Bangladesh T20I skipper Mahmudullah Riyad mentioned that the Tigers would need to take the small chances presented to them in the field if they are to fare better in the upcoming three-match T20I series against New Zealand.
Bangladesh will play the first of their three T20Is at the Seddon Park in Hamilton tomorrow.
The Tigers were whitewashed by New Zealand in the three-match ODI series, which completed with the Tigers being at the receiving end of a 164-run thumping in the final ODI by the Kiwis at the Basin Reserve in Wellington yesterday. It was also the biggest margin win for the Kiwis against the Tigers in their backyard.
Bangladesh went to the tour with hopes of registering their first-ever win against New Zealand on their soil. However, that did not happen as the ODI whitewash saw the Kiwis extend their home winning streak to 29-0 across formats against the Tigers, and 16-0 in ODIs.
Bangladesh did come close in the second ODI in Christchurch but some sloppy fielding saw the game slip away from the Tigers. Wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim, who dropped the crucial catch of James Neesham in the second ODI in Christchurch that eventually saw the Tigers lose momentum, was once again the culprit in the final ODI in Wellington yesterday. Although not as simple as the dropped chance of Neesham in the second ODI, it once again deflated an impressive Taskin Ahmed when Mushfiqur dropped opener Henry Nicholls after getting a glove on the ball.
Apart from Mushfiqur, there were a number of abysmal fielding errors made in the outfield in the ODI series that also contributed immensely to the outcome of those games.
And Mahmudullah realized that the Tigers would need to rectify their approach in the field if they are to make a difference in the upcoming T20s.
“I think game awareness is very important in conditions such as this [in New Zealand] where it is mostly windy. It is very important to be prepared for high catches and even flat catches as the ball travels really fast [in the air] here. And individually, be it me or any other fielder, we need to stay alert and adamant to grab on to any opportunity whenever presented during the game. If we can collectively grab on to those small opportunities then we can make a difference,” Mahmudullah said.
Apart from the fielding, Bangladesh batsmen also failed to show character and lacked proper application during the three ODIs. While Mahmudullah had faith in the bowling unit, the 35-year-old mentioned that the batsmen would need to fare better and put up a score that would at least leave the bowlers with something to defend.
“We could not perform in the batting department the way we had hoped. We need to fare better as a batting unit to give a certain amount of good total to the bowlers to defend. I think the bowling unit is in good touch. All the bowlers including the [spinners] like Nasum [Ahmed], Mahedi [Hasan], [Mehedi Hasan] Miraz and all the other fast bowlers are good enough to restrict them.
“Having said that, New Zealand played really well against Australia in their recent series. But as I have said earlier that it’s T20 format and it can be anybody’s game at any given day. We would need to keep in mind the mistakes that we made [in the ODI series] so that we can learn from them. But we also need to prepare so that the ODI results do not affect us in the upcoming [T20 matches]. If we need to beat New Zealand in New Zealand then we would need to come out of the box and play a different type of cricket,” concluded Riyad.