We lost the mental battle

Despite the defeat, Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim, who hopes to play another Test in India before he retires, believes that they can take plenty of lessons from the lone Test.

“Look you can never defend and save a game because of the fifth-day wicket. Shakib [Al Hasan] did not go to hit, but still got out. Me, I didn’t hit many balls in the first innings but I still got out, so you need balance. And many may say that okay we shouldn’t have hit that ball, but if you don’t that doesn’t give you the guarantee that you will stay on the wicket.

“When a bowler knows that this batsman won’t hit at all and will only defend all day, then it becomes very difficult. So there are many options but maybe we lost wickets at the wrong time,” said Mushfiqur during the post-match press conference.

“I don’t know when the last time was that we played on the fifth day in such a situation. It’s very rare, so if you expect [Mehedi Hasan] Miraz to score a hundred in such conditions, it will be very difficult. It’s a learning curve for him and even for me. Even though I have played many games like this, I don’t get to play in such situations, we have generally finished games in three or four days. Yes, it feels bad to lose, but we can carry plenty of belief as a team from this game,” added the skipper.

Bangladesh’s top order failed to perform in this Test and their bowlers also were not up to the mark. The fielding was not too encouraging either. Despite that, the skipper believes that they are improving as a Test team.

“We are progressing. Four to five years ago we would play one good Test and then play the next good Test eight to nine months later. While we lost four out of our last five Tests, we have competed well against England, New Zealand and even here.

“To a certain extent we are consistent. But we have to focus more on our bowling and fielding. We have seven batsmen who are performing in different conditions in at least one innings. If we can get a better bowling unit, we can hopefully become a much better Test team in one or two years’ time,” said the captain.

Mushfiqur felt that the players failed the mental game in this Test.

“There was not too much turn but there was a bit of a mental battle in the game because when you can’t score and can’t rotate then you have to find other ways of scoring and that did not happen in the second innings.

“The ball was also a factor. This is our first overseas tour with the SG Test ball. We had used it in the South Africa and Zimbabwe series at home, but in India in these conditions, it’s a different game. We need to know how to use it well,” said Mushfiqur.

Source: The Daily Star

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