Mushfiqur Rahim rues lack of consistency in his bowling attack
Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim rued the lack of consistency in his bowlers after a rain-marred Test against India ended in a drab draw on Sunday.
After losing the toss, Bangladesh conceded 462 runs in the first innings in just 103.3 overs, as the Indian batsmen feasted on the bowling attack that consisted of four spinners and just once pacer.
Acknowledging that his team could not execute their plans well, Rahim stated that their strategies will look meaningless if they cannot implement them as per the plan.
“A bowler needs to bowl in one particular area and be consistent so that we can plan a field for the batsmen.
“If we set a field for deliveries that are bowled in front of the batsmen and in good areas and then you see the bowler bowling a short pitched delivery, then the captain may look foolish.
“It depends upon the bowler and what they are executing. If our plan clicks everyone would have said positive things. If it doesn't people will criticize.”
The Indian openers posted a mammoth opening partnership of 283 runs with both Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay scoring big hundreds.
After Shakib Al Hasan dismissed Dhawan in the 68th over, the spin strategy seemed to work as India lost Rohit Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli in quick succession.
However Ajinkya Rahane had other plans as he went about his batting with a sense of urgency scoring 98 runs from just 103 balls with 14 fours helping India go past 450.
Highlighting the difference between his bowlers and the Indian attack, Rahim observed a stark difference in the way the bowlers communicated with the captain while hoping to learn from the experience of this Test.
“The captaincy depends upon the entire team and captaincy is a big issue.
“But at this level a bowler comes and tells the captain how he is going to set a batsman up and accordingly a captain sets a field. But in our level there is a big gap here.
“If our bowlers bowl one ball here and the other there, then the field setup will never look good.
“The way Harbhajan and Aswhin bowled, you could always use an attacking field against any side.
“So hopefully we can learn from this Test and work more on our bowling. It will help our Test cricket.”
Admitting that he learnt from the experience after the strategy to field just one pacer backfired, Rahim opined that it might have been a different ball game if his team won the toss.
“Maybe had we taken another pacer it could have been good. There might have been a mistake from our side. We take a decision together with logic.
“Maybe if we would have won the toss, things would have been different and our four spinners could have attacked their batsmen more.
“So maybe we can learn from this experience and know what are the positives and negatives of playing with a single pacer.”
Facing a mammoth first innings total, Bangladesh were dismissed for 256 runs and were made to follow-on on the final day of the Test.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh wreaked havoc picking up eight wickets between them with the former claiming yet another five-wicket haul.
Imrul Kayes and Mominul Haque got starts but failed to convert after which the middle order collapsed with both Rahim and Shakib failing to go past single digit scores.
Rahim also lamented that his batsmen were unable to converts starts and make good use of the pitch which was still conducive for batting.
“Our first target was to save the follow-on and we wanted our batsmen to play as long as possible, but that didn't happen.
“Quite a few of our batsmen got out after getting set. Imrul (Kayes) batted well, some others got out in 30s and 40s and that's a big crime on this kind of a pitch.”
However, towards the end of Bangladesh’s first innings, the debutant Litton Das put on a good show scoring 44 runs from 45 balls playing attacking cricket, drawing praise from his captain for that effort.
Rahim also pointed out that the bad shot selection of his batsmen which proved to be their undoing while urging his players to learn from their mistakes.
"Litton batted really well in his first Test. Ashwin and Harbhajan really bowled well but I feel we could have handled them better.
“As the two off-spinners were bowling from the two ends, our batsmen should have been a bit more cautious.
“They made bad decisions and got out. It's a learning curve for our batsmen.”
Bangladesh will now play a three-match One-Day International series against India at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur which kicks off on June 18th.
© Cricket World 2015