A split-captaincy is still an idea that needs time to be embraced. However Mashrafe Bin Mortaza had to encounter this idea upon his return from the West Indies after playing in the recently concluded ODI series.
The injury-prone pacer did not outright oppose the idea of having separate captains for limited-overs and Test teams, but he was not ready contemplating the issue yet, especially when the team was gearing up for a two-match Test series against the West Indies. “I haven't given the matter any thought and nothing has been told to me. I am hoping that Mushfiqur (Rahim) does well in the Test series,” responded the 'Narail Express' when the question was raised about the current Test captain and the possibility of giving him the role for the limited-overs versions as well.
Mashrafe returned to Dhaka yesterday morning from the West Indies along with Abdur Razzak, Taskin Ahmed, Mohammad Mithun and Shohag Gazi, who will undergo tests for his suspected bowling action soon.
Mashrafe pointed out the lack of a combined effort behind the Tigers' 3-0 defeat in the ODI series. “We couldn't play to our expectations. They (Bangladesh team) batted well in the practice match and there are two Tests, hopefully they can do well. One department has done well, the other has collapsed. One day we bowled well, but the batting was poor. Actually our combination wasn't good in the ODI series,” opined the experienced campaigner.
He however talked highly about the bowling department. “For me in the last two series our rhythm has been good. Injuries have occurred less frequently. Our bowlers are doing much better than before. Our pace bowling and spin combination is also good. If Shakib (Al Hasan) comes back and Razzak regains his form it will become even better. Batting is good one day and mediocre on another. Maybe if we get the right combination it will improve,” observed Mashrafe.
“West Indies pitches are flat, similar to Bangladesh's. Gone are the days when they had bouncy wickets. And with T20Is and ODIs, now wickets are not even sporting. So in Bangladesh we have to practise against bouncers because the wickets in Australia and New Zealand may be bouncy. We have one more series to go (against Zimbabwe at home) and then there's club cricket as well. We have to train ourselves for the World Cup over there,” he added.
The losses were even more frustrating due to the similar conditions of the pitches in Bangladesh and the Caribbean. This led to questions about how Bangladesh would perform in the World Cup under even more strenuous conditions.
“We played really badly. No need to shy away from that, but that doesn't mean that in the World Cup we will also play badly,” said a confident Mashrafe.
Mashrafe, who will lead the team in the Asian Games, said that he will think about that event when the practice sessions get underway.