‘Hard to judge the wicket listening to commentary’

Azad Majumder . Taunton | Published: 00:00, Jun 17,2019


Steve Rhodes

Bangladesh skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza insisted on reading the wicket properly to give them a better chance against West Indies in their today’s crucial World Cup match in Taunton.
Mashrafee was cut a frustrated figure since Bangladesh lost to New Zealand by two-wicket in their second match at the Oval on June 5.
The narrow defeat not only cost Bangladesh two vital points but also now put the team in need of wining almost every game in order to stay relevant in the tournament.
A lot has been said about the defeat as the analysts mostly blamed Mushfiqur Rahim’s untimely run-out and a subsequent wicketkeeping blunder for it.
But in private conversations, Mashrafee always maintained that Bangladesh’s inability to read the wicket properly had cost them the game.
‘The team that correctly assess the wicket faster, they will be ahead in the game,’ Mashrafee told reporters on Sunday ahead of West Indies game.
‘I think we misread the pitch in the New Zealand game. If we had read the wicket right in that game, we would have targeted 260-270 batting first.
‘There’s confusion about this wicket as well. We heard it will be grassy but some are saying that it is usually a flat wicket. I think those who go out in the middle can assess it quicker.’
During the New Zealand game, coach Steve Rhodes reportedly told the team that it was 350-run wicket, which prompted the batsmen to go for their shots when relying on singles or doubles should have done the job.
Rhodes, who supposed to have a good knowledge about the pitches in England being an Englishman, was believed to have been influenced by the television commentators before forming his opinion.
‘It is hard to judge the wicket listening to commentary. They can only speculate, and only comment on things as it progresses in front of them,’ Mashrafee said without directly mentioning the name of the coach.
‘I think those in the middle should make the decisions based on their judgment,’ he said.
Manager Khaled Mahmud was also blamed to misguide the team as he sent Mohammad Mithun a message through 12th man to open up and the batsman threw his wicket immediately.
Mashrafee, however, refused to blame the coaching staff entirely and rather urged the players to make their own judgment.
‘When Mohammad Mithun and Riyad were batting, we had the right thinking, towards a score around 270. I think it is the players’ call rather than someone from the outside,’ he said.

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