Mashrafe targets improvement in all areas

Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza has said that he is proud of what his team achieved at the Champions Trophy but acknowledged they have a long way to go.

The skipper feels the team is too relient on their core batsmen, need to stick to their plans with ball in hand and must be mentally prepared.

Bangladesh were well beaten by India in the semi-final with their total of 264 easily overhauled by India who scored a nine wicket win to book a date with Pakistan in the final.

The skipper feels the failure to post a big score on a good track was where it all started to go wrong for the Tigers.

He said after the loss: “I think we could have had a big total.

“The way we had been playing, Tamim and Mushfiqur, they got out to a part-time bowler, [and then] it’s always difficult. At that time we had been on top. Suddenly a wicket falls and from there again, we couldn’t go through. So it was always difficult from there to score 300.”

Mashrafe opined that the younger members of the team need to stand up and be counted with the bat.

He added: “We can’t just [be] asking them all the time [the senior batsmen].

“It will be nice if some youngsters can come [through], and they have before, but this time it was hard for them. Hopefully [they] will be back in England 2019 and do better than whatever they did this time.”

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The Tiger’s skipper was also not chuffed with the way his bowlers bowled while defending a small total.

The peppering of the tournament’s top run scorer, Shikhar Dhawan, with short balls was particularly ineffective.

Mashrafe commented: “We didn’t bowl into the right areas, and when you don’t bowl into the right areas, then the short ball doesn’t affect.

“That’s the thing. You have to bowl in the right areas, then the short ball will count. We have to learn that on that sort of wicket, we have to bowl in the right areas as long as possible.

“Once you’re bowling in the second half it’s always difficult, but we have to learn a bit more, to stop runs on that sort of wicket, especially against a batting order like India. We have to learn a little bit more about how can we stop runs and put pressure on the opponent.”

Mashrafe targeted mental preparation as another area his team can improve on while praising the Tiger’s progress.

He went on: “The boys should feel proud. In a tournament like this, you have to be physically and skill-wise not too bad. Yes, we are coming up still. We need to learn so many things. We have got to be a little bit more ready mentally to play this sort of match. I know once you are ready mentally, anything can be possible.”