Bangladesh stand-in T20I captain Mahmudullah blamed the batsmen's approach in the middle overs and the number of dot balls for their six-wicket defeat against India in the Nidahas T20I tri-nation series at R Premadasa Cricket Stadium in Colombo Thursday.
The Tigers were invited to bat first after losing the toss and despite the intention of all-out attack against the opponent bowlers on a slow track, Bangladesh with six batters in the playing XI could post only 139 runs losing eight wickets in their allotted 20 overs. Later, the bowlers had put some effort in, but a low score on the board and India opener Shikhar Dhawan scoring his second consecutive fifty in the series saw Bangladesh start the tournament on a losing note.
The Bangladesh batters on the day was found swinging the bat wild only to fail to connect. And if there was occasion that one had hit a boundary, a similar intent in the next deliveries cost them the wicket - particularly in the cases of senior batsmen in the shape of Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim. In the middle overs, the innings failed to gather momentum due to fall of wickets in regular intervals and eventually finished with 55 dot balls, despite 13 extra balls coming from wides and no balls.
"We have been struggling in the middle overs and also playing a lot of dot balls. At the same time we were also giving away wickets. I think we had started well but later lost wickets in regular intervals," said Mahmudullah to the media following the India defeat.
"I think there was a bit of doubt (Thursday), the dot balls made that evident. I myself played seven dot balls and then got dismissed. We need to take care of the dot balls or else it is tough to progress in this format. We cannot depend only on boundaries but also look for singles to take off pressure," the middle-order batsman added.
Bangladesh till date have played 72 T20Is but managed to win only 21 matches. Despite playing the game for more than 12 years, the side have shown limited progress. The defeat against India was their sixth in as many games in the shortest format.
"The only way out is we have to play well, it has no alternative. We are failing to put on combined effort - if the batsmen are doing the job, the bowlers are failing. (Thursday) Our bowlers did well but the batsmen failed. The team will start performing the day we have a combined effort," Mahmudullah explained.
Bangladesh reached Colombo earlier this week with the motive of recovering from their poor run of form recently but was denied with the losing start to the series. Mahmudullah believes the side are just one win away from regaining the reputation that the side had built up over the past few years.
"We need only one game to get back to track and get into the momentum. We are waiting for that. You will get to see a different Bangladesh once we get that momentum," said Mahmudullah.