Mirpur: All is certainly not well in the Bangladesh camp ahead of their do-or-die encounter in the ICC World T20 against a formidable Indian side here tomorrow. It seems that Bangladesh number one player Shakib-al-Hasan and skipper Mushfiqur Rahim are not on the same page which is evident from the contradictory statements that they have made in the media prior to and after the West Indies game, which the hosts badly lost by 73 runs.
Bangladesh cricketers Abdur Razzak (R) and Shakib al-Hasan warm up during the training session at The Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on Thursday aghead of their crucial India tie. Pic/AFP
Now with BCB president Nazmul Hasan also openly criticizing the skipper for his comments at the post-match press conference, the hosts are looking like a rudderless ship which is not a good thing before a crucial game against India. It all started when Shakib apparently made a comment to the Bangladeshi media during a practice session in Fatullah before the West Indies game.
"Bangladesh can only win, if the opposition team had an off-day," Shakib told reporters, making it clear that no one should expect any miracle from the hosts. When Rahim was asked about the comments that Shakib made, he went round and round trying to give a convincing answer which was bordering on being weird. Rahim was asked how the players get confidence when a senior cricketer openly admits that team's chances are minimal.
"No, I don't think he (Shakib) meant that," Rahim tried to defend the senior player. "Look, teams do not have an off-day just like that. If you observe, West Indies did not have an off-day against India. It was India, which bowled well, created mistakes, held catches. That's what Shakib had meant when he said that the other teams need to have an off-day. Shakib meant that we should bat, bowl and field well to force other teams into making mistakes and having an off-day," was Rahim's weird explanation.
But if that was not enough, Rahim's frank confession at the media conference that some of his players are "insecure about their places" and that led to poor show was heavily criticized by BCB top boss Hasan. "... What insecurity they are having I don't understand, and if you look at the middle order, we have Shakib and Mushfiq ... that never had raised any question and the same goes to the fast bowling and spin bowling department," the BCB boss was was quoted as saying by 'Dhaka Tribune'.
Asked about actions against the cricketers, Hasan said, "What action? I slammed them what else! But one thing I told them after the meeting that if anyone breaks the discipline, they have to face action ... Even dropping them from the side and tell them that you have been dropped for this reason. "It may affect us in short-term but in long term it will help us." It will be interesting to see how Bangladesh get out of this messy situation they are currently in.