By Wisden India Staff in Mirpur
Bangladesh captain says he and Shakib Al Hasan could bat higher up the order, calls on team to cut down on small mistakes
Bangladesh has lost its last three matches in the ICC World Twenty20 2014, and came into the tournament without a victory to its name in the Asia Cup before that. With both series taking place at home, Mushfiqur Rahim has faced some tough times at the helm of the Bangladesh side.
“No one wants to leave the captaincy at a bad time, abdicating your responsibility,” the Bangladesh captain said on Friday (March 28) night after the eight-wicket defeat against India in a Super10 encounter. “I enjoy captaincy, it is a big honour. If we do well, nobody thinks of us. But when we do badly, the work is to come back to good form. The change (if there is a need) is up to the administrators. If they make 20 changes and it helps the team, it is going to be good.”
Rahim said Bangladesh had batted better than in its last two games, when it had managed 108 (Hong Kong) and 98 (West Indies), but even 138 for 7 wasn’t enough to stop the Indian juggernaut. “Considering India’s batting line-up, we had to score at least 150 to bowl against them,” said Rahim. “We lost a couple of early wickets, that didn’t help us and they have plenty good spinners in the middle. You can’t take too many balls to soak up; later on, you will end up with only 120 runs. We tried to score runs in the middle over and tried to keep wickets in hand in the last 3-4 overs but unfortunately, nothing is going right for us at the moment. We were probably 20 runs short on that wicket.
“It was not easy to score runs from ball one, but if you take 10-20 balls, it is easier to score,” he said. “We lost early wickets and the batsmen who were set did not play big innings like Virat (Kohli) and Rohit (Sharma) did. On this type of wicket, when you get in, you need to get big innings, 50-plus or 70-plus, which we unfortunately couldn’t.”
Rahim said the team was making many small mistakes which were all adding up. “When we win a game, a lot of small mistakes are overlooked. But when we lose, they come into focus. Nothing is working for us, and we are committing all these small mistakes. We wanted to start the Super10s really well, but unfortunately that didn’t happen in the first game. Today there was a bit of improvement in the batting department at least, but there still are lots of areas to work on. When you lose 3-4 wickets in first six overs, it’s very difficult to come back. We are playing against top teams, we need to play smart cricket.”
In particular focus was Shamsur Rahman, drafted in for this game but dismissed first ball by R Ashwin, tonking the offspinner down deep midwicket’s throat. “When it comes off, it looks great. When it doesn’t come off, it looks awful,” pointed out Rahim. “That’s one of his strengths but we haven’t said go and hit from ball one. But if someone feels that he can clear the fence, not caught in the deep... In T20 format, there is risk and there are bound to be some mistakes also. You have to take the risks. One wicket down, he could have taken two or three balls, had a look at the wicket and see how it is playing. He could then have cashed in. He made a mistake but probably also some guys like myself and Anamul Haque, we got set and got out. We also didn’t play well in those parts.”
Rahim said Shakib Al Hasan and he himself would most likely bat higher up the order in the next game on Sunday against Pakistan. “Our plan coming into the tournament was for Shakib to play at No. 3, me at No. 4. But because Nasir (Hossain) and (Mahmudullah) Riyad were not in good form and Sabbir (Rahman) is a new guy, we didn’t want to risk Shakib going in very early. He plays his shots and could get out early too. The same could have happened with me. But we are going to think about it again, and probably bat in the top order.”