Mushfiqur Rahim said that while defeat against Sri Lanka in Bangladesh's ongoing ODI series was disappointing, it didn't mean that the progress Bangladesh had made in the past few years amounted to nothing. Bangladesh lost the second ODI, giving Sri Lanka an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
The loss comes on the back of a World Cup campaign that fizzled out after promising much at the start, with Bangladesh eventually finishing eighth on the table, reports Cricinfo.
Against Sri Lanka on Monday, the visiting team were in deep strife at 117 for 6, but Mushfiqur's unbeaten 98 steered them to a competitive 238 for 8. Mushfiqur was a study in patience as he held back his shots for a long time, ensuring there was no collapse.
It is always disappointing to lose, no matter how many runs I score individually, Mushfiqur said. After our World Cup campaign, this series was an opportunity to prove that we are on the right path. Maybe we haven't been able to do in the last two matches but that doesn't mean our progress from the last five to seven years will vanish suddenly. We are certainly going through a struggling period, so the challenge is to turn it around quickly. We are all trying our best to make it happen. We have another opportunity in the next match.
Mushfiqur didn't regret missing out on a century, though if his final-over plan of farming the strike and going big had worked, he might well have done so.
I was trying to get the team to the 250-mark, which wouldn't have been easy to chase, he said. I was trying to keep strike in the last over so that I can retain strike with twos, fours or sixes. Ultimately it is not a problem [to not get to a hundred. Our focus is to win the next game, because it is a matter of pride.
Mushfiqur agreed that the senior duo of Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah being out of form - their struggles have coincided with Bangladesh losing their last four ODIs - meant greater pressure on the other players. Tamim and Riyad bhai have been performing for years but when they are not clicking, the pressure is a little more on the other players.
"Our key performers like Tamim, Riyad vai, those who performed consistently over the years, when they aren’t performing it becomes difficult. And it’s natural that other players also get a bit more pressure," Mushfiq said at the post match press conference.
But Mushfiq also said, they are trying heart and soul but luck isn’t on their side right now. He believes, they will be back in form pretty soon and when they do, there won’t be any pressure on the other players.
"When they will be back amongst runs then we won't feel that pressure. In the key match, big players can soak up the pressure. They can also
I think we are a bit behind in that area. As I said, they are working
really hard. As soon as they come back it will be better for Bangladesh," Mushfiq added.