent total or chasing...

  • i_amVIVA on March 27, 2014, 17:51 GMT

    BD mgmt.: pls drop Mahmudullah and Razzak; and include Nasir, Sabbir, Al Amin, Shamsur. This will produce a better game and may be a fighting chance for BD success against mighty Ind.

  • TheRisingTeam on March 27, 2014, 17:49 GMT

    Us Bangla fans need to stop disrespecting teams from top 8, dreaming and look at the reality. Highly unlikely Bangladesh will beat India tomorrow and even if we do somehow beat them, it doesn't prove a thing. The fact of the matter is Bangladesh Cricket lack serious professionalism on and off the field.

    Our batting is dodgy with many of our batsman having poor techniques, poor shot selection, lack of temperament and little footwork.

    Fielding to be fair has been average neither good nor bad.

    Bowling attack is plain ordinary. We have no world class pacer or spinner and most of our bowlers bowl all over the place especially short and wide and no wonder we have flopped in tests where bowling is essential to winning games.

    No doubt the talent of Bangladesh Cricket is there but until Bangladesh players play like professionals (proper sensible Cricket) and administration sorts out the poor first class structure and poor pitches, Bangladesh will continue to struggle.

  • British_North_America on March 27, 2014, 17:45 GMT

    Since Sri Lanka lost today, I expect Bangladesh to win tomorrow.

  • Equal_right2play_cricket on March 27, 2014, 15:18 GMT

    1.Why don't BD try any more by Zia & Shamsur as opening pair after performoing good against NZ? 2.Why don't they utilize Mominul like alrounder who has been played with Gayle, Hodge, Shehzad? 3.Why do BD judge thier player by domestic performance where so many 'drop catch', 'loose delivery without punishment', 'half century with many lives' , 'lower umpiring' are happened? 4.Why don't u change ur batting order like the gr8 team India/Aus to regain individual performance? 5.Why don't u strong ur tail-end which was ur strength once? 6.Why don't u utilize all of ur experienced part time bowler? 7.Why do ur DJ & fans shout after couple of 4/6's to inspire needless shot? 8.Why don't u cheer in the field like Ind/Aus rather than shouting ugly?

    TRY TO TAKE HELP FRM IND,AUS TO PLAY IN THEIR DOMESTIC BY UR A/B TEAM REGULARLY RATHER THAN SHOUTING FOR BILATERAL SEREIS. THAT'LL B UR PIPELINE.

  • Himadri_Debnath on March 27, 2014, 14:32 GMT

    A target of 165 will be enough for India against BD where no target is enough for BD

  • on March 27, 2014, 13:09 GMT

    Being an Indian fan, what I can say Bangladesh need to do now is replace Sabir Rehman with Nasir Hussain. Secondly Sakib Should come to bat at No 3 and should bowl the new ball with Mashrafee. Finally Bangladesh should chase if they win toss. If Bangladesh openers give a fight they will surely win.

  • on March 27, 2014, 12:51 GMT

    with a win agaist Bangladesh india will proceed to semis,NRR is not an issue

  • mgr125128 on March 27, 2014, 12:32 GMT

    India 165/6 in 20 overs and BD all out 139/7 in 20 overs is my prediction provided India bats first.If they chase they will just try to win in reasonable time instead of hurrying it up. Despite all predictions that India will go out for a NRR...I heard from a close source that India has decided to just concentrate on winning instead of risking big margin win and instead ending up too close.

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  • mgr125128 on March 27, 2014, 12:32 GMT

    India 165/6 in 20 overs and BD all out 139/7 in 20 overs is my prediction provided India bats first.If they chase they will just try to win in reasonable time instead of hurrying it up. Despite all predictions that India will go out for a NRR...I heard from a close source that India has decided to just concentrate on winning instead of risking big margin win and instead ending up too close.

  • on March 27, 2014, 12:51 GMT

    with a win agaist Bangladesh india will proceed to semis,NRR is not an issue

  • on March 27, 2014, 13:09 GMT

    Being an Indian fan, what I can say Bangladesh need to do now is replace Sabir Rehman with Nasir Hussain. Secondly Sakib Should come to bat at No 3 and should bowl the new ball with Mashrafee. Finally Bangladesh should chase if they win toss. If Bangladesh openers give a fight they will surely win.

  • Himadri_Debnath on March 27, 2014, 14:32 GMT

    A target of 165 will be enough for India against BD where no target is enough for BD

  • Equal_right2play_cricket on March 27, 2014, 15:18 GMT

    1.Why don't BD try any more by Zia & Shamsur as opening pair after performoing good against NZ? 2.Why don't they utilize Mominul like alrounder who has been played with Gayle, Hodge, Shehzad? 3.Why do BD judge thier player by domestic performance where so many 'drop catch', 'loose delivery without punishment', 'half century with many lives' , 'lower umpiring' are happened? 4.Why don't u change ur batting order like the gr8 team India/Aus to regain individual performance? 5.Why don't u strong ur tail-end which was ur strength once? 6.Why don't u utilize all of ur experienced part time bowler? 7.Why do ur DJ & fans shout after couple of 4/6's to inspire needless shot? 8.Why don't u cheer in the field like Ind/Aus rather than shouting ugly?

    TRY TO TAKE HELP FRM IND,AUS TO PLAY IN THEIR DOMESTIC BY UR A/B TEAM REGULARLY RATHER THAN SHOUTING FOR BILATERAL SEREIS. THAT'LL B UR PIPELINE.

  • British_North_America on March 27, 2014, 17:45 GMT

    Since Sri Lanka lost today, I expect Bangladesh to win tomorrow.

  • TheRisingTeam on March 27, 2014, 17:49 GMT

    Us Bangla fans need to stop disrespecting teams from top 8, dreaming and look at the reality. Highly unlikely Bangladesh will beat India tomorrow and even if we do somehow beat them, it doesn't prove a thing. The fact of the matter is Bangladesh Cricket lack serious professionalism on and off the field.

    Our batting is dodgy with many of our batsman having poor techniques, poor shot selection, lack of temperament and little footwork.

    Fielding to be fair has been average neither good nor bad.

    Bowling attack is plain ordinary. We have no world class pacer or spinner and most of our bowlers bowl all over the place especially short and wide and no wonder we have flopped in tests where bowling is essential to winning games.

    No doubt the talent of Bangladesh Cricket is there but until Bangladesh players play like professionals (proper sensible Cricket) and administration sorts out the poor first class structure and poor pitches, Bangladesh will continue to struggle.

  • i_amVIVA on March 27, 2014, 17:51 GMT

    BD mgmt.: pls drop Mahmudullah and Razzak; and include Nasir, Sabbir, Al Amin, Shamsur. This will produce a better game and may be a fighting chance for BD success against mighty Ind.

  • i_amVIVA on March 27, 2014, 17:54 GMT

    BD should open with Anam-Shamsur, then Tamim, Shakib, Zia, Mushy; if the top order plays without rash shot, show sensible ball selection & produce stability, then the middle could build up on that to a decent total or chasing...

  • i_amVIVA on March 27, 2014, 18:01 GMT

    For a competitive game tomorrow, I pled to BD mgmt., please consider my suggested playing 11 as follows:

    1.Tamim 2.Anamul 3.Shamsur 4.Rahim 5.Sakib 6.Nasir.7.Ziaur 8. Gazi 9.Masrafe 10.Sabbir 11. Al amin