Mortaza caught unawares by decision to bring in batting reinforcements


22 September, 2018 15:55 PM

Mortaza caught unawares by decision to bring in batting reinforcements

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skipper Mashrafe Mortaza revealed on Friday (September 21) that he was not informed about the inclusion of Soumya Sarkar and Imrul Kayes in the squad for the remainder of Asia Cup.

Selectors decided to bring in the two left-handed batsmen following mediocre returns for openers Nazmul Hossain and Liton Das, who have struggled to forge a strong association at the top following an unfortunate injury to Tamim Iqbal in the side's series opener against Sri Lanka.

Both Liton and Nazmul haven't yet gone past the double-digit mark in the Asia Cup as Bangladesh succumbed to heavy defeats against Afghanistan and India in their last two games. It is clear that team management was forced to hit the panic button with time running out for the team to stay in the competition.

However, Mortaza remained apprehensive of the selection and the chosen players' big-game pedigree. Mortaza also stated that he was not sure if the two returning players had done the necessary course correction for their technical deficiencies, which had supposedly led to their ouster in the first place.

"I'm still not sure about those who are coming, there has been no discussion. The matter is not clear yet," he told reporters at the press conference when his attention was drawn to the sudden inclusion of Sarkar and Kayes.

"They were out of the team in the same way... by not performing. Now they are returning to the team in such conditions and such pressure. I do not know what they technical aspects they've worked on. Whether they are fixing the problems - which put them out of the team - or not, these things will matter a lot in this tournament.

"And especially if you think [about] Afghanistan's match, they [newly added batsmen] have to deal with more difficult bowlers. It surely won't be easy for anyone. Everything is difficult in international cricket," he said

Mortaza however blamed the openers for constantly allowing the pressure to trickle down to the middle-order, stating it was not okay to ask the middle-order batsmen to bail the team out every time.

"It was nothing like 'we have to score 60 in the first ten overs. [Facing the] new ball from both ends becomes easier after taking a little time. What we've done in recent times is scoring 40-45 runs without losing any wicket or 30-35 runs in case of an early wicket-loss," Mortaza said.

"Middle-order batsmen have to build the innings when wicket falls early. It is difficult to always expect from the middle-order. Losing two [early] wickets in such matches, creates a lot of pressure on the middle order.

"We've suffered a batting collapse in two consecutive matches. But I still think we aren't out of the tournament. There are definitely opportunities for us to come back. We are getting a day, we will have regroup and play the next match," he concluded.