THE LEADING batsman of the Bangladesh cricket team, Mushfiqur Rahim, has warned that the team needs to get back to basics if they are to turn the tide on their poor One Day International performances against Sri Lanka.
Two matches have been played.
•The first, on 26th July, saw Sri Lanka make 314/8 in their 50 overs. Bangladesh could only make 223 in reply. The Sri Lankan run rate was 6.28 runs/over, with Bangladesh only reaching 5.35, which says much about the two teams’ form.
•The second, on 28th July, saw Bangladesh, batting first, reaching 238/8 on a run rate of 4.76 runs/over. Sri Lanka won by seven wickets, reaaching 242/3 after 44.4 overs on a run rate of 5.41.
Rahim himself has scored well – 67 in the first match and 98 not out in the second, but he feels that the rest of the top order is letting the side down. In the two matches, Bangladesh has reached scores of 39/4 and 68/4 – far short of a respectable performance.
Rahim told the ICC that the basics are not being executed correctly. “I think we first need to work on keeping it simple and keep the basics right,” he said. “With the bat, I think we need to play to our strength and whoever gets set has to make sure he goes big.”
Rahim also voiced his concerns that the Bangladesh bowlers were slipping short of the mark. “I thought it’s a challenging score if we bowl the first ten overs really well,” he continued, referring to the first One Day International. “But we couldn’t do that because we had given so many easy boundaries.”
There’s one match left to go, and Rahim told the ICC he hopes that Bangladesh can learn the lessons of the series so far, turn the tables on Sri Lanka and go on to find some winning form. There’s not long to find out if it can be done: the third match is on 31st July in Colombo, starting at 10am BST.