Wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim led Bangladesh to a memorable win over India on Sunday, there first ever in a T20I against the hosts. The victory was of personal significance to the veteran cricketer who recalled how at the ICC World T20 in 2016 against India in Bengaluru he almost took his side over the line before it ended in a heartbreak.
It’s been over three years since that epic clash and Mushfiqur says he’s learnt from his ‘mistakes’.
“Men can make mistakes. As long as you’re learning from your mistakes, that’s the most important part. And after that incident (WT20 2016) I was closing games in T20s and also in ODIs. So that gives me lot of confidence,” Mushfiqur said after the match.
Theoretically, a target of 149 shouldn’t be overwhelming but on a tricky Delhi pitch, the chase was never going to be a joyride. Mushfiqur held nerves, survived a dropped catch and remained unbeaten on 60 as Bangladesh overhauled the target with three deliveries to spare at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.
At the start of the 17th over, match was evenly poised with the tourists needing 35 off 18. Two big overs including one in which Mushfiqur clubbed four successive fours that whittled down the requirement to just four off six.
“We knew what we had to do in that situation rather than doing things I did in the past,” the 32-year-old said. “I had a chat (with Riyad Mahmudullah) before the start of the 20th over. We knew and we are clear. And after a couple of years, me and Riyad finishing off the game, it feels really great. World Cup match and bilateral series are different. To play against such a strong team like India, you will like to present your best team. We never won against them (in T20Is) before. This could have happened later. I am happy that we could make this happen. We had this belief.”
The past few weeks have been troublesome for Bangladeshi cricketers. First, players-strike, led by Shakib-Al-Hasan, right before they were to depart for India put the tour in doubt. And when it was resolved, allrounder Shakib was handed two-year suspension by the ICC for not reporting multiple approaches by bookies.
“In my 15-year career, the last two-three weeks were the toughest. No one expects such a situation, whether it’s family or cricket. No one would want it. Before I left Bangladesh, I said everything can come on the right track if we win some matches and that’s what we have done,” Mushfiqur explained.
He added, “We came here to compete in each and every game. But as long as you are playing consistent cricket and improving day by day, that’s our main goal. We were underdogs when we came here. As we had nothing to lose we played with a free mind and that helped us play fearless cricket. But personally I think we can improve in a couple of areas. Because in the last two overs, we gave way some easy boundaries. So if we improve in those areas and play better, there is nothing impossible,” he concluded.