Rudderless batting against India emblematic of Bangladesh's larger problem

Nafees: Batting inexperience hurt Bangladesh (1:16)

Shahriar Nafees believes Bangladesh looked like a side short of international experience in their batting performance against India (1:16)

Bangladesh had lost Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah, their three most experienced batsmen, by the 33th over against India. To stage a recovery of note, they needed a miracle. If not that, the next best thing they could have hoped was for the last recognised batsman, Mosaddek Hossain, to at least bat through the remaining overs and quell any doubts about the merit in his selection.

Except, Mosaddek went for a slog sweep across the line in the 34th over, only managing an edge to MS Dhoni and gifting Ravindra Jadeja his fourth wicket in his last over.

The choice of shot given the state of the match and the fact that he had got his eye in, having consumed 42 deliveries was poor. But his dismissal was only a chapter in a book of questionable shots played with even less conviction, starting with the openers Liton Das and Nazmul Hossain Shanto, who were out pulling and flaying at an away-moving delivery, respectively.

Liton has now failed in three innings since replacing Anamul Haque, who had also failed in seven innings opening the batting this year. Middle-order batsman Mohammad Mithun, who impressed with a fifty against Sri Lanka in the tournament opener, has also tapered off since, leaving Bangladesh with little to cheer about.

Shakib and Mushfiqur were no exception to these indiscretions either, also out to strokes unbecoming of their experience. Shakib had struck Jadeja for consecutive boundaries but was caught on the sweep next ball as he failed to spot an obvious field change - Shikhar Dhawan was moved to square leg - to counter that particular shot. Mushfiqur, who was stuck on 21 off 44 balls with just one four, was caught off a mistimed reverse-sweep in an attempt to break the shackles. While both batsmen had reason to up the ante, given how Bangladesh's penchant for getting tied down in the middle overs was a major contributing factor in their loss to Afghanistan on Thursday, they could have chosen wiser scoring options.

On the other hand, observers would attribute mistakes committed by Mosaddek, Liton and even Mithun to inexperience, but it is important to note that Mithun has been around the senior team since 2014, and both Liton and Mosaddek have also been around for three years now.

Mithun has been a prolific domestic batsman who, until this Asia Cup, had been conferred the "nearly man" tag in Bangladesh cricket. His failures were attributed to sporadic opportunities, and so when his supporting act with Mushfiqur in the Asia Cup opener proved match-winning, Bangladesh would have been pleased. But that elation was short-lived.

Liton's low scores in this tournament are less forgivable. He was picked on the back of T20 form and Test promise in the last 12 months. He is highly rated by Bangladesh's senior cricketers, but coaches have routinely cast doubts on his willingness to correct mistakes in his batting technique and thinking. One coach had even commented that it would take "12 months of intensive work in the nets to get rid of his club cricket mentality".

Mosaddek, until his eye condition last year, had been a heavy run-scorer in domestic competitions elucidated by three double-hundreds in first-class cricket and his contribution to Abahani's - the most successful Dhaka league system club comparable to Surrey or New South Wales - success in the domestic one-day competition.

Tamim Iqbal, Mosaddek's captain at Abahani in 2016, had great things to say about him, and Mosaddek's Test debut innings against Sri Lanka last year seemed to corroborate every word.

But the eye condition kept him out for a long time after the Champions Trophy, and since then he has not been the same Mosaddek who started so brightly in Test cricket. Batting out of position has been a major issue for him but here he had an opportunity to bat long, coming in with over 30 overs left. However, from the moment he walked out, there was a discernible lack of intent, which eventually came out of the closet at an inopportune hour, when Mahmudullah had just fallen and Jadeja had just five deliveries left in his spell. In that sense, his rudderless approach was somewhat emblematic of the struggles of Bangladesh's young batsmen in the last two years.