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T20 World Cup 2021 – Habibul Bashar laments power-hitting woes as Bangladesh prepare to exit T20 World Cup

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Selector calls for better pitches back home and looks forward to better performance in 2022

Poor batting at both ends of the innings cost Bangladesh heavily in the T20 World Cup, according to selector Habibul Bashar. After losing their first three matches in the group stage against Sri Lanka, England and West Indies, Bangladesh are looking down the barrel of yet another failed campaign.
Bashar, the former Bangladesh captain who is traveling with the team in the UAE, is the first voice from the BCB after the president Nazmul Hassan to have spoken about their World Cup campaign. At a time when the board chief slammed the senior players – who immediately struck back – and at a time when another former captain Mashrafe Mortaza slammed the coaching staff, Bashar has offered a more sensible voice to the discourse.

“We have suffered due to our batting,” he said. “We obviously did well against Sri Lanka but in the remaining matches we couldn’t bat well. Our batting hasn’t lived up to our expectations. We have to improve in the powerplay, especially, if we want to do well in T20s. We need power-hitters in the late order. Other teams score at ten an over in the end overs, but we also lack in that area.

“Everyone is quite upset. We created an opportunity against West Indies. It would have been a mental boost had we defeated them. Now we know that we missed the opportunity.”

Bashar said that Bangladesh’s series wins over Australia and New Zealand in the build-up to the T20 World Cup, played on slow, low and spin-friendly pitches in Dhaka, was necessary for team morale but he called for better wickets in domestic T20 competitions.

“We came into this World Cup having played a lot of matches in the build-up, which isn’t something that we have done in the past. There’s been a lot of talk about wickets against Australia and New Zealand, but winning is very important.

“I think in our next domestic T20 tournaments, we should have better batting wickets, where the scores can be around 180 to 200 consistently. We play in the same wickets repeatedly in tournaments like the BPL. This prevents better batting in powerplays, and building power-hitters down the order,” he said.

Bashar was optimistic that Bangladesh can improve enough to do better in the 2022 T20 World Cup. “I am disappointed (with the outcome) as a selector. We are a settled ODI side. We have had ups and downs in Test cricket, but we haven’t found consistency in T20 cricket.

“We won the last three bilateral series against Zimbabwe, Australia and New Zealand, but we couldn’t live up to the high hopes of the World Cup. We haven’t improved in certain areas, but if we play T20s regularly at the international and domestic arena, we can do well in the next T20 World Cup.”

Bashar added that he wants to see the team push hard against South Africa and Australia later this week and end the tournament on a high.

“We have two more World Cup matches remaining and although we know that we are virtually out of the running for the semi-finals, we still want to finish the tournament on a positive note,” he said.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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