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Before this series, Bangladesh and Pakistan played each other on 12 occasions in the format, with Bangladesh winning only two of them.

When captain Mahmudullah Riyad was asked a question regarding the failure of Bangladesh in T20 World Cup at a pre-match press conference on Thursday, he appeared to be annoyed. But the Bangladesh T20I captain softly replied that he is not willing to talk more about the World Cup.

It’s understandable why the Bangladesh captain is so annoyed to talk about the just-concluded World Cup -- they lost six out of eight matches they played, including all five in the Super 12 phase, at the biggest stage of T20 cricket.

It also leaves open the question of who exactly is the team management, if the captain is not part of it, and the selectors refer to the body separately

Bangladesh’s defeat against Scotland in the very first match of their World Cup campaign was difficult to accept for most of the cricket fans. They lost two warm-up matches right before the World Cup, so they needed some time to get themselves up for the main event.

But when they won their next two matches against Oman and Papua New Guinea to qualify for the Super 12 phase of the World Cup, expectations were high and the Tigers failed miserably to deliver.

“I don’t want to talk about the World Cup, we rather are focusing on the next match and on this series. It’s more important to me how much we can contribute to the team in this contest than thinking about the World Cup. Pakistan are one of the best teams in the world, so this series is going to be a tough one,” Mahmudullah said at the pre-match press conference.

In the mission to restore pride, Bangladesh are going to miss the services of Mushfiqur Rahim, who has always been one of Bangladesh’s mainstays in the batting line. He failed to shine in the World Cup -- scoring only 144 runs in eight matches with five single-digit scores.

Mushfiqur’s omission came as a surprise to many including the wicketkeeper-batter himself. Bangladesh chief selector Minhajul Abedin said that he was rested as they want him fresh for the busy Test schedule awaiting in the coming months.

Since it’s a young team, we have to face an immense challenge in the series. But those who have got the national call deserve to be in the national team. Let’s see what they can come up with
Mahmudullah, Bangladesh T20I captain

“We want Mushfiq to deliver his best in the Test series against Pakistan and New Zealand,” Minhajul told the media after announcing a new-look Bangladesh T20 squad for the Pakistan series. “We have to play successive four Tests against Pakistan and New Zealand. We want Mushfiqur to be fresh for these matches. Tamim (Iqbal) is suffering from an injury and his participation is uncertain in these Tests. In this situation, Mushfiqur is too important to us, and this is why he was rested.”

Minhajul has claimed that to make the decision of leaving out Mushfiqur, the selection panel had reflected the thought process of the team management -- a claim that Mushfiqur refused publicly in interviews with the local media.

The right-handed batter said the team management didn’t talk to him about his rest. He said he is taking this move as his first omission from the team in many years, and he also added it’s a challenge for him to prove his mettle in this format.

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In the pre-series press conference, Mahmudullah was also diplomatic while talking about Mushfiqur’s absence. “I cannot talk about it,” Mahmudullah replied when he was asked a question about it. “You may ask the team management about it.”

This response of Mahmudullah was a clear indication of the fact that the captain was not consulted by “team management” before making the decision to exlide Mushfiqur. It also leaves open the question of who exactly is the team management, if the captain is not part of it, and the selectors refer to the body separately.

In the pride-restoring mission, Bangladesh will have to rely immensely upon the young guns including four new faces -- Saif Hassan, Yasir Ali, Akbar Ali and Shohidul Islam. Among them, Saif has played a few Tests, but others are yet to don the national team jersey.

“Since it’s a young team, we have to face an immense challenge in the series. But those who have got the national call deserve to be in the national team. Let’s see what they can come up with,” Mahmudullah said.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam said this series is a good chance for his team to test the strength of their bench. Before coming to Bangladesh, Pakistan had a wonderful World Cup where they won five matches in a row before tumbling against Australia in the semi-final.

“We would like to test our bench strength here, and this is the reason that we have changed four players in our 12 player squad for the first game against Bangladesh,” Babar said in the pre-series press conference on Thursday.

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