Dhaka, Bangladesh
Mortaza agrees he needs to improve

Mortaza agrees he needs to improve

Mashrafe Mortaza is a captain before being a bowler. Set to retire after the ongoing World Cup, Mortaza has had to face some recent heat because of his bowling form. He's picked only one wicket during the 21 overs he's bowled so far in 2019 World Cup, conceding 149 runs, reports Cricbuzz. But that's not it. Mortaza is now also having to send down all his ten overs, and his lack of thrust at the back end is starting to hurt Bangladesh. It's a far cry from playing at home, where spinners gleefully chip in. Take the match against England for example. Mortaza conceded 1 for 68 in his ten overs, but his last over went for 18 runs. And it was Liam Plunkett doing most of the damage. "I think there are so many times where I didn't finish my overs in the last four or five years I've been in the captaincy. It's all about who is doing well in the middle and at the right time," Mortaza said, stressing how he's accommodated someone who's bowling well at the cost of his own spells sometimes. "In the last match, I bowled 10 overs because I needed to, and maybe till the eighth or ninth over I was doing okay." Mashrafe bowled well in the Ireland tri-nation but contracted a slight niggle in the hamstring, which now seems to be keeping him from giving his best at the World Cup. Mortaza said he was aware of what he needs to improve upon as a bowler, and that his self feedback was what held priority as the noise around him grows by the minute. "No, it is not disappointing at all," Mortaza said about the criticism hurled at him. "When you are in professional life and you cannot give your best, it is very natural that questions will be raised against you and you have to accept it. "Ultimately, I expect more of myself and try to contribute to winning a match. When that does not happen, I question myself. Instead of what other people are saying, it is more important what I am feeling. If I am unable to give my best, that I feel bad is more important for me," he said. But it's not just the bowling that was under the scanner in Bangladesh's match against England; it was the captaincy too. On a wicket that was under cover for two days, Mortaza bowled his spinners upfront, spurring England on to a mammoth 128-run opening stand after opting to bowl first. "In the last match against England, everything went opposite of us - from batting to bowling. So it was tough to pick a right decision. If we don't win we will be criticized, no matter who your opponent is," he said. "In the first two matches, the wickets were favorable for the batsmen, where bowlers had more than 6.5 economy rate but our spinners performed better in those wickets so they had to bowl more."

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