Bangladesh captain hopes a fully fit team can turn things around at the World T20 from Sunday
Bangladesh, waiting for its first win since November 2013, is hoping to engineer a reversal of fortunes. Although it drew the second Test against Sri Lanka in February, it failed to register a single win in the subsequent limited-overs series. It also went without a win in the Asia Cup, and suffered the ignominy of a 32-run loss to Afghanistan in the tournament.
"They [Afghanistan] will also be under pressure," Rahim said. "They would like to do something in such a big event. But we want to take revenge. Our first target is to cross the first round, but more importantly, we are concentrating on the first game against Afghanistan. We have two matches after that against Nepal and Hong Kong.
"We have found out more information about them [Afghanistan] lately. We have played against them, which helped in that regard. They might know enough about us but Shakib [al Hasan], Mashrafe [Mortaza] and Tamim [Iqbal] didn't play the Asia Cup match against them. They must have seen these players on TV, but it is a different ball game when they play against them," he said.
Rahim hoped that Mortaza, Tamim and Sohag Gazi, who are recovering from injuries, would be cleared to play in the first game. Gazi hurt his right hand in the game against Afghanistan, while Mortaza suffered a side strain in the game against India in the Asia Cup. Tamim had missed the entire tournament after he suffered a neck strain during the series against Sri Lanka.
The captain himself had hurt his finger during the second Test against Sri Lanka and did not keep in the Asia Cup. He hoped to get back behind the stumps for the World T20. "I had another X-ray. I will start keeping from tomorrow, and the pain has been less.
"I believe that we will find everyone fully fit, which will make us stronger. I think it is important to do well on the particular day and overcome the pressure."
Rahim believed Bangladesh's poor performances has made the team hungrier. He asked his players to step up in the World T20, where it has not been able to find success till date. "We beat West Indies in the 2007 tournament but haven't quite played consistently. We don't play too many T20s like the other international teams, which hinders our consistent performance. Recently we have played some domestic T20 competitions, where our players have done well," he added.
"We are more focused on working hard, and showing our performance. We are hungrier now. We want to show that Bangladesh can take up a big challenge in this World T20. We need to be calm under pressure, and there are guys in the dressing-room who play better in pressure situations. I hope they do that in the coming days."