The Bangladeshi Tigers got their World Cup 2019 campaign off to a dream beginning by beating South Africa in a convincing manner. However, the Mashrafe Mortaza-led team failed to keep the winning momentum in the next couple of games, conceding comprehensive defeats at the hands of New Zealand and hosts England. Most importantly, skipper and pacer Mortaza's performance hasn't been upto the mark in these three games.
In his last World Cup tournament thus far, Mortaza has scalped just a single wicket during the 21 overs bowled combined in the three matches and has given away 149 runs. He has also not been completing his quota of 10 overs and this is clearly hurting Bangladesh's chances in this 50-overs quadrennial tournament. In the last match against England, he conceded 68 runs in his ten overs, however, Liam Plunkett pummeled his last over for 18 runs.
''I think there are so many times where I didn't finish my overs in the last four or five years I've been in the captaincy. It's all about who is doing well in the middle and at the right time. In the last match, I bowled 10 overs because I needed to, and maybe till the eighth or ninth over I was doing okay," quoted Mashrafe Mortaza on the eve of the game against Sri Lanka.
It is very natural that questions will be raised
Mashrafe bowled decently in his team's maiden multi-nation series triumph in Ireland but also picked up a slight niggle in the hamstring, which is now coming in his way. He mentioned that it is quite normal that questions are being raised when the player is not giving his best for his team. He stated that he expects much more from himself and is trying hard to contribute to winning a game for Bangladesh.
"When you are in professional life and you cannot give your best, it is very natural that questions will be raised against you and you have to accept it,” he inferred.
“Ultimately, I expect more of myself and try to contribute to winning a match. When that does not happen, I question myself. Instead of what other people are saying, it is more important what I am feeling. If I am unable to give my best, that I feel bad is more important for me,'' Mashrafe added.
But it's not just the bowling that was under the scanner in Bangladesh's match against England; it was the captaincy too. On a wicket that was under cover for two days, Mortaza bowled his spinners upfront, spurring England on to a mammoth 128-run opening stand after opting to bowl first.
''In the last match against England, everything went opposite of us - from batting to bowling. So it was tough to pick a right decision. If we don't win we will be criticized, no matter who your opponent is. In the first two matches, the wickets were favorable for the batsmen, where bowlers had more than 6.5 economy rate but our spinners performed better in those wickets so they had to bowl more," he concluded.