‘Fault is in our execution’ – Mahmudullah

Bangladesh have to face the reality of their shortcomings in T20s and only then will they improve in the format, according to their stand-in captain Mahmudullah. The call to “face facts” comes on the back of getting thrashed by 75 runs in the second T20 by Sri Lanka, culminating in a 2-0 defeat for the hosts.

Bangladesh conceded 210 for 4 after deciding to bowl in Sylhet. Only left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam seemed to curtail Sri Lanka’s big hitting in his four overs but the others gave away far too many bad balls. Bangladesh’s chase never got off to a sound start with only Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah making a bit of splash, before getting bowled out in the 19th over.

They had batted better in the first T20, putting up their highest-ever T20 score, but bowled very poorly to go down 1-0 in Dhaka. In what was their first international match in Sylhet, the home side couldn’t correct any of their mistakes with the ball.

“The responsibility is upon every cricketer to take us forward in T20s,” Mahmudullah said. “We have to figure out all the nitty-gritty issues by discussing with the coaches and team management. We have to face the facts and find out where we are making the mistakes. If we do this quickly, we will perform better.”

Mahmudullah stressed on the need to be aggressive in T20s regardless of the situation of the game. He said that taking early wickets and then getting off to a good start with the bat is key to doing well in the format. “I think the fault is in our execution. It is tough to survive in T20s if we don’t have individual plans and are not courageous enough. If you are giving 10-12 runs every over and still not trying anything different, you are not going anywhere.

“You have to take the wickets, despite giving away 15 runs. Their opening bowler took two wickets despite going for runs. It helped them in the Powerplay.

“The first six overs is very important in T20s. Our top order has to go hard even if we lose wickets. For our bowling unit, we have to take early wickets otherwise we won’t be able to survive in T20s. It can be a proper bouncer, yorker or slower [delivery], but you have to take wickets.”

But Bangladesh have been a side seeing constant changes. They dropped four players, including recent debutants Zakir Hasan and Afif Hossain, for the second T20, handing debuts to two more – Abu Jayed and Mahedi Hasan. Mahmudullah said that they are still looking for a proper combination in T20s.

“Those who got the chance are well-deserving. I think we are still looking for the right combination in T20s. I hope we can figure it out quickly, otherwise we are waiting a lot of trouble inT20s,” he said.

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