With less than 16 hours in hand to recover before their first Super phase game against India Friday, Bangladesh captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza said the situation had put him in a quandary
Bangladesh went into the Afghanistan game with the clear intention of not over-spending their energy.
The result had no significance and saving the players from overdoing it in the middle due to back-to-back matches were the two chief reasons behind the intent.
That a few key members were rested and eight bowlers were deployed to bowl the 50 overs were also evidence of the Tigers’ intention.
With less than 16 hours in hand to recover before their first Super phase game against India Friday, Bangladesh captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza said the situation had put him in a quandary.
The veteran right-arm pacer informed that he wanted to save the players for the game next afternoon, and in trying to do so, had lost track of his plans.
Bangladesh were in control till the 40th over of Afghanistan’s innings in Abu Dhabi Thursday.
The Tigers though failed to keep the momentum going and eventually lost the game by 136 runs.
“As far as confusion goes, it stemmed from the fact that we would have to play (Thursday) and (Friday). But that is not an excuse you can give after losing. And the second thing is, it’s very hard to overcome Tamim’s (Iqbal) absence. And the state Mushfiqur (Rahim) is in, it was a must to give him a rest. We also rested Mustafizur (Rahman). But still, the position we were in, we could have played better. We played bad cricket after the 40th over,” said Mashrafe following the game.
The absence of two key batsmen Tamim and Mushfiq paved the way for big opportunities for a few youngsters.
Debutant Nazmul Hossain Shanto came in for the injured Tamim while Mominul Haque returned to the ODI fold after around three years, to replace Mushfiq, who was rested.
The time was also ripe for opener Liton Das to play the anchor’s role and guide the team to a smooth start, but to everyone’s surprise, none could execute when needed.
“If you talk about batting, it was tough to handle batting. Maybe there was some extra pressure after their total jumped from 160-170 to 250. Especially for the newcomers, Shanto made his debut (Thursday). Mominul also came back to ODIs after a long time. If we had bowled well in the last 10 overs, restricted the total to 210-220, or even under 200, then the batsmen would have had more chances to take their time and play. I think the momentum we let slip while bowling affected the batting, which often happens in cricket. So before the batting, starting with me and those who bowled in that time, we should have taken a bit more responsibility,” the veteran pacer explained.