Thursday, 19 September 2013 00:00
ESPNCricinfo: Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim was disappointed to see his team slip to 10th in the Test rankings after Zimbabwe entered at No. 9, having played enough Tests to qualify to the table.
Zimbabwe’s victory against Pakistan also meant that they were lifted to 34 points, a significant lead over Bangladesh who have ten. From the time they reinstated themselves as a Test team, Zimbabwe have won three out of 10 Tests. Bangladesh have played 11 during the same period, winning just one.
“It is normal for a team to go up the ranking table when they do well,” Mushfiqur said. “For us however, it is very disappointing that they came back two years ago and crossed us. We have a great opportunity to beat New Zealand in the upcoming Test series. Even if it doesn’t better our position in the rankings, we will know that we have committed fully.”
There was a lot of interest among the Bangladesh players during the fifth day of the second Zimbabwe-Pakistan Test. Having played so much cricket against each other, there is a sense of camaraderie between the two sets of players apart from the strong rivalry.
Allrounder Shakib Al Hasan said Bangladesh have to follow Zimbabwe’s example in October when New Zealand arrive for a two-Test series. “Zimbabwe has played well and it is reflected in their rankings,” he said. “We have to do the same and that has to be against New Zealand.”
Fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza added that domestic competitions should be taken seriously as well. “We need to play more first-class cricket and give more priority to the National Cricket League,” he said. “Batsmen will have to improve on scoring a century and bowlers have to try to bowl much better. Because we play so few Tests, we have to make best use of the opportunity.” Though most of the players have been doing well individually in the Dhaka Premier League, Mushfiqur hopes to play a four-day match after they are released by the clubs.
“There’s nothing better than match practice and some of us play together in the clubs,” he said. “I am hoping for a longer-version match just after we leave the league, ahead of the Test series. If that doesn’t happen, we would like to train on the Chittagong wicket.
“We had passed on a message to the players that performance in the Premier League will be vital for our preparation against New Zealand. It will give us the self-confidence.”