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

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

  • Android on March 28, 2014, 16:39 GMT

    Bangladesh cricket poor and poor cricket india nice cricket team

  • Ekram 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.

  • Dummy4 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 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?

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Nabakrishna 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.

  • Suj 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!

  • Android 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.

  • Android 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..

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