Before the Nidahas Trophy, Bangladesh never felt like they were playing consistently in a T20 tournament, according to Mushfiqur Rahim. Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka twice in final-over thrillers, which has given them confidence for the future.
Mushfiqur said Bangladesh's overall recovery in this tournament, after the poor home series against Sri Lanka, stood out. They were beaten 2-0 in the T20s in February, after they lost the ODI tri-series final and the Test series, to Sri Lanka.
"We haven't become a T20 side of caliber yet but if you compare how we did in the home T20s in February to how we did in Sri Lanka, we have taken a step in the right direction," Mushfiqur said. "We have shown we can be consistent in T20s. We still have a lot of room for improvement. Our top-order batsmen have to play till the end. We did finish two games well.
"Our bowlers have to take more wickets in the Powerplay overs. We have to work on our death-over bowling. Most of the wickets were flat, we were a bit behind India's economy rate. I think it is a gain that we now have some confidence in T20s, like we have found in Tests and ODIs."
Bangladesh were short of confidence prior to the Nidahas Trophy, but Mushfiqur boosted their morale after carrying them past Sri Lanka in the second league game. Mahmudullah's cameo in the virtual knockout against Sri Lanka lifted them further. However, they lost one crucial moment in the final as Dinesh Karthik hit Soumya Sarkar for six off the last ball of the match.
Mushfiqur however feels that Soumya cannot be blamed. "It is quite obvious to feel bad. But it wasn't due to one person," Mushfiqur said. "If all our bowlers could concede one or two runs less or our batsmen could have scored 10 runs more, things would have been different. It is a team game so the failure is ours. We have to take lessons from this game. It was the first time for Soumya, so I am sure the next time he faces up to such a situation, he will do much better.
"A lot of big-name bowlers have failed to hold on to their nerve. Malinga was taken apart by Marlon Samuels in the same venue in the 2012 World T20. We lost a good opportunity, is all I can say. It is not every day that you get a chance to beat India. We have now missed two opportunities. We will keep this hurt inside so that we can go ahead."