Mushfiq told the media in the pre-match press conference on Tuesday, “This is a historic moment for Bangladesh cricket, and a big moment for me as captain. I was studying in Class 7 at BKSP when we played our inaugural Test match, in 2000. Of course I have memories of that game. From that point, the dream of playing Tests began to grow.
“We may not have achieved much in the last 16 years, but to be honest, we have progressed and improved in the last two and a half years. We don’t get to play a lot of Tests each year; sometimes we go through months of break.
“We are hoping that this year will be better for us, despite not starting well,” he said.
The diminutive wicketkeeper-batsman admitted that Bangladesh have to perform a lot better to in order to bounce back in Colombo and square the series.
“We couldn’t even play to half of our ability in Galle, which was very disappointing. We have to try to get the result in our favour in Colombo. We have to take every chance that comes our way. We weren’t sticking to the basics, so we must improve on those things. We will give our best in the next game. Our main target will be to play consistently,” explained Mushfiq.
Bangladesh played three pacers in the Galle Test but a final decision on the second Test playing XI will only be taken on Wednesday, hours before the game.
“I have played at P Sara just once, but I have seen matches here. Wicket looks pretty good. Here, traditionally there is something for the quicks early on, but after that, there will probably be plenty of help for the spinners also. The wicket looks pretty dry as well so hopefully the spinners will come into play,” said Mushfiq.
“Still, we have spinners and quicks in our squad, so whatever we decide I think we need to bowl in the right areas more often than not. Then the results will come. We are looking forward to it. [Today] morning we will come and decide who will play in the best XI. I think this is a sporting wicket, so we will pick the XI we feel will bring a win for Bangladesh,” he said.
Mushfiq added, “I have only played 53 Tests in 10 years, although someone like Alastair Cook has played more than 100 Tests. This is why it has been hard to improve Bangladesh cricket. When we go out to play a Test after six months, we see five or six players from the previous game are no longer around.
“Tests require a combination of skill and mentality, so everyone takes a bit of time to adjust to the format. If we get years like 2017 a few more times, we can certainly become a better side. We have to start this Test well, and bring the result on our side.”