Bangladesh came into the fourth day on 132 for 6 after their top and middle order once again caved in against a disciplined pace attack. Shakib said that his side’s inability to hold on to their wickets showed a lack of game awareness at this level.
“Considering this Test, we tended to lose wickets just before a drinks break, a lunch break or before the rain. If we didn’t lose these wickets, things would have been quite different. This is a part of game awareness. We weren’t as tough as we could have been, in terms of showing character in this Test match,” he said.
Shakib felt that the Test players must work on their game before they meet India in December. Bangladesh go into their T20 season later this week, leading up to the T20 World Cup scheduled to begin in Australia in October. They will be playing T20Is against West Indies and Zimbabwe, before featuring in the Asia Cup and a tri-series in New Zealand before the global event.
“We have to improve in every department to do well in Tests. It is good that a big gap is coming up [before we play the next Test]. Those who are interested in playing Tests can improve themselves during this time. We really don’t have a new set of players who will do well immediately after coming to this level.
“We have a responsibility to bring Test culture back to the country.”
Shakib Al Hasan
“If all of us, and a couple of the players from outside, can plan together, we might do well. Otherwise, we cannot expect a lot of changes if we continue to play the same way. We have to bring changes in many aspects, including our thinking.”
“Teams are mostly underdogs on away tours. Take New Zealand, for example. They are losing abroad. England lost in the West Indies. Australia are losing when they play abroad. The same for India. Teams lose in India too.
“So, we have to make sure that we don’t lose at home. Either we win or draw the matches. This improvement will help us when we are playing overseas. Maybe, we won’t win, but we will be competitive.”
“You can’t really blame the players. The system in our country is this. Did you ever see 30,000 people come to see a Test match? It happens in every game in England. We don’t have a Test culture in our country. But we can’t give up on it.
“We have a responsibility to bring Test culture back to the country. We have to plan ahead, otherwise, we can’t get too far. I wouldn’t say that we don’t value Test cricket. But we don’t have good results. These two go hand-in-hand.”
“It is an important series as far as our preparation for the T20 World Cup is concerned,” Shakib said. “We have the Asia Cup and the World Cup coming up. We don’t have much time left. Playing against West Indies will be a major challenge.
“If we do well in the T20s here, it will help us go to Sri Lanka [for the Asia Cup] with a good mindset. The Asia Cup will be tough as we will take on India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.”
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84