Bangladesh v Pakistan, World T20, Group 2, Mirpur March 30, 2014

'Two bad overs cost us the match' - Mushfiqur

ESPNcricinfo staff

Things can't get worse for Bangladesh, their captain Mushfiqur Rahim admitted after they lost by 50 runs to Pakistan. "Losing by 50 runs in T20," he said, "is like losing by 100-150 in ODIs."

The margin of defeat might have been massive, but Mushfiqur said two overs - one from Ziaur Rahman that cost 22 runs and another from Mashrafe Mortaza that leaked 24 - made an inordinate difference to the result.

"I thought the spinners bowled very well - Shakib, Razzak and [Mahmudullah] Riyad - but one over from Mashrafe and one over from Zia cost us the match," he said. "When you are giving 20-odd runs in one over it's very difficult to come back.

"Ahmed Shehzad also batted really well throughout the innings, which didn't help us. I thought 160-170 could have been a different ball game. And also, in the batting we did not capitalise in the first six overs and also lost a couple of early wickets. We did not get the momentum; that is what we needed."

Bangladesh have not a disappointing World T20. They qualified for the Super 10 stage, but lost to Hong Kong along the way. Against the big teams, meanwhile, they have lost all their matches and lost them by sizeable margins.

"There are a few positives, I can say," Mushfiqur said, summing up the tournament which has one match remaining for them. "Our first target was to get through the first round, which we did. If we qualified we knew we would be in the big group with the big teams. But unfortunately we did not perform well.

"A couple of guys who didn't perform to their ability, and that is really very important. When someone is not scoring runs or bowling well, it is very difficult. If only one or two guys are playing well from the 11 it is very difficult. When you are playing against India, Pakistan, West Indies you have to play well as a team and have contributions from all batsmen and all bowlers. Really disappointing tournament so far, but we have one more game to go; we would really like to finish it well so that we can take some positives out of the last game."

Bangladesh, Mushfiqur said, lacked match-winners in the Twenty20 format.

"Against India, Pakistan or those teams, we have not been performing well in T20s," he said. "We don't have powerful batsmen down there or matchwinners, not four or five. There are a few but not like Ajmal, Afridi, Gul or Hafeez. We are really trying our best, but some of the boys are not in their peak form, so that doesn't help."

Without power hitters down the order, Mushfiqur said the top-order batsmen had to stay at the crease for the bulk of the innings, and had been failing to do so.

"Power hitting is of two types," he said. "One is you are set and playing in the middle overs and then there are players like Afridi, [Darren] Sammy who come in the death overs and in those three or four overs do their stuff. They probably hit sixes that are 10 or 15 meters longer, but it is counted only as six.

"But what I am saying is that our top batsmen are not able to play in the slog overs. So it is difficult for new batsmen to hit from the word go. And our seventh, eighth batsmen were not in form, so in that respect it is good that Riyad is playing well and Nasir [Hossain] also played well today. And it is not like we are not shuffling, Shakib played number three today. But our main planning was that those of us who play spin well get the most number of overs from spinners."

We don't have powerful batsmen down there or match-winners, not four or five. There are a few but not like Ajmal, Afridi, Gul or Hafeez.
Mushfiqur Rahim, Bangladesh captain

Mushfiqur did not believe dropping senior players who had not been performing, such as Tamim Iqbal, was the an option.

"I don't think dropping them is a solution, because I think you have to wait another eight to ten years to get another Mushfiq, Tamim or Shakib," he said. "The main solution is identifying which team combination will be able to play best against a particular team. If dropping is a solution, then why not? And no player is bigger than the team, there is nothing to say that he cannot be dropped. If our team management thinks that it would be good if he is dropped then that will happen. But I think those of us who are in the team, if we can play with more responsibility then it will be different."

Bangladesh, Mushfiqur conceded, did not have a team capable of consistently winning T20 matches against big teams. But he was disappointed they had not been able to compete against any of them.

"That was the expectation among the players as well," he said. "Apart from some matches I would not say we played too badly [this year, starting with the Sri Lanka series at home]. There was [the loss to] Afghanistan in the Asia Cup, the first ODI against Sri Lanka [where Bangladesh lost after having the opposition 67 for 8] and the Hong Kong match here.

"These three were a big shock that no one expected from us. In the last two years we were able to recover from bad performances. But no one expected us to lose those matches, and I think that has put us on the back foot mentally. It has been discussed a lot, which is why we were also under pressure."

This pressure, he said, wasn't allowing the players to express themselves. "When you are playing badly, then the enjoyment goes down. If you are not getting success, it is difficult to come back. In that respect we are not getting the results. So sometimes even if we have a plan our thinking in the crunch moments pans out differently. Everyone has it in the back of their minds that we have to win this match, we have to play well.

"So instead of thinking that, if we thought, this is a game, if we enjoy the challenge 100%, not throwing caution to the wind, but enjoying the occasion in such a big tournament with such big teams. If we play against these guys we can do something different and let's just see what happens.

