Mirpur: Bangladesh pacer Mashrafe Mortaza said they deserve the criticism for the manner they suffered defeats against Hong Kong and West Indies but vowed to play good cricket to turn things around. Mortaza also said that BCB president Nazmul Hasan has indeed spoken to the players and tried to help them in their aim to do well in the coming matches.
"My personal opinion is that when a team plays back to back bad matches, there is bound to be criticism. As a player, we need to accept that and try to do well in coming matches. "He (Hasan) hasn't scolded us but he has tried to have a discussion with us. He is trying to help us and we are also trying to take the team to a better position from where it is currently," Mortaza answered to the query about Hasan's statements in a local English daily.
He was also quizzed on BCB president's comment that one can expect wholesale changes in the Bangladesh team after the ICC World T20. "It's difficult to say. The manner in which we have lost two matches was unexpected. A Test playing nation wouldn't like to lose to Hong Kong for sure! Certainly, there will be talks. It's bound to happen. I don't think anyone would want Bangladesh to play badly. The well-wishers of Bangladesh cricket won't want that to happen," Mortaza said.
He said that the target will be to win tomorrow's match against India by fighting it out gustily. "Obviously, it is very disappointing to lose a match (versus WI). More so, because of the manner (73 runs) in which, we lost the match. We lost by a very big margin. Our target tomorrow is to play well. It might sound like over-simplification when we say we will play well but by Almighty's grace, we would try and fight it out."
Mortaza feels that a combined effort from pacers and spinners is required in order to win the match. "Spin has always been our strength. We pace bowlers need to give a good start first up. Whenever our spinners bowl well, we win maximum matches. If there is a combined performance, then obviously chances of a good result is there.
Everyone knows that we have an acclaimed spin line-up."Mortaza tried to stress that they would like to ideally win and not just be competitive. "We will step out there to win. If a team plays badly, their aim is to change the current position they are in. From the perspective of the last two games, we first need to fight and that means playing well. Whenever we have won, we have fought well. You can't expect to win if you have played the kind of cricket that we did play in the last two matches," he said.
He was asked whether batsmen can draw inspiration from their performance against India in the Asia Cup, Mortaza replied, "Asia Cup was 50-over format and T20 is a different ballgame. Here batsmen get lesser time as they have to start playing shots from the onset. That means that you have a chance of getting out also. Our batsmen as it is are on the back foot but they are trying hard. They are working hard at nets. Lets hope that we get a good start and then it will fall in place."
Mortaza also does not want to rest on past laurels as he has won two MoM awards in Bangladesh's three ODI wins against India. "That's past. Those were ODIs and a completely different format. Personally, I don't believe that your earlier exploits have got anything to do with what I will do in my next match.
The preparation would be regarding next match. Everything is new and planning is different." During a lean patch, only thing that a team can do is to work even harder at the training session, feels Mortaza. "That's what you can do and nothing more as matches are back to back. You don't learn a shot or new ball in two days time. Backing your strengths is the key."
The senior bowler also feels that it is not only skipper who is responsible for a good dressing room environment but also the other members of the squad. "My role is no different from others. A captain alone can't create a team environment. In tougher times, a team needs to stick together as there is a lot of criticism. We are trying to help each other and trying to push each other," he concluded.