Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza has found his team’s performances in South Africa “alarming”. They went down by 200 runs against South Africa in East London, their joint third-heaviest runs defeat in ODIs.

They had already lost the first ODI by 10 wickets and the second game by 104 runs. South Africa racked up 300-plus scores easily in the last two games, with Bangladesh becoming the fourth team (after England, India and Zimbabwe) to concede more than 1,000 runs in a three-match series. This series also ended with their poorest collective bowling average.

Mashrafe said that a lot of soul-searching and long-term thought had to be given to how they play abroad and that with a World Cup coming up it was high time solutions were sought with seriousness.

“This tour has been alarming for Bangladesh cricket and with more bilateral tours and the World Cup coming up we, as a playing unit, have to look after these things quickly,” Mashrafe said. “I think we are not having enough confidence to bat and bowl. We haven’t adjusted to the conditions. But it has been happening since the Champions Trophy. We have to improve quickly or the overseas bilateral series in the future will become very difficult.

“Neither the batsmen nor the bowlers took responsibilities. I think we have to find out from the particular players why we are unable to play better. I don’t think this can be solved by training a lot in South Africa in the coming days. This is a long-term issue, a long process. We have to be prepared to play on these types of wickets the next time we go on a tour.

Mashrafe himself had an ODI series to forget, going wicketless in a three-match series for the first time since 2008. He rued not being more aggressive with the ball.

“It was a tough tour. If we rate the wicket, I was quite unlucky too. I think it will be helpful for me in the future. I should have been more aggressive, like I was in the Champions Trophy,” he said.

Mashrafe added that the bowlers have to find out what to do in the countries where pitches have become batting-friendly and high scores are a regularity.

“There will be flat wickets in places like England, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, so our bowlers have to learn what to bowl here since there will be scores like 300-350 quite regularly.”



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