"In the back of the mind that is the effort we are putting in, but when you are playing badly it becomes difficult to maintain it. I would say the process is okay but we are unable to execute it. Whether you play well or badly, the processes have to be right, because it is the small things that make a difference. Because we cannot do that, maybe that is why we are losing in such big margins."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Subterraneo on April 1, 2014, 23:13 GMT

    After his comeback 81 against Australia in 2011, which ended his poor batting form, Mushfique has been among the best batsmen in the country along with Nasir and Shakib (Tamim has not been as prolific). After the disastrous Zimbabwe tour of 2011, when attitude was objectionable along with performance, Shakib and Tamim had to be removed from captaincy. Mushfique was the obvious next choice. He continued his improvement in batting - almost finishing a chase in 3rd ODI vs ZIM in 2011, then completing the chase against WI in T20I in 2011, hitting three sixes to finish a tight chase (30 off 3 overs) against IND in 2012, scoring first double-century for BD, scoring match-sealing 93 in 2nd innings of 2nd Test vs Zimbabwe, forming match-winning partnership against NZ in 1st ODI, etc.

    It is well-known that he practises the longest. During the NZ and WI ODI series, some of his bowling changes brought wickets quickly. In the SL series, his changes backfired. Nobody can foresee perfectly.

  • Nasim on March 31, 2014, 18:08 GMT

    "I don't think dropping them is a solution, because I think you have to wait another eight to ten years to get another Mushfiq, Tamim or Shakib," - just another indication of Mushfiq's own superiority complex, mentioning himself ahead of Tamim or Shakib. Mushfiq's batting may have improved a little in few years but still he is far away from being Mr. Dependable batsman for Bangladesh (anyone possibly nearing that title in recent past had been Nasir and Shakib). His wicket-keeping is pretty ordinary. Not to mention, his captaincy is the worst in Bangladesh history. Without inspirations from Shakib, Mashrafe and maybe some from Razzak, he simply can't guide the team. Mr. Papon already promised changes in the team but the most needed change is to replace the captain and the coach with better ones but I don't see that happening in near future... :(

  • RAJEESH on March 31, 2014, 11:36 GMT

    Banglas real problem is their attitude. They somehow think that they are equal in strength to the top teams. B4 asia cup mashrafe said that beating india is no longer be counted as upset as they did it quite a few times. But how many?3 or4. After qualifying to the super10 in this event someone of them said that they are here to give hard time to the top teams. A team must understand thier position clearly. Vocal excercises wont win matches.

  • Dummy4 on March 31, 2014, 11:20 GMT

    Moreover, say the said two overs had went for half the runs, is Mushfiq saying 170 would've been a walk in the park otherwise?

    I'm just having a hard time digesting BD's poor run of form, it's irritating how they are unsuccessfully trying to put a positive spin on their poor showing.

    It shows me that BD are unwilling to admit failure & unwilling to change anything. The first step towards correcting something is to admit that something is wrong.

    Doesn't bode well for BD crickets future in my book.

  • Dummy4 on March 31, 2014, 9:03 GMT

    It was not just 2 overs. Apart from few overs by spinners, there was no pressure on PAK batsmen. easy singles and Ahmed hit all boundaries with ease.

    In my opinion, the issue with BD is selection. Far too many players are playing for name only. Nasir, Tamim are prime example. Tamim has not scored much for last few games. 20-30s are not good enough from such experienced and good player.

    You have plenty of talent in domestic circuit. Anam, & al amin are good examples of it. Select good performers from domsstic events. not out of form players for sake of name.

    2nd issue is that some players lack intensity. very often you feel that some are not giving 100%. these guys are certainly better than this. Might be some dressing room politics and issues. Captain also need to take grip on matters.

  • Muhammad on March 31, 2014, 8:24 GMT

    Bangladesh should relegated to associate level once again as they are such a shame to Test Cricket.

  • Dummy4 on March 31, 2014, 7:57 GMT

    Mushfiq needs to go for the Bangladesh team to go anywhere, he keeps shooting low.

    Before the round robin stage, he said that BD would aim to give the other teams a hard time. Just that.

    Now he's saying they need to get some positives out of the last match.

    If you're only looking to get positives out of tournaments & matches, you're already aiming too low! Sure you need to be realistic, but you tell the team to go out there to win, *not to generate positives* so that Mushfiq can come out all smug and give a post match conference about it!

    You play to win, if you don't, please leave the team in peace. His captaincy is horrible, allowing faster bowlers to bowl the last few even though he knew they were going for runs. That's one blunt knife of a captian If I've ever seen one.

  • Shah on March 31, 2014, 7:17 GMT

    @BoonBoom: BD being a test side had to play the qualifying round just due to their inconsistency nothing else..don't even think in your wildest dreams to compare BD with the associates..BD are way superior than these associates & also better than current ZIM that's reality so you must follow the reality..losing 2 games against the associates recently doesn't mean they have also became like one of history its not only BD who lost to associates go see! but few other test teams also lost to them so think several times before saying negative things about BD..but yes BD's performance again getting poorer & may be its because of losing few very close games & then again lost to AFG & HK for all these they are not going well mentally but just wait & see how BD bounce back to their usual form soon...!

  • Shah on March 31, 2014, 6:50 GMT

    @ Legaleagle: does your country even play cricket?? that you are talking about AFG & IRE to the test level in place of a test nation team BD who is superior to all associates including current test team ZIM! this proves the level of your cricket knowledge...!

  • Abdullah Al Razi on March 31, 2014, 6:37 GMT

    Mushfiq would win the world-talking T20 cup for us. As there is no such thing, Mushfiq, say good bye to captaincy

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