T20I captain says Bangladesh ‘badly need some wins under our belt in any format’
Bangladesh’s confidence is eroding, according to T20I captain Mahmudullah, after they finished their white-ball tour of New Zealand with a stinging 65-run loss in the rain-reduced third T20I at Eden Park. They lost six matches in the space of 13 days, which was not ideal especially considering they arrived in the country after a 2-0 home Test series loss against West Indies.
Mahmudullah, who didn’t play Thursday’s game due to a strain on his left thigh, said that they couldn’t take advantage of key moments in the second ODI in Christchurch and the second T20I in Napier, which could have salvaged this tour. They now have 12 days to recover before getting on the flight to Colombo from Dhaka, for the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka starting on April 21.
“We need to change things around quickly,” Mahmudullah said. “We badly need some wins under our belt in any format, as I think we are losing confidence in our team. At the end of the day, if you don’t win it will create doubt about yourself and the whole team. We had a few chances in the second ODI. I think we were quite competitive in the second T20I. We need to think about a few moments (in those games) and then we need to be careful on capitalising on those occasions.”
Bangladesh pushed New Zealand in Christchurch until Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahedi Hasan dropped Jimmy Neesham and Tom Latham respectively, which turned the tide towards the home side. In the Napier T20I, Bangladesh were first left confused by the match officials who failed to confirm their DLS-revised target until nine balls had been played in their innings. Later they lost momentum after the set batsman Soumya Sarkar fell in the 11th over.
Mahmudullah attempted to put context into their performance by saying T20I teams like Australia have also struggled in New Zealand in recent years, and added that they can learn from this experience. But all said and done, Bangladesh have now lost 32 games against New Zealand in New Zealand.
“We knew that it will be difficult for us. Every team has a difficulty playing against the Kiwis. Recently, Australia had a tough time. We knew we had to be at our best in batting, bowling and fielding to beat the Kiwis.
“I think we need to share our experience and maybe from that we can learn something about it so that we can put it in our game next time. I have played a few times here but some of the guys were new on this tour. I can say a lot of things but you have to put in your performance,” he said.
In the third T20I in Auckland, New Zealand blasted 141 in the stipulated 10 overs. They hit 12 fours and ten sixes. Bangladesh’s bowlers could muster only 13 dot balls. Overall, it was the visitors’ worst performance with bat and ball in a bilateral T20I series.
“When you get bowled out for 70-odd, there isn’t much to take out of it,” Mahmudullah said. “Over the series, we didn’t play our best cricket. We came here early. Prepared ourselves in Queenstown. Boys were doing the hard yards, but we didn’t put up a show. It is quite disappointing as the T20 captain.”
The only thing he praised was Bangladesh’s spin department, as he felt that Nasum Ahmed and Mahedi Hasan at least bowled according to conditions.
“I think our spin department did quite well by being proactive against the batsmen. Daniel[Vettori] is our spin bowling coach, and he has a lot of experience in these conditions where the ball doesn’t grip much.
“He shared his experience and gave very good advice on how you can use the conditions. How to use the pace and maintain line and length. You might get hurt in T20s but overall their thinking was good and their pace variation and line and length were better,” Mahmudullah said.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84