Tigers out to dictate terms in death groupAzad Majumder . Kandy, Sri Lanka
The International Cricket Council ticket booth at the City Centre in Kandy has put the complete fixture of World Twenty20 Super Eight phase on display with Bangladesh’s name nowhere on the board.
From Group-D it predicted Pakistan and New Zealand would progress and the ICC tried to lure the fans to buy tickets for the matches of the teams that are supposed to play beyond group stage.
Anyone with a minimum knowledge on seeding of the World Twenty20 has no reason to blame the ICC as they have only these two teams seeded from this group.
Unseeded Bangladesh, the third team of the group, have the chance to qualify only if they can turn the formbook upside down, which will not be an easy thing to do.
But don’t dare to tell this to New Zealand and Pakistan players who are aware of the threat that can come from their unfancied opponents. From their experience in the Asia Cup, Pakistan must know they can be thrown out of the tournament with the slightest mistake and New Zealand have more reasons to worry about.
In the last series between the two sides, Bangladesh were overwhelming winners and Bangladesh’s spinners still remained a major threat for them particularly on the sub-continental pitches.
Given the realistic chances underdogs Bangladesh have against these two seeded teams in Group D, it is also now called the Group of Death in the ICC World Twenty20 and many associated with the game in Kandy are thrilled to be part of this group’s matches.
Martin Guptill, the New Zealand opener, who is one of the best in business when it comes to Twenty20 cricket (he is ranked fifth in the World as a Twenty20 batsman) agreed that they were handed the toughest job in the tournament draw.
‘It’s a very tough group, Bangladesh first up [against us], it’s going to be tough game, we can’t take them for granted,’ Guptill said at a press conference in Pallekele on Wednesday.
Bangladesh coach Richard Pybus, however, said when it’s about three teams in a group and two teams are to progress every group should be considered as the Group of Death.
‘When there are only three teams in the group, it’s
always a death group,’ said Pybus. ‘Because it’s small game, it brings two sides closer. It’s only matter of 240 balls. I wouldn’t say it’s a group of death for us.’
For Pybus it’s all about how you play on a particular day as this is what only matters. Bangladesh’s recent improvement against Pakistan and New Zealand’s history of capitulating against quality spin attack will mean nothing if Bangladesh cannot be on top of their game on the particular day, according to the coach.
‘I am very wary of looking too far back,’ said Pybus. ‘We whitewashed Ireland 3-0 but that did not make any difference the way we played the other day. It’s about bringing right on the days.’
‘It’s important that we are on top of our game in two days time being calm and composed,’ said Pybus, who has many believers in his side not just among its fans but also in the opponents.
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