Tigers limited-over captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza believes they will bounce back from the shocking second ODI defeat against Afghanistan in the third and final game of the three-match series on Saturday.
Mashrafe vowed to play positive cricket during the pre-match press conference at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Friday.
“Definitely, we have the confidence and belief that we can win the series. I don’t think all the achievements we have achieved will disappear after just one defeat. Obviously, the players and the staff were disappointed after the loss but that doesn’t mean that we have forgotten all the good work that we have done in the recent past. It was a bad day for us and it happens in any sport,” Mashrafe told the media.
Many are talking about the missed stumping chance by Mushfiqur Rahim at a crucial moment in the second ODI. Bangladesh could have gone closer to victory if Mushfiq had stumped Najibullah Zadran in the 47th over. At that stage, the Afghans still required 13 runs off 20 balls.
Mashrafe however, said the team are fully supportive of Mushfiq and thinks the wicket-keeper should not be blamed solely.
“If Mushfiq’s professional aspect is being monitored, then he is always ahead of us by one step. And from that aspect, Mushfiq always gives hundred percent. If you are talking about blaming him for the defeat then that is not fair. If today I blame him or someone else then in the next match, the blame might fall on me,” said Mashrafe.
“So it’s not right to blame just Mushfiq. Had we scored 20 or more runs then we could have won the match. If we had won then nobody would have blamed him. So there is no point in blaming him particularly,” he added.
Mashrafe though is of the opinion that Afghanistan are a tough competitor and that there is no chance of taking them lightly.
“Many used to think that the Afghanistan series will be easy, but my team and I always believed that it wouldn’t be that easy. And that was clear after the first game. In the second match our batting collapsed. At one point, we recovered but still we lost wickets in the latter stages. I think that we did not play our best game,” he said.
“We are well matured. Batsmen are working on their mistakes. If you see the top five, some players got runs but did not score big,” he added.
The Mirpur wicket in the second ODI was a bit slower compared to the first game but Mashrafe said they are absolutely happy with the pitch and conditions and that the playing XI will only be drafted before the match.
“I have no complaints. In the first match, we got the wicket that we wanted but despite that, we couldn’t score well. In the second match, because of rain, the wicket was really damp and slow and there was turn.
“Then in the second half of the game there was not much turn but I still feel we bowled well. Till now, the wicket seems good. Hopefully it would not change [Saturday],” he concluded.