The words unfortunate, hiccup and (bad) luck were commonly used by the Bangladesh team management over the last few days when asked to describe the events that took place in the limited overs matches of the tour.
Head coach Shane Jurgensen had earlier described the loss in the first ODI as an 'unfortunate hiccup'. Shamsur Rahman, who hammered a half-century in that game, shared a similar sentiment yesterday and claimed that luck was simply not on Bangladesh's side.
“Luck was not on our side in the last three matches, although we played well. I think Sri Lanka are under pressure in our conditions. We almost beat them. We just need a bit of luck to get those positive results,” said Shamsur.
While bad luck might have been a factor in the last three matches, a major aspect that was exposed in all the three matches was the problems in Bangladesh's decision making ability.
Forhad Reza was asked to bowl a bouncer with a wet ball in the last ball of the second T20I; Mushfiqur Rahim took away his two best bowlers (incidentally left-arm spinners) when the Sri Lankans were 67 for eight in the last ODI only because Thisara Perera was a left-handed batsman; Naeem Islam who was Bangladesh's best performer in the last series was left out -- these are just some of the inexplicable decisions taken by the team that played a huge role in the three defeats.
Despite initially mentioning the luck factor in the pre-match press conference yesterday, Shamsur did admit the obvious -- that the hosts had made plenty of mistakes in the first ODI.
“We committed a lot of mistakes together all of a sudden, which prevented us from winning. However, everyone in the team is positive. We have taken the match as a learning experience and our focus is to get back in the series,” he said.
A learning experience it indeed was for the Tigers, after all it is not everyday that one learns that a match can be lost even from a situation as dire as 67 for eight!
Whether the Tigers can change their mindset and produce a different performance in the upcoming ODIs is a question to ponder upon.
After all, the main reasons behind the defeat of the first ODI, stemmed from the usage of traditional tactics, such as not using a slow left-arm bowler against a left-handed batsman, or spreading the field as soon as Perera started his counter-attack.
Unless and until these basic problems are addressed, even a chest full of luck at the Tigers' doorstep would not make a difference.