Mirpur: Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim has openly admitted that some players in the current team are "insecured about their places" and that`s the reason they are not able to give their best on the field.
Playing their first match in Group 2, Bangladesh surrendered to the West Indies in a crushing 73-run defeat in an ICC World T20 match yesterday.
Asked if there`s a mental blockage, Rahim gave a straightforward answer.
"It is something I am still trying to figure out. The earlier team we had was where everyone used to play freely. Everyone had fixed slots which enabled them to play their normal game. But now, some players are probably insecured about their places in the team. If at the back of his mind, a player realizes that he is not able to perform, then he would be under pressure," Rahim was frank in his assessment.
"T20 is a quick format where you need to get out there and start hitting. And when you have players in off-form, it becomes difficult for the team. Now what these players should believe is that with their current mindset, they haven`t achieved anything. So better get into a positive frame of mind and try harder. Play our natural game. May be that will help," Bangladeshi skipper said.
Rahim feels that the negative mindset is not helping their cause as it has got nothing to do with what the BCB top brass have told the players during a meeting.
"It`s got nothing to do with the kind of discussions or talks that are going on. The momentum needed is not there and players are not in a free mind. We need to overcome that. Let`s think that if we play badly, we will all get dropped. Even I will get dropped so rather play freely. Best way is to counter-attack," he said.
Rahim was also not worried about the criticism.
"Quite obvious, that there will be pressure and if you play badly and there is bound to be a lot of criticism. The expectation of performing at home is more because of the kind of cricket, we have played at home. But then earlier, there were 5-6 players, who consistently performed but it`s not happening now. That`s big disadvantage," he said.
However, his explanation at why Shakib Al Hasan was introduced in the attack as late as the 13th over was a weird one though.
"Reason for bringing in Shakib in the 13th over is because we all know how dangerous Gayle could be against left-arm spin. Our plan against Gayle was to feed him with away going deliveries. Gazi, Riyadh bhai (Off-spinners) were trying to do that but we couldn`t get him out," Rahim said.
"Babar (Shakib`s nickname) being our best bowler, we wanted to keep him for the end. But yes, you can say that the plan didn`t work."