By Wisden India staff in Mirpur
Veteran seamer says loss against Hong Kong changed the flow of the tournament for Bangladesh, but side still has a chance in ICC World Twenty20
The host nation hasn't had results going its way in the ICC World Twenty20 2014, but Mortaza, the former captain and one of the calmer heads within the set-up, fielded questions ranging from India’s spinners to Bangladesh’s batting with a straight bat.
Harping on the importance of a good start, Mortaza said, “We lost the two games (against Hong Kong and west Indies) pretty disappointingly. We want to play well, fight as much as we can. We will play to win for sure, but above everything else, we have to start well. In Twenty20 cricket, batsmen get less time, they have to play shots from the start, which means they have more chances of getting out. Our batsmen are on the back foot, they couldn’t start well in the last game.
“The middle order and the lower order also didn’t score many. They are trying, there is no doubt about that. Everyone has their plans as they train and play matches. We plan to start well tomorrow, to ensure we have a set batsman at the crease. At the moment, everything seems to be difficult. I feel that if we can start well tomorrow, it will be easier for us. We lost wickets early against West Indies and Hong Kong. I still believe that our batsmen can dominate top-class attacks.”
India’s spin trio of Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin has been largely top-class in this tournament, Mishra picking up Man of the Match awards in both of India’s victories. “The Indian spinners are doing very well, but we have to focus on ourselves,” said Mortaza. “We didn’t play well in the last two games, when our batsmen couldn’t get set and couldn’t put together partnerships. I hope there won’t be a repeat of this.
“Our spinners have always been a factor, though the pacers have to provide a good start,” he went on. “But when the spinners do well, we win games. We will still need a combined performance, as that often brings us wins. All the bowlers have to do well against India.”
Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh captain, had spoken of trying to be competitive in the remaining matches after the loss against the West Indies, and Mortaza went a step further. “We have a chance of winning and I believe it wholeheartedly. We are still not able to accept the defeat against Hong Kong. I believe that that loss changed the flow for us. Even against West Indies, we could have won but due to bad bowling and batting, we couldn’t grab that chance. We are a making few mistakes and T20 cricket doesn’t give you the time (to bounce back).”
The team has faced some criticism after its losses, and Mortaza said it was only natural for people to talk after two defeats. “As players, we have to accept it. We have to try and turn things around from the next game.”