Shakib rues profligate fast bowlers

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan has held his fast bowlers responsible for making his decision to insert India backfire spectacularly.

"I thought we could have bowled better" Shakib - downcast but not desolate - said. "We bowled too many boundary balls, and that cost us the game."

The opening ball of the World Cup, short and wide from Shafiul Islam, yielded a boundary as Virender Sehwag crunched it through extra cover. Shafiul went on to concede eight more runs in his first over, including a four off the last ball. By the end of the third over, the Indian openers had hit six boundaries and raced to 32. It led to the introduction of spin in the fifth over.

"I thought we had a better chance of winning the game chasing," Shakib said repeatedly. "It would have been a different game had we got two early wickets. That was our plan. Our fast bowlers didn't execute the plan, that was the main problem.

"I thought our fast bowlers have been bowling really well for the last 12 months. Today wasn't their day but hopefully they will come back strongly."

He said he was satisfied, however, with the effort with the bat despite his team finishing 87 runs short of the target. "The plan was to bat properly, playing cricketing shots. We knew the wicket was good, and if one of Tamim (Iqbal) and Junaid (Siddique) had kept going, we could have got a very good total.

"That was our plan, and I thought we executed our plan very well. We didn't try to hit too many slogs, we played all cricketing shots, and got close to 300. I thought we batted really well and sensibly."

He refused to be drawn into discussing the non-selection of Mohammad Ashraful, who has spent more time on the bench than in the playing XI under his captaincy, and to a pointed question on whether he had a problem with the senior players, his response was a cryptic and dismissive "no comments."