The captain has to perform. There is no alternative for it: Shakib Al Hasan Getty

Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh all-rounder, believes Mashrafe Mortaza's poor form in the recently-concluded World Cup resulted in Bangladesh's eighth-placed finish in the tournament. Shakib finished as the third-highest run-getter with 606 runs, apart from 10 wickets, the rest failed to peak at crucial times. Mortaza, for one, returned only two wickets.

"I always believed that we could go a long way, and if we could get help from everyone maybe we could reach the semis," Shakib said. "For many reasons, many things do not happen. When a player is not performing, he starts thinking about his own performance more than the team. Then it becomes an issue. I think same thing happened with Mashrafe (Mortaza) bhai. Since the captain was not performing, it became a problem for him and also for the team. The captain has to perform. There is no alternative for it.

However, Shakib, the team's Test and T20 captain, himself isn't willing to throw his hat into the ring for a long stint in the leadership role, and believes he is better off concentrating on his own game. He also suggested that some of the younger players should be groomed for that role while the seniors are still around to assist them.

"Mentally I am not prepared for those (leadership role)," he was quoted as saying by a Bengali newspaper. "But the team is not in a condition for now, and I understand that to bring the team in a good shape it would be better if I am around and performing well.

"If I don't take that role, I can focus on my game more. It will also help the team. I want new players to take responsibility. Until you give them responsibility, you won't understand how they will do. When I was named captain at 22, who knew how good I was. We have the Test Championship and T20 World Cup coming up. We should start preparing for next four years from now."

Shakib also denied criticising Mahmudullah's attitude at the World Cup after details of the latter's laboured innings against Afghanistan was leaked by one of his teammates. Shakib denied making any remarks and said that such leaks affect the unity of the team.

"These things are enough to break a team mentally... When internal discussions are discussed outside, it affects the performance," he said. "First of all, I said nothing like that. And even if I said that, who will take that blame of leaking it? There will be lots of discussions among us. And some of the coaching staff members were also involved in those apart from a few senior players who make decisions. It may be someone among them. This is not good.

"Maybe, they don't want to see the team progress. When someone is injured, you cannot take someone's name and say that if he had played it would have been different. It demotivates the players. When these things happen, it becomes really tough to perform. And that day I understood our team could not do anything in this World Cup because of these issues."