Asia Cup 2022: Emotional Bangladesh need more head than heart, says skipper Shakib Al Hasan
Skipper Shakib Al Hasan warned Bangladesh telling them to control their emotions after rival Sri Lanka eliminated them from the Asia Cup 2022 after a savage verbal exchange.
On Thursday, Sri Lanka advanced to the Super Four stage of the competition, which precedes the T20 World Cup, by two wickets and with four balls remaining in a game that might have gone either way.
Before the clash the two sides exchanged verbal volleys in media conferences, with Dasun Shanaka of Sri Lanka claiming that Mustafizur Rahman and Shakib were the only two world-class bowlers Bangladesh had.
Bangladesh team director Khaled Mahmud hit back, saying: “I don’t see any (world-class) bowler in Sri Lanka as well… we have at least two.”
The battle of words moved to social media with former Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene tweeting: “Looks like it’s time for (our) bowlers to show the class and batters to show who they are on the field.”
After the loss that destroyed their Asia Cup ambitions, Shakib denied that the rumours from off the field had an impact, but he did concede that his Bangladeshi team needed to play with more mental toughness.
“We are very emotional. That is the other area we need to improve,” Shakib said, with the World Cup in Australia on the horizon in October-November.
“Keep our emotions on the side and play the way we need to play. More looking to give our head in the game than our heart in the game.”
The Bangladesh players were extended an olive branch by Sri Lankan batsman Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who claimed Shanaka’s comments were misunderstood.
“The statement that the captain made, I don’t think he meant any wrong,” Rajapaksa told reporters.
“Of course, when you compare the (dangerous) Afghanistan bowlers, what we meant was we had a slight advantage facing the Bangladeshi bowlers.”
Rajapaksa added: “Like India-Pakistan, Sri Lanka-Bangladesh is also a good rivalry, but we are friends off the field.
“Some words could hurt the players and hurt the staff. But what the captain meant was not what went through the media.”
Bangladesh reached 183-7 after a turbulent buildup, a total their bowlers were unable to stop.
The bottom order of Sri Lanka needed 25 runs from the final two overs. And they added extra runs thanks to wides and no-balls from the opposing bowlers.
Afghanistan, who easily advanced from the group and into the Super Four. They defeated Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in their opening matches.
Rajapaksa said that his team ran into hiding after losing to Afghanistan by eight wickets; they will play them again on Saturday in the following round.
“It was quite shameful for us, the 11 who played this game. And we were not expecting to bowled out for 105,” said Rajapaksa.
“Of course Afghanistan is a pretty decent side when it comes to T20s. But after the loss we went into a small shell for a couple of days. But we knew how to overcome that situation.”
The powerful left-hander claimed that Sri Lanka was looking forward to another chance to take on Afghanistan. They has emerged as a legitimate title challenger.
“What we planned was to beat Bangladesh by hook or by crook,” he said.
“We managed to win and the motivation that the players have is immense. So going forward into Super Fours it will be quite interesting.”