‘Want to finish with wins’
Bangladesh's dreams of reaching the semifinal of the ICC T20 World Cup were virtually dashed following their heart-breaking three-run defeat to West Indies on Friday, which was their third consecutive defeat in the mega-event.
Yesterday was unlike the other days at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Dubai, where the Bangladesh team is staying, in that there was no rush from the players at the breakfast table.
The team management had announced two days of rest for the demoralised Tigers, allowing them to resume training from November 1 ahead of their fourth Super 12 game against South Africa in Abu Dhabi the following day.
The cricketers opted to stay in their hotel rooms throughout the day, not that they had much choise given the Covid-19 protocols which even forbid them from stepping down to the lobby from their designated floors. The members of the Bangladesh team have often shared experiences about life inside the bio-secure bubble, but the situation after the defeat to West Indies was gloomy.
"Mentally, it's very disturbing to be honest. We are not in a state of mind to share what we are going through following one defeat after another. It hurts more when you lose close matches like we did against Sri Lanka and West Indies because it shatters self-confidence," a member of the team said, requesting anonymity.
Despite the fact that Bangladesh have two games remaining -- against South Africa and Australia -- in the Super 12, there is still a lot to gain for the Tigers in terms of confidence and finishing the World Cup journey on a positive note.
"All the players are very upset after yesterday's (Friday's) game. Apart from the game against England, when we were totally outplayed, there was a chance for us to win the other games against Sri Lanka and West Indies. Obviously, the game against Sri Lanka was a heartbreaker for us. If we could win that game, it would have boosted our confidence for the next two games. But we still have two more World Cup matches, which are very vital considering the tournament," selector Habibul Bashar told the media yesterday.
"Yes, we can say we have virtually no chance for the semifinal, but we want to finish our World Cup mission with wins which can be very important for us. We still have a lot of games in the future and though we were unable to fulfill our goal for the World Cup, we will discuss how we can learn from our mistakes and plan for the future" Bashar added.
According to the former captain, Bangladesh are yet to become a consistent side in the shortest format. There were also questions about whether the series wins at home against Australia and New Zealand on slow and low surfaces ahead of the World Cup had truly helped the Tigers while Bashar also informed that he wanted to see batting-friendly pitches in the domestic circuit for overall improvement in the T20 format.