Bangladesh v India, World T20, Group 2, Mirpur March 28, 2014

Mushfiqur hopes for a better tomorrow


Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh captain, has been the team's mouthpiece for much of their slump, turning up after pretty much every defeat to sum up how badly they have done, defending a selection or two, and appealing to the fans to stay with the team. He has used the word "alarming" a number of times and expressed exasperation at the dropped catches. Even more worryingly, he has been frank on a few occasions about being a bit lost in trying to find out a way to improve his team.

After yet another insipid performance, one wondered just what else could he say.

Against India, Bangladesh made 40 runs more than they did in the last game (98 all out against West Indies). Anamul Haque made 44, Mahmudullah returned to some form with an unbeaten 33 and Mashrafe Mortaza finished his quota of overs without getting injured. But to post 138 for 7 against India's batting line-up was never enough. The team's senior batsmen Mushfiqur, Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal once again failed to contribute significantly. It has been six games now that the No 3 batting position has hardly put a dent to the team's score.

Bangladesh are virtually out of their home World T20 tournament but Mushfiqur, as he has done since the Sri Lanka ODI series, hoped for a better tomorrow.

"We wanted to start well, but we didn't do it in these two games," Mushfiqur said. "There was a bit of improvement today, but we still have lots of areas to work on. We are playing against top teams, we need to play smarter cricket. Hopefully we will come up with good plans tonight and do better in the next two matches."

Given the lack of good starts from the openers and the continued struggle of the middle-order, Mushfiqur said that there is going to be a shuffling of the batting order in the next match. "Our plan was for Shakib to play at three, and myself at four," he said. "But because Nasir [Hossain] and [Mahmudullah] Riyad were not in good form and Sabbir is a new guy, we didn't want to risk Shakib going in very early and expose the middle and lower-order. Shakib plays his shots and could get out early too. The same could have happened with me. But we are going to think about it again."

On March 26, the BCB president had said the team could undergo changes after the World T20. He didn't elaborate on which areas, but Mushfiqur has made it clear that he won't be leaving the job of captain.

"No one wants to leave the captaincy at a bad time, leaving your responsibility," he said. "I enjoy captaincy, it is a big honour. If we do well, nobody thinks of us. But when we do badly, you have to work and come back to good form. The change is up to the administrators. If they make 20 changes and it helps the team, it is going to be good for the team."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mradul on March 29, 2014, 20:19 GMT

    Recently i came across a very interesting trivia. Any BD fan can answer it. When was the last time Bangladesh defeated Pakistan in any form of International Cricket?

  • VIJAY on March 29, 2014, 20:17 GMT

    @HippocraticTiger...why Indian fans (including me) hate BD so much is just because of attitude....i have no issues with BD win/loss....but you should learn to respect the opposition...if BD win any match...the players and fans react as world beaters, Tamim, masrafe, mushfiquar, shakib all are equal in this regard...and show disrespect to other countries fans and players...this is the problem with BD....keep your head cool and identify mistakes with the help of coach and captain and workout on them....restructure the entire team...even if you dont get opportunity of playing with bigger with associates in their soil...there is no wrong in that...gradually the performance of BD will improve and they get some more opportunity of playing with major countries...

  • Mradul on March 29, 2014, 20:08 GMT

    I can't help thinking that since BD captain said that Bangladesh team plays well at home and will be difficult to beat, they have lost all their matches at home and have won only against Nepal and Afg (lost to them too before that). They tried to show that its a disgrace to them when they were asked to play the qualifier by defeating Nepal with a six (rather than taking single) they have lost 3 matches since then. Surprisingly Netherlands is giving a rather good competition to bigger team than Bangladesh at their home grounds.

  • Raghu on March 29, 2014, 11:39 GMT

    I feel that one of the problems with BD cricket is the attitude of their players. Once they get selected, they tend get inflated egos and swagger about on the field as if they are world beaters. Mohd Ashraful was a prime example. Instead of concentrating on the basics, learning from his mistakes and trying for consistency at the top level, he wasted his talent by his attitude and behaviour. The swagger and the strutting about are fine if you keep winning; otherwise it looks pathetic. Tamim Iqbal is another example. The only level headed guy one sees is Shakib Al Hasan and that is perhaps why he is a cut above the rest. Once the BD players stop floating in the air and get down to solid hard work, they will also start winning

  • sunny on March 29, 2014, 11:12 GMT

    to be very honest SL made great strides in 14 years,the same number of years since Bangladesh has been inducted into the league of biggies.on the flip side i wonder whether Bangla have got enough chances to play against quality opposition like AUS,SA just to name a couple.maybe not.....of course i dont remember whether Srilanka got such chances either as i was a kid then and hardly followed cricket seriously.......there must be a lot of wrong happening within that ails Bangla cricket which we are not aware of.

  • Android on March 29, 2014, 11:07 GMT

    Bangladesh should learn a thing or two about innings building from Netherlands. They played exceptionally against a strong New Zealand bowling attack to score 151 for the loss of only 4 wickets. Even if the Dutch don't win today it's still a commendable performance unlike Bangladesh who play ungainly shots in times of recuperation.

  • Dummy4 on March 29, 2014, 10:12 GMT

    It is one step forward and two steps backward for Bangladesh

  • Dummy4 on March 29, 2014, 8:58 GMT

    @sfarazi....Please, U alone r not playing on spinning pitches. Ind,pak,sl also play on spinning pitches..What can u say about the pitches in SL??Are ur pitches turning more than sri lankan pitches??? If so You should have world class spinners and your national batsmen should play spinners easily.Neither of them is happening.

  • Chirath on March 29, 2014, 8:45 GMT

    @wapuser, buddy, out of all the points I have made, you picked my point about population? anyways, its not major a factor but its still worth mentioning. and yes, you cannot compare the expectations of India & Sri Lanka, they are incomparable. But it just goes to show if you have decent infrastructure and enough talent to be nourished, than you can always compete with the best in the world, despite all the problems that may exist in the country. But its just puzzling that despite the interest and passion of the game (and the population, yes i said it again :P) in Bangladesh, they still struggle after 14 years of Test Cricket. But I do hope that they put in sum good performances before they play their full quota of matches in the tournament.

  • Shegufta on March 29, 2014, 8:35 GMT

    The fans come back every time because we believe the team has immense potential and talent to beat the top teams but in the last 2 matches, their body language indicated that they had lost before they had even begun. Bangladesh are more than capable of playing in the top league but attitude and administration has been very poor. Those people calling for Bangladesh to be put into associate level should understand that the team, despite being in amongst the top 10 nations, hardly get a chance to play teams like Australia, SA and England on tracks that suit the fast pacers. How are we to develop our fast bowlers if we're constantly made to play on spin friendly tracks? How are we ever to rise from the bottom if we're always disapproved of or dismissed as unworthy? Yes, we're inconsistent but we definitely don't lack talent. If you watch BD cricket, you'll realise that when we're functioning well in all departments, we're capable of playing good matches. Here's to a brighter future!

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