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Match Reports,07 July 2015

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Mushfiqur hopes for momentum to pull his side through

The Bangladesh captain exuded confidence ahead of his team's opening match against New Zealand

Mushfiqur hopes for momentum to pull his side through - Cricket News
Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim speaks to the media.
Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim believes the ICC World Twenty20 2012 is a big opportunity for his side to move into the top league.

Speaking ahead of his side’s Group D match against New Zealand at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Mushfiqur revealed that the entire nation is behind the squad.

“After the Asia Cup this is our big opportunity. The feeling is really good in the camp. Not just us, the 160 million Bangladesh people are also looking forward to it. If we prepare well, then the result will take care of itself,’’ said Mushfiqur.

The right-handed wicketkeeper-batsman believes his side has prepared well and will be buoyed to perform at its best.

“We are happy with the preparations. Everyone has had a good hit. We have played in different conditions and against good teams,’’ added Mushfiqur.

First up for Bangladesh is the challenge of New Zealand. Mushfiqur is confident of his side’s abilities.

“I think in this format it is difficult to say which team is favourite and which team is not. If we do the right things in all three departments then the results will take care of itself.”

Mushfiqur said that the target within the group is not just going through the Group stage, but all the way.

“We are confident of going through to the Super Eight. We are in a tough group (Group D). Our team is quite balanced, we need to get the basics right and execute plans in the middle, then we can beat any team in the world.  We have spent some time together as a team. If we put in a good team performance then one never knows,’’ reckoned Mushfiqur.

Last time Bangladesh played New Zealand in 2010-11, it won the ODI series 4-0 at home. But Mushfiqur insisted that there will be no good tidings that can be carried over to the match on Friday.

“When we beat New Zealand 4-0 two years ago, it was in the 50-over game and it was played back home. This (Pallekele) is not a typical subcontinent pitch. It will aid the quicks as well as the batsmen. It all depends on the momentum. So it is important to start well and carry it throughout the match. If we do that then anything is possible.”

The Pallekele pitch has been praised by different quarters, and Mushfiqur too joined the band.

“I played two matches here during the SLPL. Tamim and Mahmudullah also played here then. The boys know how the pitch plays here. In the night while batting second, it might suit the pace bowlers. That’s not bad for us because our pace attack is good as well.  It is not a typical subcontinent wicket. This venue reminds me of Newlands, Cape Town. Hopefully we can carry the good memories from there tomorrow as well,’’ said Mushfiqur.

The other reason for Mushfiqur’s optimism is the quality of players in his side, especially a certain all-rounder named Shakib Al Hasan.

“Shakib Al Hasan is our best cricketer. Shakib is now playing more freely than ever before, not just with the bat and ball but also on the field and off it as well. His presence means a lot. Not just Shakib, Tamim, Ash (Mohammad Ashraful) are also doing really well. I am definitely confident about our chances. In the last two years Nasir Hossain has also come up. He is doing well. Now I hope we will combine well and play as a team. If we do that then we can win any game,’’ concluded Mushfiqur.

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