Bangladesh’s batsmen should take inspiration from their performances in away Tests earlier this year before they go into the Bloemfontein Test against South Africa. This is Mahmudullah‘s prescription for his team to bounce back after their 333-run defeat in the first Test in Potchefstroom, where they were bowled out for 90 in the second innings.
Mahmudullah was one of Bangladesh’s few bright spots with the bat, marking his comeback with a first-innings half-century. He said their collapse in the second innings was down to a number of “silly mistakes”.
“We are disappointed,” Mahmudullah said.”The pitch was good but we couldn’t bat the way we wanted to. We made a lot of silly mistakes. But I am very confident that we will bat better in the second Test, whatever the wicket is. I am sure we can make a comeback.
“It is only natural that conditions will be in the home side’s favour. We are here after a long time. But if we look at the New Zealand tour. where Shakib [Al Hasan] got the double-hundred and Mushfiqur [Rahim] made 150-plus, we should get confidence from it. We believe that our skills are good enough if we can execute it.”
Mahmudullah, who played on to South Africa’s fast bowlers in both innings, defended the approach of Bangladesh’s batsmen, even the ones who went for their shots early in their innings, but said their application had to improve in Bloemfontein.
“Everyone has a different batting approach,” he said. “Some feel that by playing some strokes early, they can settle down. Some feel comfortable by middling a defensive push. At the end of the day, application is everything.
“It is not wrong to play shots. Why not hit bad balls for boundaries, if it gives a batsman confidence? He should play his own game. Conditions should be considered but it was good batting conditions. We couldn’t execute our skills. We were very poor.”
Rain arrived in Potchefstroom a few hours after Bangladesh were bowled out on the fifth day, but Mahmudullah said their batsmen hadn’t made any specific plans with an eye on the weather.
“We were thinking of saving the match,” he said. “We weren’t really thinking about the rain. Our target was to draw out the game. But we couldn’t cope in the first session.”