Mushfiq for keeping up momentum in WT20Staff Correspondent
Having won nine out of 12 Twenty20 matches in the last three months, Bangladesh are well prepared for the ICC World T20 and skipper Mushfiqur Rahim said they need to keep up the momentum to bring good results.
Bangladesh reached Sri Lanka on Wednesday after playing in a four-nation T20 tournament in Trinidad & Tobago, where they became runners-up, and the skipper said that his troops have shaped up well for the big event.
‘We had good preparations in the last three months. We played against teams like Zimbabwe, South Africa and then we also went to Ireland and the Netherlands.
‘Out of twelve games we won nine, so it’s a good thing. I think the boys are shaping up really well. Hopefully they’ll do well,’ said Mushfiq during the event’s official captains’ press conference at the Cinnamon Grand.
Bangladesh will play their group matches at Pallekele and like the other sub-continental pitches it is also expected to help the spinners, but Mushfiq thinks otherwise.
The skipper along with his deputy Mahmudullah and Tamim Iqbal had the opportunity of having a first-hand playing experience at Pallekele recently courtesy of the Sri Lankan Premier League.
‘A couple of the guys recently played in the SLPL and also did well. We have a couple of great spinners including Sakib. Our group matches are at Pallekele and that’s not a spinning track.
‘Our pace attack is quite balanced so we hope to do well with the spinners and pacers. It will give us a good chance to move into the second round,’ he said.
This will be the biggest tournament for the Tigers after the Asia Cup in March, where they beat India and Sri Lanka and lost a pulsating final to Pakistan, and Mushfiq says playing consistent cricket will be the key.
‘This is our first big tournament after we did well in the Asia Cup. Hopefully we can carry on in the same fashion although it’s a different format.
Bangladesh will play two warm-up matches against Zimbabwe and Ireland on September 15 and 17 respectively before the big event begins on September 18.
The wicketkeeper-batsman said that no team can be called a T20 favourites and they will also need some luck to do well in the tournament.
‘In T20 format you never know who the favorites are. On a given day if you can do well in all three departments you can beat anyone,’ said Mushfiq. ‘Also it is very important to play consistent cricket in T20s.
‘We have two warm-up matches and hopefully we’ll do well there and try to carry the momentum in the tournament proper. It is important to gain the momentum and get the results at the end of the day.
‘In these kinds of tournaments, you need a bit of luck along with the skills and we missed the luck in that (Asia Cup) final. So if luck is on our side in this tournament, we can do anything,’ he added.
Bangladesh will face New Zealand in their first match on September 21 and take on Pakistan, whom they have never beaten in T20, on September 25.
Mushfiq does not find it hard that they haven’t won against Pakistan and thinks that his side is well familiar with the Sri Lankan condition which will help them.
‘Past records do not matter. We have played in Sri Lanka before, so we know the conditions. If we do well with our skills, probably with some luck, anything is possible,’ Mushfiq said.
The Tigers are often recognised as a side who can surprise their opponents occasionally, but Mushfiq says that they are looking forward to proving their consistency in the tournament.
‘Still I think our side is better than a couple of other sides in the tournament. We need to prove that and that’ll only happen if the boys take the opportunities. We are looking forward to this tournament,’ he said.
The fourth edition of the ICC World Twenty20 will begin from September 18 with the match between the hosts Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe at Hambantota.
Bangladesh are placed in Group D of the mega event along with former World T20 champions Pakistan and New Zealand.
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