It cannot get any worse: Mushfiq

January 31, 2014

For Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim it was a Test match to forget. Not only did Bangladesh go down in defeat by a whopping innings and 248-run margin against Sri Lanka in the first Test in Dhaka, the Tigers also suffered the ignominy of conceding their highest-ever opposition score when the visitors racked up 730-6 declared in their only innings. To make matters worse, Mushfiq went through a turbulent time behind the stumps; the Bangladesh skipper dropped several catches, along with a missed stumping opportunity.
Sri Lankan double centurion Mahela Jayawardene benefitted the most when he was batting on just nine. Coming down the track off the bowling of Sakib al Hasan, Jayawardene missed the line of delivery but Mushfiq could not dislodge the bails in time. The 36-year old batsman went to make an unbeaten 203.
Mushfiq was also guilty of another missed opportunity when Sri Lankan opener Kaushal Silva was batting on 39. Pace bowler Al Amin induced an edge off Silva but the Bangladesh skipper could not hold on to the catch.
Silva went on to score 139 as Mushfiq floored two more catches.
At the post-match press conference at Mirpur on Thursday, the 25-year-old skipper cut a forlorn figure, appearing dejected and offering no excuses.
‘Obviously, I do not remember when this kind of thing happened last. I have probably forgotten about it. I think this is the first time this has happened with me. I was thinking about this to myself and I felt really bad,’ said Mushfiq.
‘After I dropped the first catch and then saw [Silva] batting and scoring runs in front of me and when he scored a century I felt really bad because I thought that the team lost only because of me. So I was thinking about that and while doing that I missed out on the other catches.
‘But this is a part of the game and unfortunately it happened with me, which is very wrong because, being a captain, if I do not lead the team from the front then the team will be down on morale.
‘Having said that, a number of good things have happened with me before and I will try to remind myself of those things,’ he said.
Batting, considered the main strength of Bangladesh, was a huge letdown as the hosts could garner only 232 and 250 in the first and second innings respectively, well short of Sri Lanka’s gigantic 730-6 declared in their first and only innings.
‘It is sad and very disappointing. In the last one and a half years, we played well within our batting strength against a number of countries,’ said Mushfiq.
‘The collapse happened in both the innings, which is an alarming sign. And we have to recover as fast as possible. We need to change our attitude. It can’t get any worse than this. It can only get better.
‘Mentally, it depends upon the individual. Everyone will try to take a wicket. We have to understand how to prove ourselves and how to learn on our own. No matter how our bowling line-up is or will be, our batting strength will always be our main thing.
‘Our application was wrong. You cannot expect it from our key batsmen. We need to learn fast,’ he said.
Only three days remain before the second and final Test gets underway in Chittagong, and Mushfiq could not wait for it to start.
‘In the three days I will try to motivate myself. In Chittagong as a team we have a good record and hopefully we will prepare ourselves accordingly,’ said Mushfiq.
‘Even if we lose, there is a way to lose. We do not have much time. I believe that we can recover because we have played with this side for the last one and a half years. We will play for our country,’ he concluded.

-With New Age input

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