Belief is the biggest gain – Mashrafe

Bangladesh returned winless in the main draw of the World T20 © Getty Images/ICC

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza has said the major gain from the 2016 World T20 was the belief within the team that they can win in this format. The Bangladesh squad arrived in Dhaka on Sunday following their 75-run defeat to New Zealand in Kolkata the previous evening, their last game of the tournament.

Having made it to the Super 10s stage, Bangladesh did not win any of their Group 2 games. It was a disappointing result after having reached the final of the preceding Asia Cup with wins over Sri Lanka and Pakistan for the first time in the format.

“I don’t think anyone would be interested to take positives but there were some in this tournament,” Mashrafe said. “I think we were able to create a base for the T20 team. It was important for the players to develop a mindset for this format. It will be hard to beat us in this format from now on. I think it is crucial to have the belief whether you can win or not. Previously in T20s, we didn’t believe we could beat any team.”

Bangladesh’s results were not different from the 2014 World T20, where they also made it through the first round but then lost all their games in the main draw. The difference lay in the margins – this time Bangladesh ran Australia close, and then lost a chase to India by one run after losing three wickets off the last three balls of the match.

Their campaign was also hit by the bowling bans slapped on fast bowler Taskin Ahmed and spinner Arafat Sunny. He revealed the team management had asked the BCB to see if Taskin could bowl if he didn’t bowl bouncers during the World T20.

“If I speak specifically, then I can say that we accepted Sunny’s report. He has also accepted that he has to correct his action,” Mashrafe said. “Taskin’s was quite shocking. Everyone has said it, not just us. A lot of experts have agreed that there’s nothing wrong with Taskin’s bowling action. But there’s always a doubt since he has been pulled up.

“Different questions come to mind when you see that his normal deliveries were fine but had problems with three bouncers. We even told the BCB that perhaps we can have him if he doesn’t bowl the bouncer. But at the end of the day that didn’t happen.”

The issue of Nasir Hossain’s continued exclusion from the final XI despite being in the original squad became contentious towards the end of Bangladesh’s tournament. Shuvagata Hom was preferred after he replaced Taskin ahead of the Australia game, but it was hard to understand why Nasir was chosen in the first place when the management ultimately went for the replacement player.

“These decisions are not taken by one person. We do it together,” Mashrafe said. “The combination prevented us from playing Nasir but he could have played. But the collective decision went against him. I backed Nasir in the 2015 World Cup. He is a useful cricketer. I want him to improve in his game and serve Bangladesh for a long time.”

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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