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Bangladesh’s Najmul urges batsmen to improve after India loss

Clean bowled - Bangladesh's Mahmudullah is dismissed during the Tigers' lowly 256-8 against India in Pune (Punit PARANJPE)


Clean bowled - Bangladesh's Mahmudullah is dismissed during the Tigers' lowly 256-8 against India in Pune (Punit PARANJPE)

Clean bowled – Bangladesh’s Mahmudullah is dismissed during the Tigers’ lowly 256-8 against India in Pune (Punit PARANJPE)

Stand-in Bangladesh captain Najmul Hossain Shanto said his batsmen must take “responsibility” after a collapse in a seven-wicket defeat by India left them struggling to qualify for the World Cup semi-finals.

The Tigers were well-placed at 93 without loss, with openers Tanzid Hasan (51) and Liton Das (66) both making fifties, in Pune on Thursday.

But they then lost four wickets for 44 runs in slumping to 137-4 before a recovery took them to 256-8 after Najmul had won the toss on a good batting pitch.

India, however, cruised to 261-3 inside 42 overs, Virat Kohli ending the match in style with a six that saw the star batsman to a hundred.

But while India have won all four of their games, Bangladesh have now suffered three defeats after launching their World Cup campaign with a victory over Afghanistan.

“We haven’t been able to play our best match, especially on the batting part,” said Najmul after Thursday’s thumping loss.

“I think the batsmen will try to bat with responsibility in the upcoming matches.”

Najmul, leading the side in place of injured skipper Shakib Al Hasan, added: “I think we could not bat well in the middle overs.

“It would have been a different ball-game if the openers batted a bit longer. A couple of wickets were soft dismissals. The wicket was good, but the batters failed to take responsibility.”

Key all-rounder Shakib, now in his fifth World Cup, missed the India match with the thigh injury he suffered during Friday’s eight-wicket loss to New Zealand.

But Najmul was optimistic the 36-year-old would return for Tuesday’s match against South Africa in Mumbai.

“We didn’t want to take a risk in today’s (Thursday’s) match, since we have five more matches to go,” said Najmul.

“He (Shakib) is a lot better and there is improvement. So, we hope that maybe he will play in the next match.”

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